Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Maybe it is time for a new face in Alberta politics?

Back in December of 2011 I started to write a piece about the political landscape in Alberta and what options were available to voters.Unfortunately at the time other things caught my interest and life in general was keeping me pretty busy, so I filed away what I had written with the intention of one day blowing the dust off and posting it. Well yesterday, the front page of the Edmonton Sun caught my eye, or more to the point the results of a recent poll in Alberta awakened me. In a nutshell the headline was a simple one, big bold letters, a picture of our current Premier, Alison Redford photoshopped to appear to be staring down Danielle Smith leader of the Wildrose Party of Alberta and the text.....

Conservatives - 34% vs Wildrose - 29%
Redford - 33% vs Smith 25%

So what's it mean? well on the surface it appears that the Conservatives have a 5 point lead, and that people in general have a fondness for Redford over Smith. However, one poll does not win an election, so here's my December piece with the dust blown off and a few more paragraphs added.

The landscape of Alberta politics hasn't changed much since 1971 when Peter Lougheed and the Conservative party ousted the governing Social Credit party who had ruled the province for the 36 years previous. In fact Alberta has only had four political parties form it's provincial government throughout its history with the current ruling Conservatives still holding the office after close to 40 years. so it's safe to say voters here are not the type that flip-flop a great deal.

On the other hand, like many Albertan's I am starting to become very disillusioned with the "Conservatives" who in the last few years appear to be moving from the right towards the center, in an effort to be everything to everyone. Add to that our current Premier, Allison Redford virtually bought the top job and that the last couple of weeks have brought to light some serious abuse of taxpayer funds by MLA's. Sum it all up and I  find myself looking for an alternative in this years provincial election. So what lies on the horizon?

Well the sad fact is that it is a pretty barren landscape. The closest thing that Alberta currently has to a truly right wing party is the Wildrose Party. Now while Danielle Smith, the leader of the Wild Rose party talks a pretty good fight the reality is they have only been able to actually elect one MLA, the other three sitting MLA's in the party got there by crossing the floor from the current ruling Conservative party. Although this adds to Wildrose numbers on paper it doesn't sit well with me personally as a voter. These three individuals were elected as Conservatives, I imagine if the electorate in these riding's had wanted a Wild Rose MLA they would have voted accordingly. But, I'm a big boy and realize that my whining about this doesn't change much, particularly when it is not the biggest challenge the Wildrose party faces.

The ruling party always goes into an election with a major advantage, they hold the public purse strings. So it's possible in months to come we will see a spending spree with all sorts of wishes being granted (the new Hockey Arena in Edmonton comes to mind, maybe an injection of cash into long term care beds, etc). No guarantee's, but it's a tried and proven method used by politicians. This would be a fiscal disaster for a province planning a deficit already, on a budget that allows for revenues to swing up to 20% either way!

But (sadly, there's always a but), the bigger issue with the Wildrose Party is simple, they have no experience. The party came to life in 2007, just a scant 5 years ago. The party leader, Danielle Smith does not even hold a seat in the legislature. She has never served in government, her prior experience was as in media and working for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Now none of this is necessarily bad as a strong argument could be made that the party and the leader are not "tainted" by years of working within a bureaucracy. But the flip side of the coin is that the province of Alberta operates with an annual budget in the ten's of billions and not particularly a place where you want an individual learning through on the job training.

Last but not least is the fact that they seem to be a little weak on details. A visit to their website finds that while it is chocked full of big bold statements of how poorly the current government is performing and the sweeping changes the Wildrose party will make if elected, there are little if any real details. Hire 1400 teachers, hire 1000 nurses, etc, etc, etc, Now when it comes to where the money comes from they are even more vague. Now trust me on this one, there are few that can claim they want to see a reduction in government spending and waste more than I do, but come on Danielle provide some solid details rather than sweeping statements. Many of the cost saving measures proposed could take years to complete, but you plan to come out of the gate hiring literally thousands of professionals. Also you may want to consider the fact that at present hundreds of nurses are not exactly roaming the streets looking for work.

The bottom line is that after all is said and done I am still not convinced that the Wildrose party is getting my vote in the next election. We just might be better of with the "devil we know", this time around or at least until the alternative has a plan with a bit more meat on the bones.


  1. The Wildrose Party was formed in 2002.

    It's going to be 10 years old in October of this year.

    It will be contesting its third general election and second Senate election.

    1. Interestingly enough the first place I went after reading your comment was the Wildrose Parties website to check their history. Unfortunately, maybe I missed it but it is no where to be found.

      On the other hand here is a news story from 2007 stating they had just applied to the province to be registered as a political party


      I will keep researching but I suspect the differnce in dates relates to when the party was formed and when it became registered.

      Hey, but thanks for the conmment


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