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Saturday, September 30, 2006

daveberta not on the ballot.

I went up to the Federal Liberal Leadership Delegate Selection Meeting in Edmonton Strathcona last night only to find out that I wasn't on the delegate ballot in Edmonton Strathcona.

Not sure what to do, I spoke to the Local Returning Officer at the meeting. He said that I would need to call the central Federal Liberal Office in Edmonton. I called them. They didn't have my Edmonton Strathcona delegate registration form on file. I had sent in the delegate form before the deadline. It appears that they had no record of me registering to be on the ballot as a Gerard Kennedy delegate in Edmonton Strathcona.

Quite lame.

As someone who paid $5 to be part of this leadership selection process, I am quite displeased.

Though I wasn't sure if I would have the funds available to attend the leadership convention in Montreal this November, it looks like I won't have to worry about that now.

After talking with a friend, it appears the same thing also happened to a Stephane Dion delegate in Edmonton Strathcona (who apparently personally handed in his delegate registration form), as well as numerous problems of members not being on the voters list and hence not being able to vote.

As well, the confusing ballot was split in to two pages (one with leadership candidates and one with delegates) was extremely confusing. The explanation on the second page detailed that you could only vote for 4 youth (2 male and 2 female), 2 adult males and 2 adult females, 2 male seniors and 2 female seniors. With 30-40 listed delegates on the ballot, this process is a case study in ridiculousness. I wouldn't be surprised if I checked the wrong box and accidentally voted for Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, or Pat Buchanan. It's a perfect case for a one-member one-vote system.

Though I understand that a leadership election is a huge endeavor, the importance quality, transparency, and accuracy is paramount. The price for not having one is huge.

It's legitimacy.

strathcona and u of a dsm results.

Here are the unofficial leadership votes from my source on the inside at the Edmonton Strathcona and U of A Liberal Club Delegate Selection Meeting last night...

Edmonton Strathcona
Gerard Kennedy - 82 votes (42%)
Stephane Dion - 33 votes (17%)
Michael Ignatieff - 25 votes (13%)
Bob Rae - 19 votes (10%)
Ken Dryden - 11 votes (6%)
Martha Hall Findlay - 9 votes (5%)
Joe Volpe - 3 votes (2%)
Scott Brison - 1 vote (1%)
Undeclared - 4 votes (2%)
Spoiled - 3 votes (2%)

University of Alberta Liberal Club
Gerard Kennedy - 14 votes (49%)
Bob Rae - 8 votes (29%)
Michael Ignatieff - 4 votes (14%)
Stephane Dion - 1 vote (4%)
Ken Dryden - 1 vote (4%)

bobo digswell of tuckborough

Is my hobbit name.

What's yours?

(Props to Nastyboy for the linkage.)

Friday, September 29, 2006

four plus three equals seven.

I've updated the list of Alberta PC MLA endorsements in the Tory leadership race. (You can find the total list here).

The list has been updated to reflect 7 MLA endorsements for Ed Stelmach: Health Minister Iris Evans (Sherwood Park), RAGE Minister Luke Ouellette (Innisfail-Sylvan Lake), and backbencher MLA's George Groeneveld (Highwood), Hector Goudreau (Dunvegan-Central Peace), Ray Danyluk (Lac La Biche-St. Paul), Fred Lindsay (Stony Plain), and Lloyd Snelgrove (Vermillion-Lloydminster).

Total declared support:

Jim Dinning - 27 MLA's
Ed Stelmach - 7 MLA's
Mark Norris - 2 MLA's
Alana DeLong - No Declared MLA Support
Victor Doerksen - No Declared MLA Support
Dave Hancock - No Declared MLA Support
Ted Morton - No Declared MLA Support
Lyle Oberg - No Declared MLA Support
Undeclared - 20 MLA's

If I've missed any, shoot me an email.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

who's gonna go?

DemocraticSPACE has projected delegate candidate tallies for the Federal Liberal leadership delegate selection meetings this weekend. Interesting.

In my riding of Edmonton Strathcona, the delegate candidate tallies up to:

Stephane Dion - 19
Michael Ignatieff - 15
Gerard Kennedy - 13
Martha Hall Findlay - 7
Ken Dryden - 6
Bob Rae - 6
Undecided - 5
Joe Volpe - 3
Scott Brison - 1

Now, from what I seem to remember, delegates are selected through a conveluded process that weights individual votes for delegates with votes for the leadership candidates on the same ballot once again mixed with a quota system (4 Men, 4 women, 2 male youth, 2 female youth). It seems to me that a one-member one-vote system would make things a little simpler (or a lot more complicated if Joe Volpe is still in the race...).

