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Friday, March 16, 2007


It looks like the Edmonton Journal has finally picked up on the story that Premier Ed Stelmach and Finance Minister Lyle Oberg are still on different pages when attempting to determine where the Alberta Tories stand on the equalization issue.

EDMONTON - In the ever-delicate dance of federal-provincial relations, Premier Ed Stelmach and Finance Minister Lyle Oberg are having trouble determining who gets to lead.

Both men insisted Thursday they are not out of step with each other on how the Harper Conservatives should fix the so-called fiscal imbalance.

"I'm telling you, there's no rift," the premier said Thursday.

However, each lists a different priority on the issue, and lines up with different allies.
Although some would say that this is part of a larger strategy of softening the blow when one-half of the Alberta Tories don't get what they want from federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's budget (due to be released on Monday), I tend to think that nearly ANY other strategy would be better.

It hasn't been uncommon for Lyle Oberg to deliver a message extrememly different than his boss - which lends credence to Don Braid's observations in today's Calgary Herald - but in terms of optics, if a Premier and a Finance Minister continue to publicly disagree on an issue that they feel is this important, it doesn't exactly send out images of a greatly united Alberta PC caucus and cabinet (which may or may not be the case).

On a more legislative note, over 20 peices of legislation have been introduced by the Tories and Liberals in the first week of the Spring 2007 session of the Alberta Legislature.


Anonymous said...

I see this as having three possibilities:

a) End Game: Stelmach and Oberg clearly disagree and Stelmach has no control over his cabinet.

b) The Braid Theory: Stelmach gave Oberg the "wink wink, nudge nudge" to publicly disagree with him in order to either cushion the blow from the Feds or give the appearance of caucus freedom of speech.

c) Stelmach and Oberg really do disagree, but Stelmach will tolerate internal dissent.

I tend to think it's b or c, but it is Oberg so there is a very strong change it could be a. If it's c Stelmach needs to be careful that he doesn't let it out of hand.

Are we getting spun. Maybe. Maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:26

I am an expert on the equalization.

Hint, go back to the article by Jason Markusoff in the Edmonton Journal on February 14, 2007.

Then go through your choices again, and give some thought as to who understands the issue of equalization and who doesn't as of March 16, 2007.

Anonymous said...

While, I guess that Stelmach and Oberg were on the same page all along on equalization.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, doesn't fall for the crap that Fekete writes in the Calgary Herald. The guy thinks be's a Woodward and Bernstein, but I can assure you he reminds me more of Rick Bell and Neil Waugh in terms of the absence of lack of access to what really goes on within government.

Anonymous said...

Lenny ... go to bed!