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Alberta Election (23 Apr 12)

Scott

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Larry Strong said:
Wow, talk about being a hypocrite :eek: Oil has fed my family, bought my house and vehicles and most everything I have for better than 30 years, and continues to do so. I am not ashamed to say it either. I am proud to have worked Drilling Rigs for the better part of my life. It takes a special breed of person to work outside from 30 above to -50 and spend 2/3 of your time away from home, year in and year out. And no range control shutting things down because it is to hot or cold.

Nice to see it said.

By the way, bed tech, not many people hate oil so long as we do things right. I'm sure you'll agree while heating your home, driving, and having advisers make investments on your behalf for your retirement.

Anyway, it's to central to this discussion so I'll stop now. By the way, I am also proud to have worked, for the last ten years, in oil and gas, and to have done so safely, with others who have done so safely.
 

Northalbertan

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Scott said:
Nice to see it said.

By the way, bed tech, not many people hate oil so long as we do things right. I'm sure you'll agree while heating your home, driving, and having advisers make investments on your behalf for your retirement.

Anyway, it's to central to this discussion so I'll stop now. By the way, I am also proud to have worked, for the last ten years, in oil and gas, and to have done so safely, with others who have done so safely.

I'll add that I too have been workin' in the 'Patch for 20 yrs, service rigs and now consulting.  If you want to see people cry, shut down the patch.  Alberta sends 18 BILLION dollars more to the rest of Canada than it gets back every year.  That drys up so does the Quebec daycare, and all the rest of the equalization or lack of it would certainly affect the rest of Canada.  Love us or hate hate us they still NEED us. 

I was at our local MLA forum tonight It was interesting.... A lot of non-answers or qualified answers from the PC candidate.  The Wildrose candidate came out strongly on the attack against the PC's, gave fewer qualified answers.  The independant candidate was essentially a Wildrose cheerleader.  The NDP were as per usual out in left field, a 35% royalty rate????  You could kiss the Alberta Advantage goodbye for sure.  The lieberal candidate didn't show up.

In spite of the couple of id87 sticks that showed up this week I still prefer Mrs Smith over Mrs Redford.  I just don't trust the Premiere as far as I could throw her.  Anything for a vote seems to be the motto here and she's spending like an NDPer.  I'll take my chances with the Wildrose.
 

larry Strong

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People in town have taken to ripping out the local WR parties candidates signs. According to her it is a problem she is facing all over the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake Constituency. One large sign was spun around so the deer grazing in the cemetery could read it......
 

exabedtech

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Scott said:
Nice to see it said.

By the way, bed tech, not many people hate oil so long as we do things right. I'm sure you'll agree while heating your home, driving, and having advisers make investments on your behalf for your retirement.

Anyway, it's to central to this discussion so I'll stop now. By the way, I am also proud to have worked, for the last ten years, in oil and gas, and to have done so safely, with others who have done so safely.

You're right.  'hate oil' is a poor way to phrase it.  As I said, i've no intention of turning off my heat or parking my trucks, but at the same time i'm very aware that when you burn a non-renewable resource, you must by definition have less of that resource remaining.

Oil has allowed us to massively increase the planets population and live further and further away from our food supplies, jobs and everything else.  Its all a good thing provided it is sustainable, but this is a non-renewable resource.  It will end.  Not in my lifetime, maybe not in my grandchildren s lifetime, but it will end. 

We do make great new discoveries from time to time as Statoil recently did, and we have great leaps in technology from time to time, but the proof that our ability to feed demand economically is diminishing is in the fact that we even bother looking miles under the ocean, in the arctic or in national parks.  This stuff used to literally pool on the ground 100 years ago.  100 years may sound like a long long time ago, but people have been walking this planet for a few million years. 