On another note, there was a little spiff between a couple of blogging folks (Ken and Will), with an interesting post from Duncan...

schools matter.

Earlier this month, Public Interest Alberta launched their K-12 Education campaign - fill out their survey!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


ha ha. Aren't I clever?

I met with Alberta PC leadership candidate Dave Hancock this week.

At a small event at O'Byrne's on Whyte Avenue, I had a chance to chat with Dave Hancock one-on-one for about 20 minutes. It was a good conversation. Though he looked quite tired, our conversation spanned topics from the past and future of Post-Secondary Education in Alberta to the diminished role of the Legislature under Premier Ralph Klein.

Though Hancock and I agree that the role of the elected Legislature in Alberta politics has been very much diminished since Klein ascended to power in 1992, Hancock is not totally innocent in this act.

As Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs, Justice, Advanced Education, and Government House Leader in the Klein Government since being elected in 1997, Hancock has played a key role in the caucus and cabinet that shaped today's political environment. And though I believe Hancock has mostly good intentions, not he or any other Government MLA can be admonished of the negative decisions that have happened under the Klein government - which is a key weakness of many of the top candidates for the Alberta PC leadership (with the exception of Ted Morton, who is an outsider and only was first elected in 2004).

The same way that the Government of Paul Martin was held accountable for the decisions made under Prime Minister Chretien's reign, Alberta's new Premier will be held accountable to the past decisions of his party and government.


From the 2005-06 Alberta Advanced Education Annual Report released this week...

Public Agreement that the Learning System is Within the Means of Most Albertans

Target - 56%
2005-06 - 48%
2004-05 - 46%
2003-04 - 50%
2002-03 - 52%
2001-02 - 63%
2000-01 - 75%

Monday, September 25, 2006

who cares?

Oh no, Hedy!
Oh no, Belinda!

Though I'm not very sure that Hedy Fry's endorsement of Bob Rae really means much in a physical sense of an organizational term, but I'm starting to get very concerned that everyone else is seeing something in Bob Rae that I'm not (or vice-versa)...

As for Belinda Stronach's alleged affair with Tie Domi, I really can't express to you how much I really don't care.

How about let's talk about the things in the world that really matter.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

i'm holding a summit on global warming.

If you haven't seen it yet, I really enjoyed this new ad from the World Wild Life Foundation.

I think I may hold a Summit on Global Warming myself. I could invite George W. Bush, Hugo Chavez, and Kofi Annan. I'll send out the invites first thing tomorrow morning.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

more than just coke & mentos...

Just when I though my Diet Coke and Mentos experiment was great.

Check these out...

lecture galore!

It's Saturday. Here are some upcoming events here in Edmonton...

21st Annual
Persons’ Day Breakfast
The Anna Pellatt Memorial Lecture 2006
Guest Speaker: The Hon. Anne McLellan, P.C.
“Where are all the women? Why don’t we have more women in elected politics?”

Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel (Downtown)
10155 - 105 Street, Edmonton
Parking available adjacent to and across from
$45.00 per person - Includes breakfast
$15.00 (Student/Senior/Underemployed)
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Tickets available: Contact Heather Grab at 233-8941 or


Department of Political Science, University of Alberta
First Mel Hurtig Lecture on the Future of Canada featuring Peter C. Newman
“Canadian Politics & the New Journalism: Making Facts Dance”
Friday October 6, 2006
4:00pm to 5:20pm
Telus Centre, Room 150

Peter C. Newman, is a legendary Canadian journalist, the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and distinguished awards and a best-selling author of twenty books. His memoir: Here be Dragons: Telling Tales of People, Passion and Power, was released in 2004 and his latest book The Secret Mulroney Tapes: Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister (2005) is now available in paperback.

Sponsored by the Mel Hurtig Annual Lecture Funds and the Department of Political Science

Friday, September 22, 2006

daveberta meets kennedy (part II)

As mentioned here, I met Federal Liberal leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy on Tuesday evening at a BBQ at the Ottwell Community Hall here in Edmonton (Also, today's Globe & Mail has an article about Kennedy).

The event was decently attended with around 60ish people packed into the community hall. Kennedy's speech was good, and the question and answer portion following his speech was typical of these types of events. It was the one-on-one conversation that I had with Kennedy that impressed me the most.

