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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

quote of the day: rick miller, mla.

The quote of the day goes to Edmonton Rutherford MLA Rick Miller for his comment on the recent "mandate letters" sent from Premier Stelmach to his Cabinet today...

Liberal finance critic Rick Miller said the priorities are nothing new. The government, he said has had a number plans in the past, but hasn’t acted on them.

“It’s kind of like Aunt Martha’s fruitcake. It keeps coming back at you year after year,” he said.

Miller is looking forward to seeing the timelines for the work. The government, he said, has been on autopilot and needs to address many of these issues as soon as possible.

31 comments:

Jim said...

Rick Miller is great. Definitely one of my favorite MLAs.

Anonymous said...

Gary Mar was on CBC this evening absolutely trashing the new cabinet. "Unrepresentative" was used as an adjective several times.

Werner Patels said...

Yeah, but that's just sour grapes because he was left out after so many years in cabinet.

Werner Patels said...

On a personal level, that's understandable, however.

Anonymous said...

Gary Mar should be trashing Stelmach. He's left Calgary out in the cold on the back porch. Calgary is the hotest urban center in Canada and Alberta's Premier has turned his back on us.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 8:10 PM,

Oh boo hoo. We only have four cabinet ministers for Calgary (you should include Ted as he lives in Calgary and his constituency encompasses some wealthy bedroom communities next door). Calgary - at least the media, not the man on the street - reminds me of a spoiled child suddenly bereft of a big fat inheritance. The sense of entitlement here is nauseating.

Gary is totally sour grapes on this. You can bet if he was "in", he wouldn't say boo. If his whining is representative of the man, better he was left out this time. He would probably be in cabinet if not for his poor judgement in the past as it related to untendered or verbal contracts to his friends and associates.

Why don't we wait and see how cabinet does before we rush to judgement.

Rick Miller, on the other hand, is doing what he is supposed to do. He is Opposition - his duty is to oppose. That is the (one) nice thing about being in Opposition; you can sit back and pick.

Anonymous said...

One other thing. Before the new cabinet was actually announced, most media and pundits were saying how "Stelmach must reduce the size of cabinet" and "hopefully it won't be the same old tired group of Ralph sycophants". Well, he did what he said he would do. Out went the deadwood, and out went some few ministers that showed questionable judgement in the past.

It appears that everyone was onside with trimming cabinet until they realized that it would be their city or region that would lose a minister.

If you are going to effect change, you need to put people in positions of power that are onside with your beliefs. People you can trust. The original seven MLAs that supported Ed were there for him when nobody in the media gave him a chance of winning. It took balls - brass ones - not to jump on the "Jim train", because if Ed had not won, you can bet none of them (except for Ed) would have been in a Dinning cabinet.

Ken Chapman said...

"Unrepresentative?" Perhaps at one level but that does not deny the validity of the the Stelmach victory with the help of his MLA supporters and his right to govern.

These Stelmach Cabinet Ministers are not just off the Turnip Truck. They are the duly elected MLAs representing people from various communities all over our Alberta.

They are thoughtful individuals who aligned themselves with a preferred leadership candidate and stayed the course with Stelmach through thick and thin.

Their endorsement was not opportunism, or going with the "winner" or playing the odds. It was based on their considered evaluation of this candidates personal integrity, authenticity and his alignment with their own values and principles.

Sure there is representation according to gender, and age, and location and ethnicity and language and education and even Area Code I expect.

Yes this Cabinet falls short on many of those standard representative but highly superficial "tests." And this Cabinet may not pass muster as being reflective of the inclusive face of modern urban Alberta. But it is what it is and it deserves a chance!

I ask you, is that demographic "stuff" the most important stuff that really counts as to who YOU might REALLY identify with and whose beliefs and world view really resonate and align with yours?

There is a great new Corb Lund song that has a line in it that says "Never judge a man by his clothes!" Sound advice.

Is demographic representation a convenient pigeon-hole kind of conventional criteria approach to evaluation of so-called "like-minded people?" Is that an acceptable social "modus" so we can "correctly" avoid making a truly human effort for any connection across differences (like urban-rural?)

Are we driven by standards of "representative criteria" because we can be assured then that we can be "represented by" and only have to relate to "our kind of people" - whatever that may mean? The real world is much too complex a place for that shallow standard of representativeness!

Diversity, inclusion and respect for difference are core Alberta and Canadian values. It might do us Chablis and Brie city folks (and I am one of them) a world of good to the consider and concern ourselves for a bit about how "the other half lives"...(to borrow a cliche from my dearly departed Mother.)

