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Friday, November 09, 2007

week one hijinks under the dome.

Continuing from my post from earlier this week, here are some of my thoughts on the first week of the 2007 fall session of the Alberta Legislature...

1) There are three Dave's (Dave, Dave, and Dave) who should be allowed to speak more often.

2) To reiterate #1, Ed Stelmach should let Dave Hancock talk for him in Question Period. It would be far less painful for everyone.

3) Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft and Ed Stelmach have had some entertaining spars in the first two days over failed Energy Minister Mel Knight and the $6 Billion dollars in resource royalties that the Tories failed to collect over the past number of years. With Auditor General Fred Dunn's findings backing Taft's position, I will again reiterate #1, Stelmach should let Hancock do the talking.

4) Ken Kowalski is embarrassed about Alberta's shortest election. I'm embarrassed for Ken Kowalski (in fact, I shed a tear).

5) The Alberta Liberal Caucus has finally hired a new Caucus Communications Director in the form of Larry Johnsrude, so I'd expect some interesting communication strategy and direction coming out of the Official Opposition (direction on the communications-front has been one of the Alberta Liberal Caucus' most noticeable weaknesses in recent sessions). Watch out, Public Affair Bureau.

6) It will be interesting to see how newcomers Craig Cheffins (Alberta Liberal MLA Calgary-Elbow) and Jack Hayden (PC MLA Drumheller-Stettler) adapt in their first session.

7) There is some big debate on Bill 46 and it is spilling out into what is supposed to be safe Tory territory. Check out CFSR for more...

8) At what point do you think the newly re-elected big city mayors Stephen Mandel and Dave Bronconnier start throwing their weight around?

9) When is Gary Mar resigning his Calgary-Mackay seat to take his patronage post in Washington DC? His name is still listed on the Assembly seating plan.

10) Brian Mason continued railing against the Alberta Liberals with the approval of the Stelmach Tories. The Tories are doing their best to support the New Democrats in the Legislature in hopes that any NDP gains in Edmonton will offset Alberta Liberal gains in Calgary, once again creating a winning situation for the 36-year ruling Tories.

I actually don't mind the other three New Democrat MLAs, but Brian Mason's strategy is one of the reasons why I'd have a hard time supporting his party (his mustache is the other reason).

11) Alberta Alliance MLA Paul Hinman... yeah... so... Paul Hinman... there's no real point in writing any more on this topic...

12) I'm still waiting for Drayton Valley-Calmar Tory MLA Reverend Tony Abbott to do something crazy.

In 2005, Abbott declared that Federal Tory/Liberal MP Belinda Stronach "whored herself out for power" and then proceeded to try to get into a fist-fight with Alberta Liberal MLA Rick Miller in the hall behind the Assembly.

Abbott recently lost his bid for the Tory nomination in his own constituency, so he really has nothing to lose (and has also been rumoured to be in talks with the Wild Rose Party).

13) Looking to the future, you have no idea how much I'm looking forward to a Harry Chase-Cal Dallas showdown in Question Period after the next election.



Anonymous said...

I hope Tony Abbott runs for the Wild Rose Party. He'd make an excellent WRP MLA and Drayton Valley needs that kind of representation.

Bob McInnis said...

Dave ,
Where do you see the gains coming for the Grits and NDs? In 2004 the Tories won 62 seats with 46.8% of popular vote. The latest Environics poll (October 07) on gives the PCs 52%, Liberals 23%, NDs 13%, AAP 5% and Greens 8%. Stelmach has survived the leadership jitters, royalty review, defecting MLAs and has atleast this session to move forward on important legislation. Extrapolating Environics numbers (even considering margin of error) gives PCs 66, Lberals 13, NDs 4

Are the gains you talk about real or imagined?

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't think any of the polls that have been released over the past 10 months will reflect the results in the next election, the political environment in Alberta is the most unstable that it has been in years. Take for example the Liberal victory in the Calgary Elbow by-election and the strong showing that the Liberals placed in Drumheller (winning the town of Drumheller), as far as I can tell this wasn’t reflected in the polls. I think there is strong potential for Kevin Taft's Liberals to make substantial gains in Calgary – mirroring the political urban-rural split in Saskatchewan. I have also noticed a strong trend towards the Greens in Calgary and rural Alberta. Three very good conservative friends in Calgary have recently joined the Greens because they are less than inspired by Ed Stelmach. I don’t think political watchers should underestimate the power of change, even after 36 years of solid Conservative government.

Anonymous said...

Cop and recent Aldermanic candidate Steve Chapman and PGIB are taking on Arthur Kent in Calgary Currie for the PC nomination.

Look for the victor of this nomination to be already bloodied by the time he takes on Liberal MLA Dave Taylor in the next election.

Anonymous said...

From Steve Chapman's website:

"...we must have a real voice in Edmonton. The current MLA for Calgary Currie is with the Liberal party and as such has minimal impact on getting things done with our Conservative government. No matter how much Dave Taylor cares or how hard he works he will never be able to give Calgary Currie the voice in government that we need. We must have a voice that can be heard, that is in government and that is speaking to government from its citizens."

Wow--what an insult to democracy. This province desperately needs a change in government.

Anonymous said...

"the Liberal victory in the Calgary Elbow by-election"

Even the Liberals know that wasn't a victory - the voter turnout for the by elections were so abysmal its like no one cared - likely the biggest threat to any party in the next election is people just not voting.

And as for Taylor - nice guy, sure... but really what is an opposition MLA able to do for their constituency? They are too busy trying to point out flaws in the governing party then to actually have time to work for their constituents.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter. That logic would mean the Tory win in 2004 wasn't a victory. Applied to Elbow, it would mean that the Tories can never lose unless the turnout is 100%. It's more of a state of denial than anything else.

The Liberals got out their vote and now Craig Cheffins is the MLA. Elections aren't decided by those who showed up in the previous election, decisions are made by those who show up and more Liberals showed up in Calgary Elbow.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody actually check out Tony Abbott's website? What an excessively centre-justified mess. I fished this beauty out of the "links" section:

Links for County's

Ouch. If only his talent for grammar was as plentiful as his talent for being an ignorant lunatic...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I keep asking, what the Liberal position is on royalties. Taft's comments that how we get to the 20%bottomline as recommended by the Panel needs to be worked out is a cop-out and you know it Dave.