During the question and answer session, Kennedy answered a question by talking about graduate education and innovation. Towards the end of the event, I approached Kennedy and asked him what his ideas were on the Federal Government's role in Post-Secondary Education.

As c-lo agrees, I was quite pleased with Kennedy's response:

1. Creation of a national ministry of education.
2. Creation of national standards for quality and accessibility.
3. Creation of a dedicated transfer to PSE which will reward provinces who meet those national standards.
4. Creation of more federal grants for students over loans.
5. Setting student loan caps where any extra debt is forgiven.
Though I may continue to have major issues and skepticisms about the Liberal Party of Canada, but my hope that Gerard Kennedy will lead that party continues.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

richard dawkins controversial?

Only somewhat...

I missed it, but apparently Richard Dawkins was a guest on Avi Lewis' new CBC show The Big Picture. Other guests included Ronald de Sousa (Emeritus Professor, University of Toronto, Philosophy Department, Atheist extraordinaire), Cheri DiNovo (NDP MPP & Reverend, Emmanuel-Howard Park United Church), Charles McVety (President, Canada Christian College
Imam Aly Hindy, Salaheddin Islamic Centre), Alia Hogben (Executive Director, Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Led the fight against bringing Sharia Law to Ontario), Joseph Ben-Ami (Executive Director, Institute for Canadian Values (faith based public policy think tank)), and Anver Emon (Islamic law historian, University of Toronto's Faculty of Law, Specializes in Religious Fundamentalism). Check out the video on the Big Picture website.

(Props to c-lo for the linkage...)

let's go!

The 2006 Canadian Blogging Awards are coming up! As some of you may remember, this blog placed a strong second in the 2005 Best Personal Blog category against the wonderful Samantha Burns (the final result was 248-245).

Here is the timeline set out for the 2006 competition:

Nominations Open: Monday October 2, 2006
Nominations Close: Sunday November 12, 2006
Round 1 Voting Opens: Wednesday November 15, 2006
Round 1 Voting Closes: Tuesday November 21, 2006
Round 1 Results: Thursday November 23, 2006
Round 2 Voting Opens: Saturday November 25, 2006
Round 2 Voting Closes: Friday December 1, 2006
Round 2 Results: Sunday December 3, 2006 9pm EST
So, *cough* feel free to nominate this blog on October 2nd...

sad news.

Sad news yesterday. Former Edmonton ITV Weatherman Bill Matheson has passed away at the age of 80. Matheson was the weatherman for that station (which is now Global Edmonton) from 1976 to 1999.

As one of many Albertans who grew up watching Bill Matheson talk about the weather on the 6pm news, I am sad to hear that he passed away.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

tory leadership rules...

Alberta PC Party President Doug Graham released the rules of their fall leadership race this afternoon in Red Deer. According to the Press Release...

Those interested in being a candidate must meet the following requirements:
• A candidate shall be an eligible voter as defined in the Constitution and shall be a member in good standing of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, A candidate for nomination shall file nomination papers signed by at least five hundred (500) members of the PCAA,
• A candidate shall provide a non-refundable payment of $15,000 to defray the costs of conducting the leadership selection process,
• Candidates must pledge to support the successful candidate and to abide by the Constitution of the PCAA and the Rules, Guidelines and Procedures established by the Leadership Election Committee,
• Nomination papers must be submitted at or prior to 5:00 p.m. October 16, 2006.

Election day has been set for November 25, 2006. If a second ballot is necessary a second election will be held on December 2, 2006. Polls will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on both days.
I'm betting that not all of the 9 candidates for the Tory leadership will fullfill these requirements.

They have also updated their website with somewhat vague leadership information.

and the formalities are over...

From the Edmonton Journal...

A political era in Alberta will end later this year when Ralph Klein, the most colourful Canadian politician in recent memory, steps down after 14 years in office.

Klein, who went from most popular premier in Alberta's history to being forced out of office by his own party, has formally submitted his resignation to the Conservative party. In a letter sent to party officials Saturday, he said he will step down when his successor is chosen, likely in November or December.

His resignation formally kicks off the race to replace him, which has been under way unofficially for more than a year.

klein giving his two months today.

Tory Premier Ralph Klein is said to be sending in his letter of resignation today. Also, in Red Deer, the Alberta PC establishment is expected to gather and announce the final rules for the replacement race for Mr. Klein.