Sorry for the rant but I am becoming embarrassed at the veiled snobbery I am sensing in so many of the comments on the Cabinet appointments that I am reading these days.

The world is run by those who show up. In this leadership race rural Alberta showed up and urban Alberta DID NOT!

Either show up or suck it up but stifle the petty sneering and let these people get on with the job of governing.

If they don't measure up you will have a chance to reactivate your citizenship and "show up" to change things in the next election, likely in the spring of 2008.

ktr said...

rick miller continues to show he is poised to become the next leader of the alberta liberals after taft loses the next election and gets the boot.

Werner Patels said...

rick miller continues to show he is poised to become the next leader of the alberta liberals after taft loses the next election and gets the boot.

Can I get this in writing?

lou said...

A good quote, but the real quote of the day comes from Brian Mason in Rick Bell's column:

The NDP, who held two seats in Calgary before Ralph was boss, figure they have a shot in some spots here and plan to spend more time hustling for votes.

"I hear you were jilted by your steady boyfriend. I just want to ask you out for a cup of coffee and maybe it will lead to a real date," says NDP leader Brian Mason, smiling as he speaks, a man ever quick with a quip.

Anonymous said...

Oh, NOW I remember what happened to Jim Dinning:

http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=c36af51f-afc1-463e-b1db-d0ea2e13dcf5&k=27940

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, Brian Mason. Good with a quip, but that's about all.

But more important than comedic talent, to qualify as NDP leader (federal or provincial) is the ability to suspend economic reality, however briefly, in order to come up with policy.

Berlynn said...

...to qualify as NDP leader (federal or provincial) is the ability to suspend economic reality, however briefly, in order to come up with policy.

That is a lie and you know it! The root of the lie goes to the breakthrough of the CCF in the 40s, when business and wealth wanted desperately to keep their coffers full and so began the series of lies. Federally, in my lifetime, it was the Conservative, Brian Mulroney, and SK Conservative Premier, Grant Devine, who built up the largest debt.

In recent times, SK and MB, under NDP governments have balanced their budgets for years. And their policy far outshines AB.

Berlynn said...

Oh, and take a look at this.

Lou said...

....to qualify as NDP leader (federal or provincial) is the ability to suspend economic reality, however briefly, in order to come up with policy.

You're entitled to believe that, but it applies to the Liberals as well. After all - they generally steal most of their platform from the NDP.

Anonymous said...

Rick Miller is awesome. I was so glad to see him kick the beans out of Ian McClelland last time around.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ken Chapman that Stelmach and his cabinet will have to be judged on their actions and not by superficial appearances. On the other hand, I have had enough disagreements with my wife to understand she sees the world from a different point of view sometimes. Do you think I understand it? I dont know if Stelmach understands women either, which wouldnt make him unique among men. So having representative voices in cabinet should not be dismissed either.

jonny said...

This is interesting. I hope Calgarians send Stelmach and the Ukrainian Mafia a message that he can't tread on us!

Anonymous said...

jonny,

Send him a message about what? That you don't dare reduce the number of Calgary cabinet ministers - even if you are reducing the size of cabinet by 25%?

Jeez, the sense of entitlement in this city sickens me. And I live here.

And Ukrainian mafia? Always nice to throw in a cultural insult. Somehow I wonder if Ukrainians were a "visible" minority instead of an "invisible" one, that you would say that.

Anonymous said...

Ken Chapman:

Rural Alberta has always maintained a significant amount of influence. It is just more obvious now. Look at the average population in each rural vs. urban constituency, a rural person's vote is worth significantly more than a city person's. Stelmach knows this, Klein knew this too. Perhaps his Cabinet was dominated by Calgarians, but he dominated them, and his psuedo-populist/folksy approach was an appeal to rural Alberta. How many times have you heard him ramble off the names of obscure towns with pride? It's because Rural Alberta, despite having a minority of Alberta's population, holds the balance of power in Alberta's elections.

So-called 'demographic representation does matter.' Perhaps if you were not a white male, you would be more equipped to recognize privilege. People are socialized differently and experience different things, while 'demographic' representation isn't necessary per se, it makes it a lot easier.

Anonymous said...

Rick Miller is awesome. I was so glad to see him kick the beans out of Ian McClelland last time around.

Miller beat Drew Hutton.

Anonymous said...

Wait, I'm confusing my Millers. As you were.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Calgary and this sentiment about the lack of representation from Calgary is just a red herring. The media and the pundits miss the point as usual.

