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Thursday, November 15, 2007

alberta politics gets personal (and bizarre).

This past week in the Alberta Legislature has been witness to some bizarre acts.

Graham Thomson takes a good look at Ed Stelmach's bizarre attack tactics on Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft earlier this week. In an uncharacteristic attack on Taft, Stelmach abandoned his "nice guy" image by deliberately misquoting a quote of Taft's from a news article on the royalties issue. This whole story seems to have less to do with Stelmach or Taft, and more to do with a lack of respect for journalists and their work. I'm still amazed that Stelmach and Tom Olsen thought they would get away with trying to pull an act like this.

My friends from the Conservative Party of Canada will surely appreciate Stelmach's second attack. Stelmach seems to have taken a page from the Jean Chretien/Paul Martin handbook by accusing the Alberta Liberals have having a hidden agenda... sigh... here is 'Honest Ed's' response to a question from Kevin Taft on accountability in the Tory Government's Annual Business Plans:

What the Liberals would like is to hoard this money, just bring it in and then dish it out to Albertans piece by piece, through his fingers, by having Albertans come on their knees, stand before him, and say, “ Oh, please, give me some of that money back,” that should go to all Albertans. That’s what the Liberal government is all about. It’s not going to happen in this province because I don’t stand for that kind of behaviour.
I think Craig Chandler will fit in just fine.

8 comments:

Allie said...

I think the Liberals just want more money to spend. Every election I hear the same thing - it's like they are money hungry, looking at all the money we have reserved and invested, talking about how they would spend it. I remember listening at one debate in 2004 where the candidate had promised the Liberal party would cash in the trust funds and spend even more than that.

I think they are upset about 2 billion dollars because then they can't spend it. After that it won't matter how much we get from oil and gas, we'll all be living paycheque to paycheque.

Anonymous said...

Fran from Medicine Hat says: Allie now this is a stretch! I would love to know the name of the Liberal Candidate in 2004 who "promised to cash in the trust funds and spend even more than that." Such an outlandish statement (if indeed it happened as you report) would have made the press and resulted in that cndidate being reprimanded, especially because the Alberta Liberal Platform for the 2004 Election was firmly based on: 1) increasing the royalty take by Albertans to a level comparable to other jurisdictions; 2) halting the non-budgeted surplus willy-nilly spending of Klein often without his caucus never mind the Leg's approval ($1.4 Billion "Ralph Bucks" come to mind?); and a platform of true fiscal responsibility - in the 2004 election platform the Liberals were calling on 35% of annual budget surpluses INTO the Heritage Trust Fund - 35% into Post-Secondary Education Endowment Fund and 25% into a Capital Account to address the then $8 Billion Infrastructure Debt.

Kevin Taft and the Alberta Liberals were raising the red flag of the incompetence of the Klein/Stelmach crew who had not been collecting royalties at the rate that even their own government had targeted, spending the resource revenue outside of budgets approved by the Leg to the tune of over $8,000 per Albertan while only collecting $6,000 of this from taxes and non-resource revenue...Taft said this had to end. Beyond all this, Klen/Stelmach and the same old PC crew we now have in Edmonton were furiously "buying votes" and not saving resource revenue (the Heritage Trust Fund was actually shrinking after inflation) NOR ere these clowns actually addressing the infrastructure defecit.
The reality of Liberal (i.e. progressive) Governments versus Conservative Governments is a clear one, and there are examples provincially, Federally and internationally - Liberal/Progressive Governments are NOT big spending and wasteful - in fact they are prudent and defecit fighting...Conservative Governments from Thatcher, to Bush (both of them), to Mike Harris, to Multrony etc etc have dismal records of economic and government spending.

Klein and Stelmach, because of Alberta's staggering wealth, have now escaped defecits in govenrment coffers but were and are mismanaging our Alberta Treasury to the tune of Billions of Dollars. The Albera Treasury has become their own - to suggest that Taft and the Alberta Liberals would abuse the Treasury even MORE than this PC 36-year-dynasty is a dishonest and weak minded argument, and most importantly it is not founded in FACT.

Anonymous said...

allie, that's a pretty unsophisticated piece of political analysis considering Ed Stelmach's track record on spending.

$145,000 for a 20 minute prime time informercial, more than $200,000 in newspaper advertisements following the royalty announcement (not to mention the $10 billion on homelessness that everyone has already forgotten).

Yes, the Liberals would spend money and make investments in priority areas that the Tories have neglected, but you don't really have any ground to stand on with your statement.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Tory staffers spending $30,000 on government credit cards for a Las Vegas bachelor party!

kate said...

Typical old government reaction.

"Only we're good enough to govern."

I heard the same thing from my NDP friends here in Saskatchewan before we booted them out. Albertans could learn a thing or two from us. Flush em out every couple terms. Keeps em honest.

not a leader said...

ED STELMACH IS NOT A LEADER!

Anonymous said...

I keep asking, what the Liberal position is on royalties. Taft's comments that how we get to the 20%bottomline as recommended by the Panel needs to be worked out is a cop-out and you know it Dave.

solidarity! said...

IT IS TIME THAT ALL ALBERTANS EMBRACE THE WARM GRASP IN THE BOSOM OF INTELLECTUAL SOCIALIST PROLETARIANIASM THAT BRIAN MASON NDP WILL BRING TO THE PREMIERS OFFICE. ONLY BRIAN MASON CAN TAKE ON CORPORATE ALBERTA.

ONLY BRIAN MASON CAN FINALLY FULFILL THE DREAM OF A NATIONALIZED OIL SECTOR. A PLACE WHERE ALBERTANS CAN STOP THE TAR SANDS WHILE COLLECTING 100% ROYALTIES. IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME, BUT THE BRIAN MASON SOCIALIST REVOLUTION IS COMING!

SOLIDARITY MY FRIENDS! SOLIDARITY FOREVER!

FOR THE BRIAN MAKES US STRONG!