Posts Tagged ‘Alberta Liberals’


It is official, the Wildrose Party and Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta have a betrothal agreement.  I am going to avoid soap boxing about allusions to the McKay-Harper merger fiasco federally that put centrists out of the party structure and those not wanting the merger unable to vote. Even though under 60% of eligible voters for each party (55-PC; 57ish-WRP) voted to give the 95% YES for both parties (and ignoring the WRP PIN issuing issues).

But the membership that did vote, much like any election the citizens that did vote, carry the mandate and form the government–or in this case the new party.

Yes it does alter the landscape politically whether or not one wants to admit it. Much like the fall of the 44 year dynasty (though I stretch that conservative control back further to Ernest Manning’s So-Creds after Aberhart’s transition, but very few historians back my opinion) fell to Rachel Notley’s NDP. We are 2ish years into a 4 year mandate for what could be another dynasty, a transitional pivot, or a course correction for Albertans where we allow our compassion, rationality and pragmatism to enter fully into our voting so we no longer elect dynasties (minority government anyone? Just for a few terms to correct much of the muck that is our money eating bureaucracy?).

But is the UCP the utopia that will accomplish this? One cannot say as they are a vote tally, and a name. What is being seen, much like the federal vote of merger is an exodus by Red Tories seeking a new political home–this federally gave bumps to Greens, Liberals and NDP, but also the formation of smaller parties like the Progressive Canadian Party as these centrists searched for political home.

That is the story of Alberta currently. The Alberta NDP is calling on them to take out a membership, so is the Alberta Party and Alberta Liberal Party (just look at the Centre Together movement that meets in Red Deer).  There is an open call, and a caution. Slow down when seeking the new home, or the first home. Really explore all options on the table. Contemplate, meet your local associations and members (for it is not just policy, but those members in your area you will be a apart of)…and simply see where you fit?  It may surprise you.  Also remember a strong party regardless of size allows members to speak into all aspects, and craft the policies that shape the party.

The landscape is re-shaping in Alberta. It is our time as Albertans to put out there we no longer want decisions made by blind ideology, rather we want solid Peace, Order and Good Governance that has citizens, not PACS-lobbyists or politicians, best interests at heart.

Begin your party search here (for those with websites simply click on the name, otherwise office contact is listed):

Alberta First Party:

Alberta Liberal Party

Alberta New Democratic Party

Alberta Party

Communist Party Alberta

Green Party of Alberta

Pro-Life Alberta Political Association (Formerly Social Credit)

United Conservative Party (UCP-PCAA & UCP-WRP)

Reform Party of Alberta

I also encourage you to keep your ears open for local Independent candidates in your riding that you resonate with to support. For every voice in the legislature matters for crafting the best social contract.

…We’re practical and generous and open and bold. We want responsible and accountable spending. At the same time we’re willing to pay fair value for efficient and effective government services, but we want to know each and every dollar is put to good use…

-Greg Clark, Alberta Party Leader excerpt from Facebook Post July 22, 2017

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The province’s slashing of more than a third of an injury prevention program’s budget will wound Albertans, Liberal leader Dr. David Swann said Friday. Last year, the NDP government reduced its funding to the Injury Prevention Centre at the University of Alberta from $1,585,500 to $1 million, a nearly 37 per cent cut, said Swann. He’s…

via Alberta Grits take aim at funding cut to injury prevention centre — Calgary Herald


This is an open letter to the Minister of Education David Eggen, and to the Calgary Board of Education from a father of a special needs child.

This is not a letter focused on the unconstitutionality of school fees; or the ridiculousness and injustness of paying busing fees when a coding system makes my son a number, and I have no choice where to send him because his local school cannot support him, although those are pieces of a system not seeing a full child.

This is from a father grieving with his young son over the loss of a best bud. Think of when you were in elementary school and your partner in shenanigans and adventures? Now think back to what would happen if they died?

What happens in the CBE special needs world?

A form letter home to parents and then nothing. You as a parent are left to tell your child that their friend will no longer be in school, or coming over.

What I know in the typically developing stream of public schools a death of a classmate, a school shooting would result in deployment of grief counsellors to support staff and students in the process moving forward.

But, the special needs world it is crickets we are met with. Silence, not even personal phone calls to the actual classmates families (c’mon you are looking at classes of smaller than 14); and then staff who are suffering in an abnormality of a child not out living their parents, and expected to still do their jobs same day and moving forward.

