Posts Tagged ‘Alberta Votes’

A Province Grieving

Posted: April 9, 2019 by Ty in Alberta Politics
Tags: , , ,

It is hard to fathom that Alberta is only 107 years old. We have seen a lot of change in that time, and have been the instigators of quite a few. From the Famous Five and the battle for Women’s rights (yes I realize I am short forming, but please forgive as it is a post, feel free to flesh out more in the comments with information) to launching two political movements:

  1. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation which led to the NDP which brought us amazing things such as Universal Health Care, Pastor Tommy Douglas led the charge from Saskatchewan as he believed no one should suffer because of inability to pay.
  2. The Social Credit Movement which brought about some pilots of things to be solidified later. Yes it did, Rev. William Aberhart laid the planking for that. The concept of Social Credit, that is essentially free money to the populace, was a plan out of Britain if I recall, and it brought the SoCreds from a coffee party discussion and radio broadcast to governance beating out the United Farmers of Alberta. Now pause and think, what are monies from governments to aid one to not be in poverty? Alberta Works, AISH, Child Tax Benefit, Carbon & GST Rebate. Plus his protege and successor, Ernest Manning created the citizens royalty plan for our oil so well used and leveraged for economic’s by PC premiers Lougheed and Getty.

In the 1990’s we say a rise of populism as a party essentially campaigned against themselves. The Klein way hit, and hit hard. Reading back on his movements inner circle they admit they had no plan. They had a slogan and started slashing. They moved our resource (oil) from a citizens commodity to a company right, gutting royalties but it was hardly noticed as the price of oil per barrel was insane. Systems of care were shifted to prove need and that you are not (the great WASP myth) abusing it, and things like disability and AB Works (Welfare) became harder to get and at this juncture were not about living (Redford did bring in an AISH raise, but that was almost a full or half-generation later depending on how you count generations). Seniors lost their supports, and what was given back was a pittance. Universal health care was tinkered with under the auspices of the “The Third Way” and hospitals were closed and imploded, the beds not fully replaced. We knew back then that the Baby Boom was the largest looming generation of retirement yet we were not planning to care for these elders to be, instead we placed money over citizens.  It led to incomplete transitions for folks needing full time medical or mental health supports as large institutions closed but they were not fully transitioned into smaller homes, or group homes, many ended up in Homeless shelters.

Public schools under the auspices of parents choice bled students, funding eroded, and drop out rates increased as big oil advertised good work (and yes we knew it was a crisis as many mentoring non-profits popped up attempting to stop the bleeding of Gen X and elder Millenials).

It was also the 1990’s that showed Alberta’s hate proud. We had a KKK Rally and cross burning that made national news (sadly I cannot remember the exact township). Jim Keegstra our public school teacher and Holocaust denier made the news of being in and out of courts. At some point Keegstra was silenced, and the KKK lost their provincial non-profit/charitable status (can’t remember if the government pulled it, or they forgot to file some taxes and it was quietly closed). It was also in the 1990’s that the Government attempted to exert their censorship muscles by creating banned book lists in public schools (published on the first day of Freedom to Read week, oh the irony) and threatened theatre companies funding for putting on plays such as “Angels in America”.

(Neo)-Nazi the term alt-right is en-vogue pointing out that Nazi’s were about white supremacy, yes and no, and only anti-semitic, yes and no. Nazi’s were filled with hate. The co-opted Norse Mythology for their imagery much like other extremist groups have co-opted Christianity or Islam today. The Holocaust not only involved 6 million Jewish folks. The zyklon B gas chambers was tested for efficacy with German citizens who were Roma, LGBTQ2+, Persons with Disabilities, and mental health concerns (about 7 million we know of). Medical experiments were run on folks of multiple births (twins, etc) as they gave a control subject. The prime drive was an enforced tier system of humanity where some were full people and other’s not (also noted in Stalinism’s brutality and murders, take any spectrum full circle and you get extremists and hate nothing more).

Liqour stores privatized and so did registries. They finally ended the tiered minimum wage for workers under 18 and over 18 years old.

In the 2000’s we were advertising we were open for business, but the jobs available that drew folks could not pay the cost of living. Emergencies were declared in homeless shelters in winters. Oh, and parents now could sign off on their 12 year olds working at places such as fast food restaurants.

Premier Stelmach attempted to create royalties on oil focused on the citizens products, not the companies and well he was not premier very long.