Without oil, I cannot live where I do or how I do.  Im very aware of how much we need oil to sustain our existence.  The fact that we so desperately NEED a non renewable resource is what troubles me and i'm not alone.  I'm not putting down all you oil workers out there.  Almost all of us Albertans owe our livelyhood to oil in one way or another and i'm one of them.  Its easy for us to look at the oilsands and say 'we'll never run out' and we won't ever run out, but the day will come when supply and demand start squeezing people out.  As the world population continues to expand and China, India and the rest of the '3rd world' continue to raise their standards of living (thanks to oil) the demands will only increase.

I shouldnt have said 'hate oil'.  I don't hate it at all.  I love it the way a meth head loves meth and thats the problem.
 
 

a_majoor

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Slight tangent here, but if you want to see many of the facts and figures, as well as proposed technologies that are touted to replace oil, try here:
http://Forums.Army.ca/forums/threads/37017.0.html

21 pages of posts to mull over...
 

stealthylizard

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So tired of voting for the lesser of two evils.  The comments made of late by various WRP members made me rethink who to vote for.  The incumbent for my area, Thomas Lukaszuk, reacted stupidly a couple weeks ago.  I may actually be considering voting for a party that doesn't have a chance in winning just because I'm fed up with those that have a shot.
 

lethalLemon

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stealthylizard said:
So tired of voting for the lesser of two evils.  The comments made of late by various WRP members made me rethink who to vote for.  The incumbent for my area, Thomas Lukaszuk, reacted stupidly a couple weeks ago.  I may actually be considering voting for a party that doesn't have a chance in winning just because I'm fed up with those that have a shot.

Do it. It will only show the only 2 parties that seem to exist around here that we are disgusted with how our province is run. More and more people should do this. If only they are as smart as we are.
 

Edward Campbell

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It is important to remember that "Jeffrey Simpson's Canada" starts in Halifax, NS and, pretty much, ends in Windsor, ON. He believes in a Canadian consensus which is crafted in Montreal and Toronto and which is applied to everyone in Canada worthy (those from Eastern Canada) or not (Albertans). He detests Alberta for its wealth, which he believes rightly belongs to Ontario and for its politics, which run counter to his views. Here, reproduced under the fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail, and authenticated by his usual snarly remarks about dirty oil  making "Canada’s already tarnished international image in this field even worse:"

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/an-alberta-shakeup-would-be-felt-across-the-country/article2409502/
An Alberta shakeup would be felt across the country

JEFFREY SIMPSON

From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Apr. 21, 2012

Four different parties have governed Alberta since it joined Canada as a province in 1905. The Wildrose Party has a shot at becoming the fifth on Monday.

Unique among Canadian provinces, Alberta politics feature governing parties being kicked out of office after very long stretches, only to be replaced not by the official opposition but by a new grassroots party. That’s how the United Farmers emerged in 1921 to defeat the incumbent Liberals, how Social Credit won in 1935 and how the Progressive Conservatives were elected in 1971 (although the PCs had existed as a small party before). None had been the official opposition. All grew up outside the traditional party structure, challenged that structure and won. It’s Alberta’s way of giving vent to the democratic instinct for change. Now Wildrose hopes to follow the same path.

Normally, provincial elections don’t much count in the national scheme of things, but this one could be different. Alberta is now so wealthy, in and of itself and by contrast to the rest of Canada, that the whole country will be affected by how it uses that wealth.

Moreover, Alberta is the heartland of the federal Conservative government. What Alberta thinks, how Alberta acts (or reacts), how it regards the federation and how fundamentally it views itself are consequential for Canadians everywhere.

Ontario, you might think, is the most important Canadian province. But Ontario is fiscally crippled and, as such, has turned inward. Quebec is a province apart, not much interested in the rest of Canada. B.C. is larger than Alberta, but it lacks Alberta’s natural resource wealth. Saskatchewan is getting wealthier but lacks Alberta’s population.

What Wildrose would do, if elected, might differ from what it has promised. Governing is tougher and more complicated than talking about governing. But if true to its word, a Wildrose Party could start demanding changes to national equalization so that Albertans would pay less into the scheme.

Equalization is a federal responsibility. So the Harper government could reject such demands. But they would be coming from the federal Conservatives’ own heartland. (More than half of Conservative MPs are believed to be supporting Wildrose.)

