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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

stelmachian bureaucratics.

Our brilliantly articulate Tory Premier Ed Stelmach has pretty much cleared up any confusion as to what the problem is with Alberta's 36-year old Tory government.

[Alberta] Liberal Leader Kevin Taft also asked Stelmach to explain why his governments refused to raise royalties until this year, despite warnings from the Energy Department that they were missing their internal targets.

"We take advice, obviously, from others," Stelmach said.

"But at the end of the day in this government the decisions are made by government, not listening to advice that may come from bureaucracies."


Niles said...

and that just sums it up doesn't it?

sigh. I can only hope the 'pur laine' of alberta are in for a painful surprise from the 'ethnic' and 'immigrant' vote next election.

But I keep hearing no one, even the newcomers from parts else, want to jeopardize taking a crumb of the black gold rush.

tjk said...

Civic-style rubber stamping of whatever anyone else says Dave? I don't think you actually want that.

Anonymous said...

tjk, the civil service exists to provide expert advice and knowledge on the issues. By not listening to the civil service - the experts that the government employs - defeats the purpose of even having the civil service.

No one is saying that the civil service should make the decisions in the end, but you have to have reached a certain level of omnipotence in government to completely ignore the experts which you hired in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Did Stelmach just confirm what the Auditor General has been accusing them of doing with the lost billions?

Anonymous said...

The civil service may "provide advice" and the government does seem to listen - BUT it's the government that is elected by the people of Alberta and who is answerable to their constituents - not the "civil service."

The Premier has it right for a change - the government needs to consider ALL of the "advice" (that comes from all areas) and make a decision. That's what governments do.

Anonymous said...

Stelmach is a stumblebum goof. He is so inarticulate it is hard to decipher what he is trying to say.

Anonymous said...

I don't think (at least I hope not) that Dave is advocating a technocratic, do-whatever-the-bureaucrats-say government. But (since the media's reporting of the Legislature sucks as usual) the point of this exchange was actually a bit more subtle--see what was said was:

"Dr. Taft: This government has been advised by the Department of
Energy’s own experts, by the Auditor General of Alberta, and by the expert Royalty Review Panel that billions of dollars of public wealth were left on the table. In the face of all this evidence the Premier denies, denies, denies. Who is advising the Premier that all of the conclusions drawn by all of the experts are wrong? Who is advising him?

Mr. Stelmach: Mr. Speaker, very smart people. All the people that are on the government side sitting in this Assembly. I receive my advice from locally elected officials, those MLAs in this House that bring back comments and thoughts from their constituents. We take advice, obviously, from others, but at the end of the day in this government the decisions are made by government, not listening to advice that may come from bureaucracies. That’s advice, but the decision is still vested in the highest office of this province, in the Premier’s office, and with our government, period."

Taft goes on to ask 'If the Premier has evidence that contradicts his own government studies and contradicts the independent public reports put forward by the Auditor General and the Royalty Review Panel, he should make them public today. Be accountable.' So it's not about the government's perogative to make decisions per se but rather about demanding that it's held accountable for them.

Anonymous said...

I would prefer a technocratic government to what we saw under Klein (i.e. policy made by a bunch of oilmen around a table of the Petroleum Club in Calgary.) Look were that got us. God forbid we research a vexing policy question! (or consider interests other than the oil patch or economy).