Will the rules be fair? Will the rules be transparent? Will the rules be accountable?

I guess we'll find out today.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

daveberta meets kennedy.

Yes, that's right. I met Gerard Kennedy tonight at a BBQ at the Ottwell Community Hall in Edmonton. It was a decent event, with about 60 people turning out. I'll give more details later, but I really liked the outcome of the conversation I had with him about national post-secondary education and the role of the federal government...

More soon...

st. albert on the political scene.

Last night attended a meeting of St. Albert City Council. I found it really interesting to see how a the Council of a municipality like St. Albert operates. Though they deal with their own unique challenges it must always seem like the big capital city, Edmonton, is lurking above them (In sheer size, St. Albert is probably around 6% the size of its capital neighbour).

As my attending was completely work related I'm not going to mention what I was there advocating for, but I would like to give full props to St. Albert Aldermen Christine Brown, Len Bracko, Lorie Garrity, James Burrows, Nolan Crouse, and Neil Korotash for making a positive choice and being leaders in the Capital Region!

(Also, for a more entertaining background on St. Albert municipal politics, I defer to an ancient post by Mr. Smith...)

On the provincial level there are some interesting things going on in St. Albert's political world. St. Albert incumbent Liberal MLA Jack Flaherty has announced his intentions to seek re-election - Flaherty defeated two-term Tory MLA Mary O'Neill in 2004 with a 410-vote margin. Rumours as to who the Tories will run range from Mary O'Neill to former Mayor Richard Plain. I'm sure we'll start seeing more movement from the Tories after they pick a new leader.

In the other semi-St. Albert provincial riding - Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert - Tory Agriculture Minister Doug Horner is one of two PC MLA's supporting leadership candidate Mark Norris (the other being Airdrie-Chestermere MLA Carol Haley). Though Horner will most likely face a tough fight for his seat in the next election (he defeated Liberal Ray Boudreau by a slim 581 votes in 2004) he has been a decent MLA as far as I can tell.

On the federal side of things, the fight to replace long-time Edmonton-St. Albert Reform/Canadian Alliance/Conservative MP John Williams is in full gear.

This fight has former Tory MLA Brent Rathgeber facing former Tory MP Scott Thorkelson and John Kennair for the nomination.

Rathgeber was elected MLA for Edmonton Calder in 2001 by defeating Liberal MLA Lance White. In 2004, Rathgeber was defeated in a tight battle with now NDP MLA Dave Eggen. Thorkelson was the Tory MLA for Edmonton Strathcona from 1988 to 1993 and is the brother of former Paul Martin PMO insider Ruth Thorkelson.

I will keep an eye on this one...

Monday, September 18, 2006

aupe leader resigns.

AUPE President Dan MacLennan is resigning as the leader of Alberta's largest union...

President of Alberta's largest union resigns

Dan MacLennan is quitting as head of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), marking the end of an era for the province's biggest union.

MacLennan announced Monday that he will be taking a job with Calgary's Bantrel Constructors Co.
Though there have long been rumours about McLennan seeking public office, but recent rumours hint that MacLennan may be seeking a nomination in the next provincial election... could it be with Kevin Taft's Alberta Liberals?

i'm calling the new brunswick election...

...ring ring...

My prediction for today's provincial election in New Brunswick...

Liberal - 29
Progressive Conservative - 26 (I originally wrote 28, but meant 26 - there are only 55 seats)
New Democrats - 0

Premier Shawn Graham? We'll find out...

UPDATE: Yes. Well, it looks like my predictions were smack on the mark! Premier Shawn Graham.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

september redux.

Back in April, Tory Premier Ralph Klein announced he would sign a letter of resignation in September. Later, it was clarified that it would be September 16. It's now September 17 and no letter. Maybe he decided that he's fine with 55.4% support?

But seriously, it really doesn't matter if Klein sends in his resignation this week or next, the candidates for his replacement are in full gear ready to storm the ancient gates of Castle Klein. It will most likely start to get a little concerning for Tories if Klein hasn't made his move by next week, as I'm sure they'd like to take a look at the official rules of the race (and for the race to begin on paper at some point).

I neglected to comment on it at the time, but I found the semi-conflict between Klein and former Premier Peter Lougheed a couple of weeks ago to be quite interesting. I thought it was pretty low of Klein to take a shot at Peter Lougheed - a man who has more solid policy and province-building experience than Klein could ever dream of having. Edmonton Journal columnist Graham Thomson had some interesting experts from Lougheed on his opinion of today's Alberta on his blog.