A Wildrose government would certainly make the Harper government’s greenhouse gas emissions-reduction target (down 17 per cent by 2020 from 2005 levels) even less likely to be achieved. Wildrose doesn’t believe in human-created climate change and opposes Alberta’s modest existing policies to reduce emissions. Any Alberta pullback would obviously make national progress more difficult, plus make Canada’s already tarnished international image in this field even worse.

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith has mused about looking east for a potential market for Alberta oil, which might mean talking to central Canadian provinces about taking (and refining?) oil. A delegation from Sarnia, Ont., recently visited Alberta to discuss such possibilities.

The Harper government, fixated on shipping oil (and other natural resources) to the United States and Asia, might have to pay attention to such a possibility, which has also been raised by Alberta Premier Alison Redford.

Wildrose has promised to put more fiscal surpluses into the province’s Heritage Fund, whose assets are scandalously low given how much Alberta has made from its resources. When former premier Peter Lougheed ran Alberta, he tried to direct some fund investments at market rates to help less fortunate parts of Canada.

Would a Wildrose government contemplate such a policy? Or would the party prefer, as some Wildrose theoreticians have written, to build “firewalls” around the province – “firewalls” that would include pulling Alberta from the Canada Pension Plan to create a provincial one and ditching the RCMP in favour of a provincial police force.

The Progressive Conservative coalition has broken, with the reincarnation of Social Credit’s early populism re-emerging in Wildrose, leaving PCs as moderate conservatives.

It’s a modern replay of the old Socred-Progressive Conservative/Ernest (and Preston) Manning-Peter Lougheed splits and rivalries, since politics in Alberta are about differences within conservatism. Former premier Ralph Klein contained the splits, but as his grip faltered (and the province became more heterogeneous), the PC coalition fractured.

The playing out of the fracture on Monday will have an impact on the whole country.


Poor Jeffrey: his world is all askew: Harper is in power in Ottawa and Doug Ford is mayor of Toronto, but Naheed Nenshi is mayor of Calgary and head offices, populated by people who buy Simpson dinners, are fleeing Toronto (less quickly now that Rob Ford has replaced David Miller as mayor), and headed to Calgary. And now: Danielle Smith; it's all too much.
 

Edward Campbell

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Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Calgary Sub, is a late poll from Abacus Data:

1. Wildrose leads by a big margin in rural Alberta;

2. Wildrose leaeds in Calgary, but its lead has shrunk a lot;

3. The PCs lead in Redmonton Edmonton; and

4. It looks like a comfortable Wildrose majority government.
 

Brad Sallows

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>“firewalls” that would include pulling Alberta from the Canada Pension Plan to create a provincial one

QC

>and ditching the RCMP in favour of a provincial police force.

ON, QC

Surely a person enamoured of central Canada would applaud such changes.

I do not see a need to worry about equalization payments.  The federal governments decide how to spend their own money.  It's not as if the province of Alberta makes direct payments into a joint account from which it never withdraws.
 

Fishbone Jones

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lethalLemon said:
Do it. It will only show the only 2 parties that seem to exist around here that we are disgusted with how our province is run. More and more people should do this. If only they are as smart as we are.

That's how Bob Rae got Ontario. If you're willing to set your province into a downward spiral, that'll take decades to recover from, go with the protest vote.

That'll shown 'em ;)
 

Retired AF Guy

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Brad Sallows said:
>and ditching the RCMP in favour of a provincial police force.

ON, QC

Let us not forget that all four western forces all had their own provincial police forces at one time or another. The BCPP existed from 1871 right up to 1950. And the Manitoba Provincial Police from 1871 to 1932. So, the idea is not all that strange when you look back in history.
 

ModlrMike

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A provincial force in AB is not at all far fetched. There has been some talk of extending the role of the Sheriff and other law enforcement agencies. The chief argument should be cost. Is it more effective to have your own force, or contract the RCMP?
 

