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Thursday, September 03, 2009

dunn's done. now... more than ever.

Dunn's done. Auditor General Fred Dunn has announced that he will be stepping down in February 2010.

In 2007, Dunn singled out Energy Minister Mel Knight and the Department of Energy for failing to collect billions of dollars in resource revenues over the past 15 years. In 2009, Dunn's office announced the delay or cancellation of 27 out of 80 planned system and financial audits due to lack of financial resources. At the time, Calgary-Egmont MLA Jonathan Denis was quoted as justifing the lack of funding to the Auditor General by defending the one-year MLA pay freeze:

"Realistically everybody would like more money, I would like more money, but the reality is we froze our pay cheques this year. This is the first time in 15 years we froze our pay cheques. And similarly we don’t want to be giving extra money to departments where that’s not required.”
Now... more than ever. His ideas may now be marginalized within the party he led to office 38 years ago, but the now Stelmach-led PC Party is seeking to revive fond memories of Peter Lougheed's victory over Harry Strom's Social Credit Party. The slogan for the November 6-7, 2009 PC leadership review, 'Now... more than ever,' appears to be an attempt to remind older supporters of their party's exciting 1971 slogan: 'Now!' Or maybe I'm wrong and the PCs are actually trying to channel Richard Nixon....

Who's ready for a federal election? With the exception voters in a couple of ridings, Albertans are going to be far off the political radar in any upcoming federal election. While the Conservatives have already nominated candidates in all 28 ridings, the Liberals and NDP have only officially nominated a couple candidates each (Liberals: Jennifer Pollock in Calgary-West, Mary MacDonald in Edmonton-Centre, Rick Szostak in Edmonton-Sherwood Park. NDP: Lewis Cardinal in Edmonton-Centre and Ray Martin in Edmonton-East). With an election seemingly imminent, expect to hear a lot from the New Obama Party when they hold their caucus retreat in Edmonton in a couple of weeks.


Anonymous said...


Berry Farmer said...

I know the federal Greens have quite a few officially nominated candidates ready to go should the writ drop.

One constituency that has a candidate in place is Vegreville-Wainwright. I know this because... it is me!
Feeling blue?
Seeing red?
Go Green!

Did you hear the latest NDP knock-knock joke?

Knock knock?

Who's there?


Orange who?

Orange you glad you can vote Green.

Jerry Iwanus said...

The Alberta Tory campaign slogan in the 1979 election was also "Now -- more than ever"

Anonymous said...

Pretty pathetic and poorly conceived rip-off.

Just about as bad as the recent ALP campaign slogan.

Anonymous said...

If we get one, it will primarily be because Harper has never acknowledged that he doesn't have a majority mandate and refuses to work with other parties to maintain the confidence of Parliament. It's the government's job to do this, not the opposition's job to prop them up no matter what.

Now that he's bragging about the success of a stimulus he never wanted to fix a recession he denied even existed, he'll try to convince Canadians that he's got everything well in hand.

Harper remains what he always was, a petty, power-hungry, right-wing Reformer, with no clue about or genuine care for Canada beyond his suburban Calgary roots.

Anonymous said...

I take it there is not Liberal candidate in Edmonton Strathcona? Did they give up, I swore I heard Iggy was in that riding during the summer?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jonathan Denis. There was no reason to give the auditor more money. He should live within his own budget just like other departments.

Anonymous said...

Berry, I think Dave neglected to mention the Greens because your party has never elected an MP.

It's the same reason he ignored the Communist Party, the Rhino Party and the Natural Law Party.

By being online and commenting on a blog you've already put more effort in than half the Green candidates will ever muster. In the future you should run for a real party. And spend less time on knock-knock jokes and more time door knocking.

Berry Farmer said...

Dear Anon (which one... I'm not certain; there are so many of you).

Sorry about the "knock-knock" joke. I'm a lover of humour in dark situations.

Think of the grave diggers in Hamlet... or any Shakespearean tragedy for that matter... although this is more farce than tragedy.

Political humour can be found in many cultures. Sadly, in Canada any attempt to be funny by a candidate is labelled "not serious, even unforgivable. We don't even let politicians speak off the cuff. We slam them for voicing their real feelings. It's all about sound bytes and photo ops.

In this regard, I would respect a candidate from the Rhino Party more for speaking his mind than a Conservative candidate who has to virtually read from a script at a candidate forum (come and watch my MP and me this go around).

Tight control of message is part of the problem with what you call "the real parties." They control their message so tightly, voters have little chance to understand or get to know their candidates. This neither places faith in voters to discern the character of the people they vote for, nor the candidate to articulate points of view. It demeans democracy.

A little freer rein on message and a little encouragement for politicians to speak frankly would allow voters to get to know the person behind the candidacy and not simply more of the party line and the 'spin' so often associated with parties.

I've had enough woolly sweaters. Get up there and talk to me STRAIGHT... tell me what you feel... from the guts. Show me who you are. I can read policy as well as the next pedestrian. I want to know who the person is who wants my vote.

In early democracy 'parties' were far less important than the character and history of potential representatives. Today, we elect people because they belong to 'this' party or 'that' party... not because they share the ideas we would most like to be represented in Parliament... not because anyone has built trust with us by being honest and being themselves.

No... I will stick with the Green Party... for now... and until I find another party that is interested in allowing candidates to disagree and discuss without the threat of excommunication. I have disagreed with Elizabeth May and other longer-term Greens and I am still around... heck, they made me Transport Critic. How long do you think I'd last if I spoke up against something Stephen Harper preached... or Michael Ignatief... or Jack Layton?

If it was power over integrity I was interested in, I'd try to get the Conservative nomination... which would not be a huge stretch for me because I'm a relatively conservative old farmer. It's just that MY voice is mine... it's all I have and I won't compromise that, even for the sake of belonging to a "real party."

And I won't give up my attempts at levity, either... but I will try to be funnier; I admit that was a pretty pathetic attempt.


Whose there?

Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May who?

Elizabeth May win a seat or she may not.... That's up to the voters in Saanich-Gulf Islands.

Kindest regards from the Rhino/Green Guy

Anonymous said...

I wish you all knew, what I know, about the stage that has been set with Dunn's departure, and the void that will develop over provincial affairs and oversight. Another way to put this, "talk about getting screwed and not even knowing about it." Dave you really need to explore the impact of Dunn's departure in its own post.

Anonymous said...

I too agree with Denis. Why can't the auditor general live within its own budget? The province is better off with Dunn gone.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:33 and 7:17: The Auditor General is not a government department. The Auditor General is an independent officer of the Assembly, accountable to all sides. The office has a mandate to oversee spending of government departments, ensure good use of money and to point out inefficiencies. If budgets are tight and you need to find savings, if the PC government can't control costs and stick within its own budget (which it hasn't for years), you need a powerful, independent and well-funded AG more than ever. If you want efficient, clean government, you have to fund this office. But this poses political risks that the thin-skinned, incompetent PC government can't deal with. Remember the Election Commissioner? Point out PC faults and you're gone at the first opportunity.

The search for a new AG will be worth following. No doubt the PC majority on that committee will want to put in a docile, PC-friendly person.