In the first place, the media needs to understand that there are actually four cabinet members from Calgary, if we include Ted Morton.

Second, they have ignored the fact that Premier Stelmach has created a powerful structure of committees, Agenda and Priorities, Treaury Board, Cabinet Policy Committees, and the Legislative Review Committee which will be responsible for setting the govenrment agenda and approving ministry business plan.

If we look at the executive structure as a whole, there are in fact the following additional Calgary MLAs:

Carol Haley sits on Treasury Board and A&P

Cindy Ady sits on Treasury Board

Hung Pham sits on Treasury Board

Wayne Cao is the Chair of the Cabinet Policy Committee on Government Services

Yvonne Fritz is the Chair of the Cabinet Policy Committee on Managing Growth Pressures

Neil Brown is on the Legislative Review Committee

If we total it up, that means 10 Calgary MLAs in the executive circle. I think that is a pretty solid contingent from Calgary.

And another thing, possibly the exclusion of Calgary MLAs (such as Gary Mar and Harvey Cenaiko) from cabinet proper has something to do with the fact that they are big spenders who have driven this province to the verge of a structural deficit.

We need a whole new government culture in Alberta, and Premier Stelmach has delivered, just like Premier Klein delivered in 1992 when he swept out the Getty Cabinet.

Anonymous said...

THERE ARE ONLY TWO WOMEN IN THIS CABINET! 2 WOMEN! 2 WOMEN IN ED STELMACH's CLUB!

Anonymous said...

Actually, there are six women on the Stelmach Executive team out of the nine elected Tory women MLAs and Carol Haley sits on both the A&P and Treasury Board Committees. People have to stop focusing just on cabinet and look at the whole executive. The Cabinet Policy Committees will approve all ministerial business plans and two of the four are chaired by woman. Should there be more woman MLAs? Absolutely, and the the Premier has indicated he will be encouraging more women to put themselves forward as candidates in the next provincial election.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (December 21, 2006 10:10:26 PM),

Love the liberal use of capital letters. Way to avoid not sounding like a crackpot... not!

Word to the wise, if you ever want a post to be taken seriously, take the caps-lock off your keyboard.

michael in calgary said...

Anonymous (December 22, 2006 8:04:23 AM),

Word to the wise, if you ever want a post to be taken seriously, don't post anonymously. Crackpot.

michael in calgary said...

Also, putting women on smaller committees does not make up for the stunning lack of gender representation in Stale Stelmach's cabinet. Putting two women in his cabinet clearly shows how committed Ed Stelmach and the Tories are to furthering women in politics - not that much.

Anonymous said...

michael in calgary said...
"Also, putting women on smaller committees does not make up for the stunning lack of gender representation in Stale Stelmach's cabinet. Putting two women in his cabinet clearly shows how committed Ed Stelmach and the Tories are to furthering women in politics - not that much."

Ah, no. It shows that Stelmach is not pandering to political correctness. He picked a cabinet based on his assessment of each minister's potential contribution, and offered the necessary olive branches to some defeated candidates (no different than Stephane Dion). Since you are from Calgary - apparently - read Naomi Lakritz' commentary in the Herald today. As a woman, she suggests the answer is to encourage more good female candidates to run for elected office, not just be forced to pick the obligatory "quota" from a very small sample (9 female PC MLAs).

I also hear we don't have any ministers who are black Jewish lesbians or aboriginal Muslim transgendered - what a shameful lack of representation. Also, people of Ukrainian descent only constitute about 10% of the Alberta population. Yet, our Premier is 100% descended from Ukrainians - what an over-representation!

FYI, Posting as "Michael from Calgary" is marginally more informative than posting anonymously. If I start posting as "Harvey Wallbanger" would that help?

Anonymous said...

Who cares who is in his cabinet. They are still going to do the same thing the conservatives have been doing for the past 30 years. They rule this province as of right. They will still underfund welfare and AISH. They will still force children who should be in care to return to abusive homes or live on the street. They will still continue with VLT's, even though there is a direct link to addiction to VLT's and crime. They will still have their big Wednesday evening parties where big business can come and wine and dine them for political favours.

Nothing is going to change until we change the government. And THAT certainly is not going to happen in the near future.

The only thing that may lead to change is the fact that Klein had such an iron grip on the media in this province, which Stelmach may not have. If Stelmach is not going to go drinking with Neil Waugh every Friday, I wonder how much old Neil is going to be loving him?

Gayle