RangerRay

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There has been quite a bit of talk about reverting back to a provincial force in BC, but all analysis has shown that contracting out to the RCMP is a much better deal all round.
 

lethalLemon

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recceguy said:
That's how Bob Rae got Ontario. If you're willing to set your province into a downward spiral, that'll take decades to recover from, go with the protest vote.

That'll shown 'em ;)

NO! Not Bob Rae 2.0!! I guess I'd be better off to... not vote this time? Ed Stelmach was a disappointing disgrace in my opinion and turned me off of the PCs but, my blood is just too blue to go with anyone else (as they tend to serve in my best interests).
 

Edward Campbell

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My sense of things is that Liberal Ontario (e.g. the Globe and Mail and the CBC) is, reluctantly, supporting the Alberta PCs; the conservative media (National Post, Sun newspapers, etc) are, equally generally, supporting the Wildrose team. Many people seem to think that the vote hinges on Calgary, and since the Calgary Herald is, I think, the media "flagship" there, I was interested in which party the Herald endorsed. Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Calgary Herald, is their editorial opinion:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/Editorial+Split+endorsement+Alberta+election+tough+decision/6494981/story.html
Editorial: Split endorsement in Alberta election a tough decision

April 21, 2012

After a fractious election campaign that has exposed the raw nerve of democracy at its shining best, it is clear that Alberta is in political transition. For the first time in almost two decades, the continued dominance of the 41-year-old Progressive Conservative dynasty in Alberta is not a given. It is being challenged by the upstart Wildrose Party — the first credible conservative alternative to the Tories since Peter Lougheed led his party to form a majority government on Aug. 30, 1971.

There is little doubt the Tory brand has been tarnished by a reputation for entitlement and arrogance. For its part, the Wildrose is largely untested. Several of its policies raise concerns, and remarks reflecting intolerance have been a distraction from its commitment to strong fiscal stewardship.

The Calgary Herald editorial board met with all five leaders of the political parties that have a sitting member in the legislature — the Alberta Party, the Alberta Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta and the Wildrose Party. But in terms of who stands a chance to form government, the choice is between Alison Redford’s PCs and Danielle Smith’s Wildrose.

The editorial board, we believe, is a microcosm of the landscape we reflect. Like the Calgary and Alberta populace, we are split.

For the first time in decades — possibly ever — the editorial board could not reach a consensus with regard to whom we should endorse, the Conservatives or the Wildrose.

Despite holding a long, often impassioned but also circumspect discussion on Friday, we remained at an impasse. As a result, we are presenting the case both for the Progressive Conservative Party and for the Wildrose Party separately and urging Albertans to choose based on the issues that matter to them most when they head to the polls on Monday to determine who will govern this province for the next four years.

THE CASE FOR THE PCS: Smart, stable and sure: Redford is the best person to bring Alberta to the world

When she met with the Calgary Herald editorial board earlier this week, Alison Redford looked very much like a person who has been forced to wear the mantle of 41 years of Progressive Conservative rule. She was on the defensive, as is always the case with incumbents.

Near the end of her 45 minutes with us, she was asked about her hopes for a national energy strategy. She was convincing, unwavering and ultimately courageous on an issue that strikes an unjustified fear in the hearts and minds of some Albertans.

She made a strong case for a kind of national and international diplomacy that for far too long has been missing in the often parochial political landscape of Alberta.

“We can’t live in isolation in this province,” the premier said. “We have to know that everything we do is a part of giving us our social licence to operate.”

This is a bold statement by an Alberta premier, and one that may go to the very crux of what is at stake in Monday’s election.

While some Albertans harbour romantic visions of protecting the policies and wealth of the province through firewalls, most want to see an inclusive Alberta that is a strong member of a united Canada and a major player on the world’s stage, promoting our technology, expertise and natural resources.

In a global economy, being insular is simply counter-productive and, in the long run, will damage the future prosperity of this province.

Building a commonality with the rest of Canada, and ultimately the world, is in the best interest of a modern Alberta that is tired of being characterized by old stereotypes.

