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Friday, February 10, 2006

democratic reform in alberta?

For those of you interested in democratic reform in the great province of Alberta, we are pleased to inform you that the Alberta Liberal Opposition is taking the bull by the horns and hosting a forum on this topic on Monday (February 13 from 7-9pm at the Stanley Milner Library in Edmonton).

Speakers will include Liberal leader Kevin Taft, and Craig Henschel and Shoni Field from the B.C.’s Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.

The forum will be moderated by Edmonton McClung MLA Mo Elsalhy and attended by MLA's Hugh MacDonald, Bridget Pastoor, and Maurice Tougas.

We will be attending, so if you want to talk about democratic reform AND get a glimpse of the original daveberta...

21 comments:

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Aha! This time I will wave. I'll be the girl with the floppy, shoulder-length red hair. Probably wearing purple. :-)

Allie said...

Maybe I should go just to see my MLA actually do something.

Tory Thoughts said...

The Alberta Liberals talk a good game, but no one really thinks they have a chance in Alberta (see today's editorial in the Calgary Herald - I have referenced it on my blog (http://torythoughts.blogs.com/tory/2006/02/uniting_the_rig.html).

The fact is that the Alberta Liberals will never form the government. Remember: Albertans don't go for a sissy-type sort of change; they vote in "dynasties", and the next dynasty won't be the ALP (they have already had their shot at governing the province).

The provincial parties on the right (AA, SC and Alberta Party) will merge and become the next big force in provincial politics. Their platforms contain policies Albertans can actually relate to.

I know there is no connection between the ALP and the federal Liberals, but what Albertan would vote for Liberals here when we have finally defeated them in Ottawa?

And if you want to read about real democratic reform, I suggest you read the policy platform of the Alberta Alliance.

daveberta said...

IP: We'll keep an eye out for you!

TT: Thanks for the note TT, though we're not sure a Calgary Herald editorial is a very good indicator of anything...

Were really not sure where the idea that the next governing party will be one from the right has come from. Where is the precident for this? Is it just because the Western Standard says so?

As well, if you look at historical voting patterns, the Alberta Liberals do better in elections when the Conservatives are in power in Ottawa (see provincial elections during Mulroney's 1984-1993 government).

As for the Alberta Alliance, well, we don't hate the gays enough to consider that a viable opinion.

daveberta said...

Woah, we read the article... it's not a Calgary Herald Editorial, it's an op-ed written by the former deputy leader of the Social Credit Party... don't you think that should be an indicator enough of the sanity of the article...

Jim said...

Who's your MLA, Allie?

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

TT,

Electoral reform isn't a partisan Liberal issue, anyway--I'm on the executive of the local chapter of Fair Vote Canada, and every party both to the left of the right of the Alberta Tories have endorsed proportional representation. Even the Tories have said that they're not against it, but are reserving judgment until they see the particular model.

Tory Thoughts said...

I am not saying that the CH has a monopoly on predicting things, nor does the former deputy leader of the SC, who wrote the article. But the fact that the ALP was down by 15,000 votes is a factor that cannot be swept under the rug.

I have been talking to lots of people around here (Calgary), and whenever I play the devil's advocate and ask them what they think of the Alberta Liberals, they almost kill me. Only yesterday I was talking to a "sweet little old lady", and she almost whacked me with her purse when I mentioned "Alberta Liberals".

I also know that the local ALP association has barely 14 members (of whom, perhaps, 5 are active members, at the most!).

I am quite sure that the ALP will get some votes and seats in the next election, but forming a government is not in the cards for them.

I will also agree that Taft has some very good ideas, but if he tries to get the message out under a Liberal banner, he will never be heard in Alberta.

With the federal Liberals defeated, Albertans will not shift their votes to the left; instead, they will stick with the right and even dig in their heels. My prediction is that they will either renew their bonds with the PCs under a new leader or go with a stronger and merged Alberta Alliance.

Jim said...

People in AB often vote Tory at a provincially level to "get back" at the Feds--once you take that off the table, things get a little stranger in AB politics. I think it gets more introspective and localized--which is why swaths of Liberals and New Democrats were elected in rural and Calgary ridings in the 80s.