Carolyn Bennett's withdrawal from the Federal Liberal leadership race and endorsement of Bob Rae wasn't a complete surprise. I'd heard rumours that Bennett was going to drop out and I don't find it totally surprising that she endorsed Rae (as this was part of the rumour). Interestingly, Bennett first unsuccessful ran for the Ontario Liberals against Tory Isabel Bassett in Toronto riding of St. Andrew-St. Patrick in the 1995 election which saw the defeat of Bob Rae's Ontario NDP government.

Bennett's withdrawal from the race leaves nine candidates left in the fight - Gerard Kennedy, Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, Ken Dryden, Stephane Dion, Scott Brison, Martha Hall Findlay, Hedy Fry, and Joe Volpe. Both Gerard Kennedy and Martha Hall Findlay launched new websites last week.

The New Brunswick provincial election is tomorrow! Unlike it's provincial neighbour to the east (Nova Scotia), the political environment in New Brunswick is a near tie between Shawn Graham's Liberals and Premier Bernard Lord's Tories (poll results released on September 13 had the Liberals and PC's polling at a dead heat of 46% with Allison Brewer's NDP in a distant third at 7%). It should be very interesting to see what happens tomorrow night!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

kennedy-ignatieff edmonton.

This past week, Michael Ignatieff was in Edmonton at a reception hosted at the home of Senator Grant Mitchell. I didn't get the chance to go, but I heard there was a decent turnout of around 50 people at the Mitchell residence in southwest Edmonton.

Speaking of Federal Liberal leadership candidates, Gerard Kennedy will be in Edmonton on Tuesday at a BBQ at the Ottwell Community Hall (5920 93A Avenue) from 7pm to 9pm. It's a free event too! I think I'll try to make it out.

Speaking of Gerard Kennedy, the by-election for his former seat of Parkdale-High Park in the Ontario Provincial Parliament was this week. Ontario NDP candidate Cheri DiNovo trumped Ontario Liberal Sylvia Watson. The final results look like:

Cheri DiNovo, NDP - 11,675 (41%)
Sylvia Watson, Liberal - 9,387 (33%)
David Hutcheon, PC - 4,921 (17.3%)
Frank DeJong, Grn - 1,758 (6.2%)
Stan Grzywna, FCP - 366 (1.3%)
Jim McIntosh, Libertarian - 162 (0.6%)
Silvio Ursomarzo, Freedom - 111 (0.4%)
John Turmel, Ind - 77 (0.3%)

It's not totally surprising that the Ontario NDP picked up the seat, as I am predicting they will pick up more in the next Ontario provincial election expected next spring.

Friday, September 15, 2006

mla leaps off 29-story building.

Edmonton Rutherford MLA and Liberal Finance Critic Rick Miller took the plunge this week and rappelled down the side of the 29-story Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Edmonton.

Why would anyone do this you say? For charity of course! At final count, Miller raised $2,314 for the Alberta Easter Seals - beating his target goal of $2,000.

Not only is Rick Miller one of the most effective Liberal MLA's, but he is for sure now one of the coolest.

On another note, it looks like Alberta PC leadership candidate Dave Hancock and I agree about the topic of my previous posts. The Edmonton Journal also has a decent editorial on Ted Morton and Jim Dinning's out-of-province fundraising for their Tory leadership bids.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

dinning to stump for cash down east.

Following my previous post about the out-of-province that Alberta PC leadership candidates Jim Dinning and Ted Morton were doing in British Columbia, it appears that Dinning will be pitching for cash at Toronto and Winnipeg fundraisers later this month...

Former Alberta treasurer Jim Dinning's supporters also hosted a Vancouver event last week, and have scheduled fundraising bashes later this month in Toronto and Winnipeg, where they've canvassed previously.
This leaves the question: should candidates for provincial internal-party leaderships be allowed to fundraise outside Alberta?

Because there are no rules stating that Alberta PC leadership candidates have to publicly announce the names of the individuals and corporations that donate to their campaign, Tories, Albertans, and Canadians will have no ideas as to who or where in Canada the campaign money is coming from.

In a decisive internal-party race where the next Alberta PC leader will become Premier, are Alberta Tories really okay with letting out-of-provincers fund the candidate of their choice?

UPDATE: Paula Simons has a good article on the out-of-province fundraising issue: Outsiders help bankroll leadership candidates: 'If non-residents can't vote for a Tory leader, they shouldn't be able to buy one either.'

