Alberta Politics: NDP strength in Calgary-Foothills riding suggests May 5 election was no fluke – and could rattle federal Tory narrative

PHOTOS: A Chinook arch moves across the sky of Calgary in 2007, bringing warmer temperatures and, for some people, headaches. The same kind of thing happens in politics. Below: NDP Calgary-Foothills candidate Bob Hawkesworth, Conservative Blair Houston and Wildroser Prasad Panda. So, what happens if the Alberta NDP wins the Calgary-Foothills by-election on Sept. 3, ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: NDP can’t afford to be slow to respond to Wildrose attacks

‘Risky,’ ‘ideological,’ ‘experimental,’ and ‘uncertain’ are all words that the conservative Wildrose Party opposition is using to describe Alberta’s New Democratic Party government.

Alberta Politics: The Sonic privatization mystery: what were the Tories thinking?

PHOTOS: More medical lab techs examining specimens, still not illustrated exactly as they’re likely to appear nowadays. Below: Progressive Conservative health ministers Gary Mar, Iris Evans, Stephen Mandel and Fred Horne, every one a would-be privatizer and every one in a picture personally snapped by your blogger. Viewed with 20/20 hindsight, a Frequently-Asked-Questions document published ...

Alberta Politics: When propaganda becomes memory: Pierre Trudeau and the National Energy Program

PHOTOS: Pierre and Justin Trudeau back in the day, with possibly quite a few Liberal supporters in the background. Below: Prime Minister Steve and Defence Minister Jason Kenney. Everybody in Alberta knows Pierre Trudeau and his National Energy Program laid waste to Alberta in the 1980s, and that would include plenty of people out here ...

Alberta Politics: No losers except Canadians in last night’s ditchwater-dull debate

PHOTOS: Zzzzzzzzz … Why are these men smiling? Below: Prime Minister Stephen Harper, sneering; Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, smiling unnervingly; Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, doing his best to look pugnacious; Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, happy to be there. Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair stayed calm, smiled and looked prime ministerial during last night’s “national” televised ...

Alberta Politics: Former Wildrose House leader Rob Anderson to test blogging as a cure for politics

PHOTOS: Former Wildrose House Leader Rob Anderson in the steps of the Alberta Legislature in November 2014, joining union members protesting against Tory premier Alison Redford’s anti-union legislation. Below: Mr. Anderson with Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith and Liberal MLA David Swann. Below them: Former Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith and Independent MP ...

Alberta Politics: Alberta’s NDP needs to react more quickly, plus throw the Tories under the bus where they belong

PHOTOS: Carbon capture: The oil company executive in the bow tie places the carbon in a bottle, which is then stored underground by his corporation for billions of dollars. Or something like that. If the bottle breaks, of course, we’re screwed! Actual carbon capture schemes may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Premier Rachel Notley, ...

Alberta Politics: Lawyer, businessman and long-time Tory Douglas Goss steps aside as U of A board chair

PHOTOS: University of Alberta Board Chair Douglas Goss at the infamous Melcor Five news conference on May 1. Below: New University of Alberta President David Turpin, who took over on July 1, and former U of A provost Carl Amrhein, now the deputy minister of health in the Alberta government. Lawyer, businessman and long-time Tory ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: 7 Conservatives scandals that still haunt Alberta politics

After forty-four years of Progressive Conservative government in Alberta, it still feels surreal to believe that another party has been elected into government. Two and a half months after the NDP victory, Premier Rachel Notley is putting her stamp on Alberta politics. But Alberta’s new… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Alison Redford is back, relaxed and ready to rumble with anyone who blames her for her former party’s problems

PHOTOS: A screen shot of former Alberta Premier Alison Redford as she appeared in the CBC’s interview yesterday, relaxed and confident. Below: Ms. Redford on the day in October 2011 she was chosen as the Progressive Conservative Party’s leader and premier of Alberta, and on the day in March 2014 she was sent packing by ...

Alberta Politics: Tory sale of government air fleet was a terrible business decision, executed incompetently

PHOTOS: Not this Beechcraft King Air, maybe, but three a lot like it are now plying the friendly skies of North Dakota, which is a great deal for their new owner thanks to the generous former government of Alberta. Below: The unsold Alberta Government Dash 8, and former Conservative Alberta premiers Alison Redford and Jim ...

Alberta Politics: Reunite Alberta’s right? The Great Wildrose Experiment is going to be hard to undo

PHOTOS: Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean at the Calgary Stampede. Too country to be electable in the new Alberta? (Photo from Mr. Jean’s Flickr account.) Below: Former Harper strategist Ken Boessenkool and former Harper speechwriter Paul Bunner, both involved in Alberta’s “reunite the right” movement. (Photos grabbed from their Facebook accounts.) Well, no one can ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Calgary Stampede an important marker of political change in Alberta

Billed as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede is a must-stop destination for political leaders of all stripes and all levels of government. The event also provides a good historical marker of how quickly the political winds of change can… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Murky and contradictory poll results, weird timing, unlikely to divert media from its dubious narrative about Alberta’s NDP

PHOTOS: “Press 1 if you support the Wildrose Party …” With the right digital equipment, the whole family can have fun with demon-dialler public opinion polls, even down on the farm in rural Southern Alberta. Below: Novice political columnists learn how to cover the news in Alberta. According to news accounts of last week’s Mainstreet ...