Tory Thoughts said...

Jim, this time, I think, things will be different. I don't know if you live in Alberta as well, but if you talk to people as I have, you will quickly find that people have become even more conservative, if that's possible, after the federal election.

It's as if they thought: well, great, now we got a Tory government in Ottawa, and the Tories swept all ridings in Alberta, so now it's time to go all the way - let's make this province fully conservative!

At least, that's the impression I have been given in a number of conversations with fellow Albertans, and feel the same way.

daveberta said...

TT, the only change in positioning that we've noticed since the federal election has been the amount of Tory friends who think Stephen Harper is a douchebag for appointing an unelected Senator to cabinet and giving David Emerson a cabinet post for crossing the floor...

Tory Thoughts said...

Daveberta,

And this will reinforce Albertans' distrust of anything to do with Ottawa - whether it's managed by Liberals or Tories. As a result, Albertans dig in their heels and go conservative (and perhaps even separatist) all the way.

klimpec said...

Since when do the provincial Liberals have anything to do with Ottawa?

You have no basis for your theory.

Jim said...

"Electoral reform isn't a partisan Liberal issue, anyway--I'm on the executive of the local chapter of Fair Vote Canada, and every party both to the left of the right of the Alberta Tories have endorsed proportional representation. Even the Tories have said that they're not against it, but are reserving judgment until they see the particular model."

If the Tories actually cared at all about proportional representation, they would have looked at some particular models by now instead of paying ambivalent lip service towards it. Besides, Ralph Klein has repeatedly called people who support proportional representation as "sore losers".

You won't get anywhere with democratic reform if you keep plugging your vote for the Alberta Tories.

daveberta said...

Indeed. The Alberta PC's are probably the last party on earth that would want to institute any kind of electoral reform. Since 1971, they've kept their large majorities through artifical inflation of seats through the FPTP system.

In the last election, the PC's got 62 out of 83 seats, yet only garnered 47% of the popular vote. Meaning 53% of voters did not support the Tories in the last election...

Tory Thoughts said...

I wrote a longish expose on what the future holds in Alberta:

http://torythoughts.blogs.com/tory/2006/02/conservatism_in.html

This will shed some light on Kevin Taft's chances. In my estimation it all hinges on who will be elected to follow Ralph.

daveberta said...

TT, thanks for the link. Here's how we see it:

Rural Alberta, god bless it, is not where the future of Alberta lies. Not only does most of rural Alberta host a steadly declining population, but economically once you remove the rockies and Wood Buffalo, most rural areas are not feeling the benifits of Alberta's "prosperity."

What areas in Alberta are growing? Urban areas. Where are the Alberta Liberals gaining more support? Urban areas - Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, St. Albert, etc.

If parties like as the Alliance are planning to win an election by taking rural Alberta, they're being foolhardy. Wait until the next electoral redistribution to see more rural Alberta seats dissolved and urban seats created.

As for Klein retiring. Of course this will effect what will happen.

Tory Thoughts said...

I agree that focusing on the rural vote only would be foolish. I only said that the whole merger idea on the right will add an interesting aspect. But there is the possibility that, once united, that new and stronger party (whatever it'll be called then) will also attract a lot of urban voters.

Or, to put it simply, if Dinning or Morton win the PC leadership, then it's curtains for Taft (in rural AND urban Alberta). If anyone else takes over the PC, then Taft will see his fortunes boosted significantly.

Jim said...

I could see why you'd think that Dinning has "urban" appeal, but Morton? You can't be at all serious. That guy shovels the red meat to the Southern Alberta rural Tory base, not to the urban centres.

daveberta said...

Indeed. We agree with Jim. Jim Dinning and Ted Morton DO NOT appeal to the group of same people.

Morton's a right-wing loony and Dinning is an "averything to everybody" candidate in the spirit of Paul Martin.

Jim said...

So D-Berta, how was this shit? I bet Taft blew tha lid off dat mutha with some mad dope about PR or dat MAD gangsta sheet instant runoff voting. Aw yeah... can a brutha get a heeeyyy... hooooo...?

*awkward silence*