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Thursday, September 18, 2008

ed stelmach, the final only authority on the democratic process.

Well, I'm sure glad that we elected those other 82 people to represent us on important issues in the Legislature... oh wait... damn.


Anonymous said...

When did Ed become Ralph? He sounds and is even starting to look the same, the part of the benevolent old dictator throwing down lines like "Oh THANK GOODNESS you want to take that job of appointing officials, because I just hated doing it up until now."

It makes me want to puke. Lest we forget, this same man pledged his support for fixed election dates during his bid to win the party leadership.

We have Kevin Taft and Brian Mason to thank for this sorry excuse for a Premier. It's time the fiscally bankrupt Liberals and the electorally bankrupt NDP merged and got on with the business of presenting a true alternative to the tired old farmers party that Ed Stelmach leads.

Anonymous said...

(aka enlightened urban dilettante)
(aka young socialist)

At no time did Stelmach pledge his support for fixed election dates during the leadership race.

You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

member of the farmer's party

P.S. Dave, so are you in favour of letting prisoner's vote? Taft appears to be (see today's Herald).

Anonymous said...

Curious as to the title of the post. So, if Ed does not agree with Lorne Gibson on at least one of the 180 recommendations, he is antidemocratic?

Maybe you should change the tital to "lorne gibson, the only authority on the democratic process".

Just because he (Gibson) is unelected, doesn't mean he is capable. After all, your man Taft criticized him heavily in the latter part of the election.

Anonymous said...

Conservative members voted for fixed election dates at their 2006 convention and then flip-flop Stelmach said:

Stelmach open to fixed election dates

Jason Fekete. Calgary Herald. Calgary, Alta.: Apr 13, 2007. pg. A.4

Premier Ed Stelmach says he'll implement fixed election dates in Alberta if his Progressive Conservative party approves the idea at its upcoming annual convention, where delegates are expected to vote on the proposal.

Speaking to reporters at his Edmonton premier's dinner, Stelmach maintained he won't call a provincial election until the spring of 2008 at the earliest because his party has a mandate to govern until then.

He noted former premier Ralph Klein prematurely called an election for the fall of 2004, several months ahead of what was necessary.

Pressed on whether he would implement fixed election dates -- which have already been introduced by a handful of other provinces - - as a way to prevent premature votes from occurring, Stelmach said he'll go forward with the proposal if PC members want it.

"If the party at the (annual general meeting) brings forward a resolution, I'll live by whatever the party decides," Stelmach said late Thursday, although he wouldn't divulge his personal opinion on the matter.

Critics argue governments are hesitant to implement fixed election dates because it removes a political tool that allows them to prepare behind the scenes for a vote they know is coming.

The opposition insists the measure is needed to level the playing field for all parties.

All three Alberta opposition parties, along with some Tory MLAs, are in favour of set voting days every four years or whenever the government loses the confidence of the assembly.

Alberta Alliance Leader Paul Hinman said he's still skeptical about how open Stelmach really is to introducing the democratic reform.

"If he's a leader, why wait to be pushed?" Hinman asked. "It's not a high priority for them . . . they could have brought a bill forward this spring."

British Columbia and Ontario have introduced fixed-date elections, and New Brunswick has also committed to it.

Federally, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised set voting days as part of a package of democratic reforms.

daveberta said...

"Maybe you should change the tital to "lorne gibson, the only authority on the democratic process"."

The Chief Electoral Officer is an officer of the Legislature and perhaps the 83 Legislative members should have a say on approving or disapproving his recommendations, not just the occupant of the Premier's Office.

The bigger problem seems to be the control that the Premier's Office and the Executive branch have over the Legislature.

Anonymous said...

Criticising Stelmach on the basis of his politics: fair.

Criticising Stelmach for being a farmer: offside.

Anonymous said...

Folks, go to the PC Website. No resolution with respect to fixed election dates passed in 2007. the response in 2006, when such a resolution did pass, is below (and to be honest, the site does not identify whether the responses were provided under Klein, which is likely).