Redford is unlike anything Alberta has seen in decades — incredibly smart, bilingual, forward-looking and focused on the big picture.

Many feel threatened by this human rights lawyer with an impressive international resume. She has engaged other provinces, such as Quebec, in conversations that have even stunned people like Quebec Premier Jean Charest, who tweeted: “Can she coach the Habs?” Her opponents have taken this as a sign of weakness. Instead, it is an incredible strength.

The party that Redford has inherited is burdened with much baggage.

Preston Manning, writing on these pages this week of impending change, used the analogy of a broom for “spring cleaning” at the Alberta Legislature. Oddly, it is Redford who has wielded just such a broom, sweeping out much of an old guard that is nervous of her progressive views.

“There are political parties out there who are talking about change who are made up of a lot of people who used to be members of this party 20 years ago,” former premier Peter Lougheed recently said in an interview, adding that what Redford is attempting to do is “exceptionally important.”

In her scant six months as premier, Redford has erred, as any new leader, of any party, will do.

Her vision, however, is grand and not easily articulated in sound bites.

Alison Redford deserves a chance to bring that vision forward to Alberta, to Canadians, and to the world.

THE CASE FOR WILDROSE: Danielle Smith has a bold plan that plays to Alberta’s strengths and character

The Wildrose party grew organically out of the fertile ground of Progressive Conservative arrogance and failed policies. Specifically, it sprouted forth after former premier Ed Stelmach clobbered the oil and gas industry by tearing up contracts and hiking royalty taxes, which destabilized Alberta and sent capital scurrying to other markets.

As Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith — who for decades was a devoted Tory — says, conservatives didn’t leave the PCs, the PCs left them.

The Tories have passed five deficit budgets in a row. Every year, spending increases, but health-care outcomes have gotten progressively sicker.

One need only look to Europe and the U.S. to recognize deficits ultimately lead to financial disaster. As Smith points out, had the Tories stuck to her plan of increasing spending only by the rate of inflation and population growth — something she plans to legislate — Alberta would still be running balanced and even surplus budgets.

Returning this province to fiscal responsibility is the first order of business for the Wildrose party. Besides balancing the books, a Wildrose government has a set plan on what to do with any budget surpluses, including growing the Heritage Fund. In addition, one-fifth of any surplus — after all social programs are funded — will be returned to Albertans in the form of an energy dividend, now dubbed “Dani Dollars.”

While controversial, this payment is positive for several reasons. It benefits the poor most of all and leaves less money for the government to waste.

And there’s been plenty of that after four decades of Tory rule. A Wildrose government would immediately cut MLA pay by 30 per cent and eliminate the obscene MLA transition allowance. No longer will MLAs be paid for being on a committee that never meets.

The party’s Accountability Act would remedy much of the corruption and entitlement that has marred the PC legacy. On April 9, the Centre for Law and Democracy ranked Alberta last in its study of comparative government transparency. Smith says the Wildrose would reverse the onus on access to government information. After all, the best disinfectant is sunlight.

Citizen-initiated referendums, the right to recall crooked MLAs and other measures will help ensure that unchecked government arrogance and unpopular measures will not take place. These measures cannot, like their critics claim, be used to take away the rights of minorities. In B.C., for instance, the Harmonized Sales Tax was overturned by referendum. Smith has repeatedly said her party will never legislate on moral issues like abortion and gay marriage, stating that she is “pro-choice and pro gay marriage.”

Intolerant comments by two Wildrose candidates — while distasteful — will not impact Wildrose governance and are not dissimilar to comments made by Tories in the past.

During her Tuesday meeting with the editorial board, Smith spoke passionately about how she always tries to “find areas of common ground.” It’s how she’s been able to build a credible challenge to a 41-year political dynasty in four years. Unlike PC Leader Alison Redford, Smith doesn’t think Alberta needs to change its character.

“I think Alberta’s pretty exemplary and we should continue to be who were are — a province that will lead the country and the world.”

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald


Good luck to members in Alberta who will vote tomorrow.
 
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