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

mackay-condi connection.

Not that I really think that there is anything of substance to the Peter Mackay-Condi Rice gossip, but it turns out that this blog is the 2# google photo hit for Peter Mackay...

UPDATE: Because the link to the Star isn't working, this is what I was referring to...

"my parents don't care about the root causes of crime" -morton

The Alberta Tories had their first unofficial leadership debate last night in St. Albert. Though 500 Tories showed up, it doesn't sound like it was very exciting.

I get the feeling that this might have been taken out of context (actually, probably not...)...

Dave Hancock's suggestion that Alberta lawmakers address the abuse of alcohol and drugs since 70% of people incarcerated are admitted addicts was quickly dismissed by hardliner Ted Morton.

"My parents don't care about the root causes of crime," Morton snapped.
okay... huh?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

tomorrow is only a day away.

Yesterday, Kevin Taft's Alberta Liberals released their plan for Alberta's future:

Edmonton - A Heritage Fund of $120 billion is the centrepiece of a fiscal strategy released by the Alberta Liberals today, titled Alberta’s Opportunity: Funding Alberta’s Future.

The strategy provides a solution for turning Alberta’s non-renewable resources into a sustainable source of prosperity that will support world-class public services, an outstanding post-secondary education system and permanently competitive taxes.

“This plan will convert Alberta’s non-renewable oil and gas wealth into permanent prosperity,” said Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft. “Right now the province is booming, but we desperately need a plan to secure our future, or the boom will go bust.” Read the rest.

The announcement included a new document outlining the plan titled "Funding Alberta's Future."

UPDATE: Here are some news stories on the Alberta Liberals plan:
Liberals want $120B Heritage Fund by 2021
Boost Heritage fund for future: Grit leader

Monday, September 11, 2006

making a run for the border...

According to the good folks at Public Eye Online, two Alberta Tory leadership candidates are and have been making fundraising pitches due west of Alberta. Ted Morton and Jim Dinning have been spotted pitching for cash in British Columbia.

Ted Morton is holding a $1,500 a table fundraiser at the posh Hyatt Regency on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver on September 22.

Morton's event is being promoted by Byng Giraud of Earnscliffe Strategy Group Inc. The Earnscliffe group shared very close political connections with former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin and formerly employed Liberal campaign strategists Scott Reid and David Herle.

Jim Dinning was reported to have been "schmoozing at a pricey $250 per ticket fundraiser for his campaign at Gotham Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar. The event was apparently attended by "a who's who from the downtown Tory crowd." Public Eye Online also points out the appearance of Jim Dinning's strong corporate BC backers which include Finning Canada.

and the race continues, and may acutally be a race?

A new poll released last week by Ipsos places Jim Dinning in the lead in the Alberta PC leadership race...

Jim Dinning (54%) The Frontrunner In Favourability Ratings – Lyle Oberg (48%) In Second Place With Dave Hancock (44%) Gaining Momentum

One-Quarter (26%) Of Albertans Think Dinning Would Do The Best Job As The Next Premier, But Oberg (21%) Hot On His Trail
It's no surprise that Dinning is in the lead, but I find it very surprising that Lyle Oberg is placing second. As well, I found Dave Hancock's third place finish and the suggestion that he is "gaining momentum" to also be interesting. I wonder if this polling actually reflects the candidate's membership sales...

The first leadership debate for this race will take place tomorrow night in St. Albert. This is the first official Alberta PC leadership debate, which will occur before Premier Ralph Klein tenders his resignation letter next Saturday...

The contenders in this race now include Jim Dinning, Dave Hancock, Lyle Oberg, Ed Stelmach, Mark Norris, Ted Morton, Victor Doerksen, Alana DeLong, and Greg McPherson.

I'll write more on the other contenders soon, but since the entry of social conservative Red Deer South MLA Victor Doerksen, the rumour mill has been spinning... there seem to be three main rumours surrounding Doerksen's intentions...

1) Doerksen is running a legitimate campaign to be leader of the Alberta PC's.
2) Doerksen is really supporting Jim Dinning, but is running in an attempt to split the social conservative vote with Ted Morton.
3) Doerksen is really supporting Ted Morton, but is running in an attempt to energize the social conservative vote so that Doerksen can drop out and endorse Morton before the selection process - making it an endorsement of another leadership candidate, rather than just an MLA.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this???