Battle River Wainwright
Be it resolved that the Alberta Government will introduce legislation to fix election dates on a 4/5 year rotational basis. The legislation will retain the present mechanism to change government through a motion of non-confidence.
British Columbia, Ontario, and Newfoundland have each passed legislature setting fixed election dates. The federal government introduced Bill C-16 on May 30, 2006 that provides for fixed election dates every four years. The bill establishes Monday, October 19, 2009 as the date of the next general election. Once the general election is held, the following election would be set for the third Monday in October, four calendar years ahead. Finally, municipal elections in Albert are held on fixed dates.
There are factors weighing in favour and in opposition to the implementation of fixed election dates in Alberta. Planning for elections would be easier, particularly for the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer who would be able to conduct enumeration, hire and train staff and produce elections materials all based on a pre-set schedule. Further, citizens may be better able to plan to participate or involve themselves in the election process, not just as votes, but as possible volunteers for candidates.
Setting fixed election dates may have the effect of extending the campaign season, so candidates focus more on their election or re-election chances than on issues of governance. Also, it may increase the risk that an Alberta election would be scheduled at the same time as a federal election (if federal election dates remain unfixed), or at another inconvenient time such as during a school break or budgetary process.
If the determination is made that fixed election dates are appropriate for provincial elections in Alberta, consideration ought to be given to the question of whether the date should be completely fixed, or whether more flexibility is suitable. A more flexible dates, perhaps specifying a month or two-month period during which an election must be held, provides flexibility to deal with unforeseen circumstances in a way that a fixed dates does not. Consideration must also be given to what will happen if the Legislature is dissolved in the period between a fixed election date and the next.
Following the last provincial election, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) conducted a review of the Election Act and the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act. The review was done with the intention of generating recommendations to improve the election process in Alberta. On October 12, 2005, the CEO gave a verbal presentation to the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices. In the presentation the CEO outlined in general terms a number of election-related issues for further discussion.
On December 13, 2005, the Chief Electoral Officer provided the Standing Committee with written material outlining the discussion points. The Chair of the Standing Committee forwarded that material to the Minister of Justice in late February of this year. The Minister has since replied to the Chair, recommending that the Committee consider asking the Office of the CEO to clarify the document, and possibly categorize discussion points into two classes: recommendations for legislative amendment, and points of further discussion and consultation.

That's a long-winded non-answer. But, Stelmach only said he would do it if it was passed in 2007 and it wasn't.

Both BC and Ontario have held fixed date elections, which did NOT result in increased turnout. Election dates in the US are fixed and voter turnout is decreasing. Municipal election turnout is abysmal. If your argument is that fixed election dates will result in more participation, you're wrong.

As to making the CEO's job easier, wah wah wah. Even Mr. Taft, with whom I rarely agree, says Gibson should be fired. His recommendations may all be great, but the man lacks the ability to communicate his ideas in such a way as to build consensus among MLAs, and now he has shredded his own credibility by inserting himself into the election and then trying to shift blame.

daveberta said...

Criticising Stelmach on the basis of his politics: fair.

Criticising Stelmach for being a farmer: offside.

How is that considered "offside?"

It's more irrelevant to this argument than anything else.

Anonymous said...

"Criticising Stelmach for being a farmer: offside."

And I suppose the Conservatives will respect this rule? I don't suppose we'll hear the end of "Dave Taylor is just a radio show host" or "David Swann is an elite academic with a PhD" like they lambasted Taft for having an education. The hypocrisy in this province continues to floor me.

Anonymous said...

I was about to respond to Kyle's post, but saw another anonymous beat me to it (with a much more complete response, I should add).

The other thing is that Kyle was using a 2007 article, when the Alberta PC leadership race was in 2006. So the very first post, where the writer alleges Stelmach supported fixed election dates in his leadership bid is still wrong.

I'd like to add that, as someone who comes from a rural background (but long since removed to an urban lifestyle), I find the amount of condecension by some posters against people who live outside an urban area to be insulting. Living in a city is no proof of higher intelligence... in fact it may be the reverse (when looking at averages).

But as someone who consistently supports the PCs, keep up with the 'rural rube' jokes, while you toil pouring no-foam-half-caff-lattes with your B.Arts in anthropology. Go on denigrating a still-very-substantial segment of voters (a group with much higher turnout, I should add). This attitude is endemic to the braintrust in the Alberta Liberals and the (Not-so-)New Democrats. It will guarantee us PCs a majority government for years to come.

Anonymous said...

David Swann is not an academic with a Ph.D.

He's a medical doctor who entered politics after 25 years as a practicing physician and public health official.

In his role as a physician he has established medical clinics in many parts of the developing world, and been an advocate for public health measures here in Canada.

Anonymous said...

Ed Stelmach: Alberta's Friendly Dictator.