Speak of trauma? When the response is: well death is a normal part of this community. Pardon my language but Bollocks. This is about kids, pure and simple, that are there one day, and gone the next never to come back, and adults and students left to process or not process.

So this is one father’s plea. Please quit reducing my child to not a full person, he hurts, he cries, he can use support. When any child (regardless of coding) passes away in the school system, please please please, bring the resources around that community to heal and move forward. So staff, students, and in case of financial stresses, parents–can access on site support to help them grieve and heal healthily.

Because silence just perpetuates silence and silence is pain, and yes silence is neglect, and silence can be abuse.

We are better than this.

Thank you.

Sincerely

One Father who has shed far to many tears with his son for such a short life time.


It is weird on the day we honour the mass lynching of anywhere from 3 to 300 with the way showerer, Jesus of Nazareth by the oppressive powers we have a debacle of Roman Empire proportions playing out in the U.S. of A Presidential Primaries. Trump/Cruz/Clinton playing out with announcements of sex scandals, misogyny, leaked e-mails, who gets funds from whom, which party is responsible for ISIL/ISIS—and yet there is a loss of reality in that all those vying to lead are from the 1% whether they are party insiders or outsiders, using the fear speech of economics; fear speech of religion, or fear speech of whatever what is being propagated is a level of energy of hatred and fear of other.

Now I am not writing this as a Canadian to bash my neighbours to the south, in Alberta we have our own issues of fear mongering and 1% attempt at rule. The #YYCGreenway by-election that was narrowly won by Prab Gill showed signs of what is wrong with our body politic. Whether it was scandals or pseudo scandals emerging on the Wildrose Candidate around illegal pay for workers; or the Alberta Liberals running a former Wildrose Candidate who may or may not have made up membership when he was with the WRP (can’t the Grits find any Grits to run? Why always former conservatives?); I won’t even touch the almost Trumpesque views of Independent Larry Heather or the NDP candidate that had a break down not being able to handle being the party in power candidate during a debate. It was a debacle more focused on if the former PC dynasty’s life support system was going to let the party crouch along, what message would be sent to the NDP, and if the results could lead to a WRP takeover of the right?

So why this early morning ramble? Simple, there is something the electorate through the false argument of A-P-A-T-H-Y has allowed to slip out of our body politic. That is actual leadership.

We have taken this idea from the Harris/Klein “Common Sense” revolutions that destroyed the “Just Society” of Canada, the ideals of partisanship above leadership and made our party colours more important than local candidates, and the cult of party leader personality instead of local representation to lead us.

Due to this we have allowed the party mechanism to not have to put forward vision. They debate bank balances, they debate why this platform is wrong, or why this law is wrong, not functioning in the opposition benches to improve the bills and laws put forward. You know actually working for citizens?

What can change?

Simple, I actually provincially like the Alberta Party’s idea of  having to live in the actual constituency you are running in. That way you are actually connected and held accountable by neighbours.

Part of it as well, is an idea, should we elect the Premier/Prime Minister separately from the local member? What about going back to an older idea of the Great Depression in Alberta where the United Farmers would run a slate of independents and then the members of the Legislature would elect whom they wanted as the Premier. Think about that needing to be local, and then all the local candidates needing to decide who they would hold to account as the First Minister, then the cabinet having to be non-partisan multi-party with membership percentages made up of party vote percentage, and caveats to appoint independents. But also, the portfolios the ministers are given they have to show how they are qualified.

Why?

The hope would be to move beyond petty squabbling, beyond griping and fear mongering. The idea would be then that each candidate would need to cast a vision, and then work with the broader communities to shape a better governance like the Canadian Constitution Act 1982 guarantees: Peace, Order, and Good Governance.

It also makes each local race important, and opens up the possibility of a wider cross section as candidates are sought out locally based on their character and passion.

Just some Saturday morning thoughts on the state of politics and desperately wanting leaders to rise up for a change.

 


Ah with 29 MLA’s either resigning or running under a different party colour (thank you Wildrose Defection Fleet). And add to that the “needing a new mandate for the rough economic times ahead” jargon from Premier Prentice with the smoke & mirrors of a 5% Cabinet wage roll back, well…the air this end of winter is smelling like Election.