Sunday, September 10, 2006

radio soundclash

Woot. I'm going to the Bedouin Soundclash and Radio Vacana show tonight. Should be fun!

More wonderful blogging coming soon.

UPDATE: Radio Vacana and Bedouin were great. It was a fun concert :-)

Friday, September 08, 2006

ted morton, the man in black?

A bit of an update for the first full week of September...

- The Tyee has an interesting article on the real effects of Ralph Klein's legacy.

- Maclean's magazine seems to be continuing it's right-wing slide with last week's online poll that asks if parents should pay for their adult children's post-secondary education. I've never been able to understand why the parents of an adult student should be even remotely responsible and expected to pay for their education costs. This is one of the greatest flaws in Canada's student finance system.

Maclean's used to be a good magazine, but now holds only one consistantly good contributor, of who's best work can be found online for free.

- This seems like quite the blow to Jack Layton's NDP. The defection of Paul Summerville to the Bob Rae leadership campaigns...

- Alberta PC leadership candidate Ted Morton has launched his new website. Campaign colours? Black.

- Also, props to the Calgary Grit for posting this one before I did...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

internationally crazy.

I don't pay attention to international politics for a week and all of a sudden...


It is surely obvious now to anybody with even a basic understanding of history, politics and the nature of fascism that something revolutionary has to be done within months -- if not weeks -- if we are to preserve world peace.

Put boldly and simply, we have to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran.
and then...
Ahmadinejad calls for university purge
POSTED: 2341 GMT (0741 HKT), September 5, 2006

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's hard-line president urged students Tuesday to push for a purge of liberal and secular university teachers, another sign of his determination to strengthen Islamic fundamentalism in the country.
I think it's safe to say that both these men are crazy.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

debt please, mr. dryden?

This week, federal Liberal leadership candidate Ken Dryden unleashed his vision for "A Big Canada." I didn't read most of the document, but I skipped forward to the education portion.

I was shocked to see this included:

(a) We will establish a national income-contingent student loan repayment program (ICLR) to help individual youth and mature students finance their post-secondary education.
Income-contingent loan repayment (ICLR) is a bad bad idea, Mr. Dryden. These types of systems serve as methods of shifting the cost of post-secondary education away from the government (who should be properly funding the post-secondary education system in the first place) and on to students.

As well, income-contingent loan repayment schemes result in those with lower incomes paying substantially more for the cost of their education due to lengthy payment periods mixed with increasing interest payments.

Mr. Dryden needs to take a look at jurisdictions such as New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom that have income-contingent loan repayment schemes and have seen a corresponding and dramatic increase in tuition fees and other education costs since the implementation of this regressive system.

Instead of implementing an income-contingent loan repayment scheme, I would suggest that Mr. Dryden look at creating and implementing a dedicated post-secondary transfer payment from the Federal Government to the Provinces that will deal specifically with tuition levels - which leads to high debt and is the most direct cost that governments can affect. Proper investment in PSE will make regressive schemes like ICLR even more useless than they already are.

Time to step up to the plate, Mr. Dryden.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

on partizanship.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The more involved I get in partisan politics, the more I dislike political parties.

I've thought about going to the Federal Liberal leadership convention in Montreal in November, but I just can't find the interest (and the money of course, how ridiculous is it that it will cost over $1000 to attend as a party delegate). Though I like Gerard Kennedy, and think he would be a better leader for the fedlibs than most of the other options, I'm just not really excited about Federal politics in Canada. Harper is boring (and a Conservative). Layton has a talented caucus, but he seems like a flash-in-the-pan. The only real excitement seems to be coming from Elizabeth May's election as leader of the Greens.

I still enjoy provincial politics in Alberta and municipal politics in Edmonton though.

I'm just not to hot on the partisaness anymore.

Maybe something will change.

On another note, this is fun.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


I have a feeling that posting shall be a bit far and few over the next couple weeks, so I'll leave you with this, this, and this, this, and this...

Friday, September 01, 2006

no plan, man.

- There are a lot of Albertans who can feel a little vindicated today...

On his last day in the legislature chamber before retiring later this year, Klein did something he has rarely done in 14 years as premier: admit his Liberal and NDP critics were right when they argued his Conservative government did not properly prepare for the boom and the pressures it has caused.

"The opposition was right in their criticism, but as I said, no one could anticipate the phenomenal growth that took place, or the quickness of that growth," Klein told reporters.