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Sunday, January 10, 2010

from one rentier state to another.

"Under the Patronage of H.H. H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forced," Premier Ed Stelmach will be attending the World Future Energy Summit, thus delaying an expected cabinet shuffle. What had previously been speculation has now been confirmed as delayed by two weeks according to the Premier's spokesperson Tom Olsen.

Premier Stelmach did not attend the recent COP15 conference in Copenhagen, but will be speaking, along with Carbon Capture Czar Jim Carter in Abu Dhabi. If he has the chance, the Premier should take a look at how Rentier States like the UAE (more specifically Dubai) have dealt with hyper-boom situations familiar to Albertans.

No more crossing: Following last week's floor-crossings, Edmonton-Castle Downs MLA Thomas Lukaszuk has announced that while he may be hypocritical, he will introduce a private members' bill forbidding MLAs to cross the floor. I expect Independent MLA Guy Boutilier to ask if this Bill will also stop party leaders from kicking out MLAs from the party caucus they were elected into. Since 1993, five opposition MLAs have crossed the floor to join the governing PCs (New Democrat Stan Woloshyn, and Liberals Julius Yankowski, Paul Langevin, Andrew Beniuk, and Gene Zwozdesky). In 2008, MLA Dan Backs, who had been kicked out of the Liberal caucus, failed in his attempt to win the PC nomination in Edmonton-Manning.

Newly floor-crossed Wildrose Alliance MLA Rob Anderson received 62% of the vote as a PC candidate in 2008, but past elections show a more diverse electoral history in the region. In a 1992 by-election following the resignation of Airdrie-Three Hills PC MLA Connie Osterman, voters in that riding elected Liberal Don MacDonald by a 24% margin. MacDonald was defeated in the 1993 election by PC candidate Carol Haley. (and later ran as a Social Credit candidate in Old-Didsbury-Three Hills in the 1997 election). While now considered strong PC territory, the neighbouring riding of Olds-Didsbury-Three Hill did not begin electing PC MLAs until 1982. After the resignation of long-time Social Credit MLA Bob Clark, voters in the riding elected Gordon Kesler of the Western Canadian Concept. Kesler was defeated when he ran for re-election in the Highwood riding.


Jane Morgan said...

Just a side note.

Gary Masyk was the first Alberta Alliance MLA. He crossed the floor in 2004 from the PC's to us.

David J. Climenhaga said...

The Constitution Act, 1867, an integral part of Canada's Constitution, states that Canada will have "a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom." That means the Westminster model of Parliamentary government, which includes the right of members to "cross the floor" should they wish. While this part of the United Kingdom's Constitution is unwritten, it is explicitly understood. Ergo, Mr. Lukaszuk's silly proposed Private Member's bill is unconstitutional. Slam dunk!

daveberta said...

Thanks for the sidenote, Jane. Gary Masyk was elected as a PC in Edmonton-Norwood in 2001 (after being defeated in the PC nomination in Lesser Slave Lake) and ran for the Alberta Alliance in Edmonton-Decore in 2004.

Also, in 1999, Edmonton-Castle Downs MLA Pamela Paul left the Liberals to sit as an Independent MLA until the 2001 election (she did not run for re-election, but I seem to remember that she may have campaigned for Gene Zwozdesky in his first election running as a PC).