Alberta Politics: The effort to engineer regime change in Greece could lead to a much bigger disaster

PHOTOS: Leaders of the Greek military government of 1967 to 1974. Is something similar waiting in the wings if the eurozone leadership’s effort to terrorize the Greeks into voting Yes to never-ending austerity fails today? Below: Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras, former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien and Nobel-Prize-winning American economist Paul Krugman. Recent Western ...

Alberta Politics: Lawsuit and ASIRT investigation illuminate the Alberta Tory Party’s existential crisis

PHOTOS: Car 54 where are you? Somewhere in northeast Calgary, by the sound of it. Actual Calgary Police Service officers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below, former Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson (CBC photo) and former Edmonton-Ellerslie PC nomination candidate Balraj Manhas (from his Twitter account). Two news stories yesterday illustrate the fatally deteriorating ...

Alberta Politics: New Democrats to have real nomination battle in Calgary-Foothills riding

PHOTOS: Skilled polling technicians monitor the interactive voice response equipment the day before Canada Day. Actual Canadian pollsters may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: NDP Calgary-Foothills nomination candidates Anne Wilson and Bob Hawkesworth. Notwithstanding a gloomy demon-dialler poll suggesting voter support has migrated from the NDP Government to the Opposition Wildrose Party, there will ...

Alberta Politics: Happy Canada Day: Alberta has an extra billion, which was good luck for the NDP

PHOTOS: Finance Minister Joe Ceci at yesterday’s news conference, in a government of Alberta photo, imparting the happy news that former premier Jim Prentice’s Tories left $1.1 billion lying around and didn’t bother to tell anyone about it. Below: Opposition Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt and PC Leader Ric McIver. Presumably it will be a Happy ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley NDP waste no time implementing popular progressive agenda in former conservative heartland

Banning corporate and union donations: Check. Restoring funding to health, education and human services: Check. Increasing corporate taxes: Check. Introducing a new climate change strategy: Coming soon. Phasing in a $15 per hour minimum wage: Coming soon. Reviewing Alberta’s natural resource… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Something new, and probably something old too: Reflections on the meaning of Alberta throne speeches, NDP and Tory

PHOTOS: Now that’s a throne speech! The Queen addresses Parliament in the Senate Chamber in Ottawa in 1957 as prime minister John Diefenbaker, on her right, listens to his government’s plans, no doubt with a great sense of satisfaction. Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Alberta Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell, who will read the Notley ...

Alberta Politics: Banning corporate and union election cash: not just the right thing for the NDP to do, but the smart thing too

PHOTOS: A group of Albertans studies the effects of corporate cash on the conservative domination of North American politics. Actual Albertans may not appear exactly as illustrated. Regardless, Alberta’s NDP government may be about to try to fix this problem. Below: Parkland Institute charts showing the percentage of election campaign donations in 2012 over $375, ...

Alberta Politics: Grim Athabasca University report says ‘future is now,’ but faces a different future than the one its authors anticipated

PHOTOS: Athabasca University’s spooky headquarters in the forest near the town of Athabasca. Below: Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater NDP MLA Colin Piquette, AU President Peter MacKinnon and Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon, once a member of Dr. MacKinnon’s task force on AU sustainability. Athabasca University’s three-day convocation begins today, but what should be a joyous occasion ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Alberta’s new political insiders mostly come from outside Alberta

Edmonton Journal report Karen Kleiss published a story this week naming the new Chiefs of Staff hired to advise Alberta’s twelve NDP cabinet ministers and manage their offices at the Legislature. The new government has faced criticism for hiring too many staff from outside… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Alberta’s shattered Tories have a tougher task ahead than the ‘inexperienced’ NDP

PHOTOS: A really smart guy tries to figure out a way back to power for Alberta’s post-Prentice Progressive Conservatives. Actual PC strategists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Doesn’t look like it’s going that well. Below: NDP Health and Seniors Minister Sarah Hoffman; Bill Moore-Kilgannon, her new chief of staff. A lot of ink has ...

Alberta Politics: Is anyone seriously surprised Alberta’s books might be in worse shape that we were told?

PHOTOS: Uh-oh! Newly appointed NDP chiefs of staff start to check the books left by the now-departed Prentice Government, and they don’t like what they’re finding. Actual government political staffers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Finance Minister Joe Ceci and Provincial Gadfly Joe Anglin. Can anyone honestly say they were surprised to hear ...