So it is time to shift gears in our conversations from those things under Federal Jurisdiction in the Constitution Act 1982, to those things under the auspices of the provinces. Within Alberta one of the major things is Schools. The lack of space, the “lottery” horror (c’mon I buy a house across the street from a school, I should be able to have my kids cross the road and go to that school), grading, curriculum, use/over use of technology, lack of schools, and general maintenance being on the decline as there is a shift from janitorial and cleaning to “sanitizing”.

Okay so the state is abysmal, and our lovely Education Minister Gordon Dirks won his seat in a by-election by promising his area to fast track schools, and that promise while the Ethics Commissioner cleared him of wrong doing has been back pedalled on.

So what do we know about Alberta schools funding?

Mostly through Casinos.

There is property tax where a home owner can declare Public or Seperate Board. From the Public monies public schools, charter schools and private schools (private schools receive 70% of their funding from taxes) are funded.

Thoughts are to maintain the status quo.

Move to a grade free system for marking or to move back to a more traditional school curriculum to ensure students learn the basics well, or a hybrid of something in the middle.

For funding, it does need to be funded properly, reliant on an overtaxed volunteer pool and economically strapped homes to continually fund raise is insanity. And this is my only statement on school fees: Unconstitutional.

As for bussing fees? This is only an issue because local public schools cannot handle local students. In the case of special needs students who have no choice on the school they attend it is a disgrace that families need to pay to transport.

Now as for governance of schools there are some things to think through and question candidates and parties on:

1) Should we elect school board trustees?

2) Local boards or mega boards?

3) Eliminate school boards all together and move to a streamlined administrator for each county/city that administers the budgets to local principals and empowers them and the PTA’s to deem hiring choices of staff, etc.

Now comes the touchy questions, what to do with our multiple school systems:

1) Do we strip public monies from private schools?

2) Do we continue to have both public and seperate schools? Charter Schools? Or for better use of monies do we have a plebiscite on merging these all into one streamlined public system?

Even if you do not have children, or yours have grown and left the system, our public education system a cornerstone of a healthy democracy and society. It is where children should learn to care for their community, a public school can become a soul of energy for a community, it is also, and yes this is a scary word, where children learn to value multi-culturalism, and become citizens with healthy and good values. Yes values, morals, ethics, things that aid in building a decent human being. When schools are healthy, and house holds are healthy, and they work together then our children flourish into adults that transform our society for the better.

Where do you stand with the School Question?


Okay the Wildrose Party has made history in Alberta if not the Commonwealth, by having 12 of their 17 elected MLA’s leave caucus, 11 for the governing Progressive Conservative Dynasty, and one as an independent. Whether or not one believes the Wildrose can come back from this mutiny which included their leader is where one falls within the Conservative Camps.

BUT…

From an outside perspective this has opened up something fresh in provincial politics in my mind that can be taken advantage of to make our province better for Albertans, and yes it may sound like an old hobby horse of mine, but really it is  a time for the centre-left (some aptly dubbed Progressive) parties to move beyond their affixed branding, and to embrace that which unites rather than divides. Stretch the tent wide, this was what led to the original creation of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and almost toppled dynasties, brought about medicare etc.and it was by many of the smaller parties and movements creating a broad tent movement to move forward.

So, to the Alberta NDP, Alberta Liberals, Alberta Party, Alberta Greens, Alberta Communist Party, and other social action groups in the province. We are on the cusp of what some pundits believe could be a snap provincial election call in Spring 2015, the official opposition appears D.O.A., and a new voice needs to emerge, a new meta-narrative needs to be painted for Albertans, as nearly 50 years of one party rule, 6 premiers, a fresh voice and eyes are necessary.

The question to those outside the PC Caucus is simple, are you willing to drop your brand, release that which divides, and focus on the key values, points and messages that unite to move forward and provide a choice, strong leadership, new vision, and inspire voters that normally would not come out to the polls that voting is not just a right and a privilige, but a valued necessity in creating a just society.

So, it is down to Albertans, and 9 MLA’s who sit on the alleged “Left”…is a new vision going to emerge?


The leadership race to replace Swann is on: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Party+future+stake+Alberta+Liberal+leadership+race/5353346/story.html?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-edmontonjournal but are the Alberta Liberals a true progressive party, or just a party that will do anything to seek power as they vote to reidentify themselves in the Centre-Right world of PC/Wildrose?

This is a leadership race that votes on Saturday to decide the heart and soul of the first governing party of Alberta, but perhaps what needs to be decided in a landscape where the Alberta Party exists, the Communist, NDP, Wildrose and PC’s just what is the relevance of the provincial Grits?