And it was deemed good by the small percentage that turned up to vote in the polls. Eventually any governing party runs out of steam, and after 44 years, and 7 premiers the PC Party lost the 2015 election to the New Democratic Party (going from 4 seats to government). They inherited what had happened a generation ago, the austerity cuts that had left huge infrastructure and capacity gaps (literally crumbling schools). To offset this as well, the usual way the Alberta Government and people were comfortable with solving issues, the price of oil had tanked and was not looking like it was going to return. Jobs were lost. The types of jobs that with oil prices regressing big companies realized were not necessary, and could be handled with new technologies.

Like anything, the cycle of change:

Image result for stages of changeWhere do you see yourself in the emerging Alberta? Your neighbours? Our politicians and media? I believe as a province as a whole we are in the pre-contemplation to contemplation stage of change. Which is why it is so easy to be divisive, to use attack ads, to yell sound bytes, to not have actual debates and conversations of issues. Most importantly, to not realize that local action can create ripples that change outwards for the positive.

Being in the first two pieces of the cycle has us reflect on grieving. It became a pragmatic expertise era of working with students as mentor and guide for almost 2 decades from multiple disciplines:

Image result for kubler ross stages of griefWe are living through a province fluctuating between denial, anger and bargaining. Our leaders, are managers trying to keep their bases appeased and not willing to take a risk to speak into the void of pain. To let the silence do the heavy lifting.

Why?

The cycle of depression, before acceptance is scary, and it is where our province as a whole needs to move. Once into acceptance we can move into the stages of change into preparation, action plan and maintenance. But the first step in actual Peace, Order and Good Governance for the citizens.

For a theory that may be more visual to get, I like the U Theory:

Image result for u theoryWe as a whole province are stuck in the downloading arc. We cannot get past the letting go in a collective understanding of who we are and what our vocation is?

April 16 is a big day for Alberta because it is our time to decide to enter authentically into grief, healing and a new dawn. To do that though we must move beyond the rhetoric, the hate, the attack ads. We must demand better of those who want to represent us.

We must let go, and let come the new Alberta.

VOTE HOPE.

Experience grief, and heal.

 


For those that have followed my winding writing career, they may recall a short-lived e-letter I published in the ealry 2000’s that covered general thoughts, politics, current events, and some short writings. So riding back from Red Deer, AB road trip with the family, and thinking of all the writing projects in my mind, this came to mind as the best format… so without further ado welcome to Ecclectica 2015 edition dear reader.

Spiritual Life April 2015:

It is astounding the liberation of the soul that came over me, as I stood before the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living on April 19 with my son, and wife. As each of us was asked to share our thoughts around the Centre, my son, who has inspired me to ensure the love of the Cosmic Christ always comes first, scooped the mircrophone, brought his vocal spasticity under control, and very clearly said to the crowd at SAIT’s Orpheus Theatre “Thank you for welcoming me, love you.” And yes the long night of the soul for a journey of home has been found.

It is also unique as this was the month at Unity of Calgary, that the wife and I stumbled across the Metaphysical Bible Courses offered by SEE Outreach, and yes, it has invigorated our family’s historic faith story, with the new fork in the road we are following.

Alberta Votes 2015

  • Election called a year early and reveals the cracks in the 44 year dynasty of PC’s. Not the least of which being Education Minister Gordon Dirks blaming school boards for his decisions, or Premier Jim Prentice showing his sexism at the leader’s debate.
  • Greg Clarke leader of the Alberta Party released a great policy platform that I hope other parties will adopt and make a reality, a reduction of Legislature seats from 87 to 61. I would go even further and say cut them directly in half.
  • It is becoming more and more evident the major cost for the social safety net, health care and public education is the command and control bureaucratic infrastructure. So the easiest way to redirect monies to the core services needed would be to abolish the administrators and management tears between the minister and the local administrator. As well, merge seperate/charter/public schools into one public institution, and force private schools to fund themselves 100% NO PUBLIC FUNDS (oh and the same for private health care inititatives).
  • Please Alberta Liberals, Alberta Party and Green Party following this election cycle aid all citizens and MERGE into one centre-left option.
  • Remember this election has come 1 year early. It was called after poltiical backroom shenanigans that saw the Official Opposition gutted by a mass floor crossing (Yes Wildrose and PC’s why should we trust?), and a budget that put the middle, working and lower Class Albertans ability to afford to live clearly in the target sites, while allowing corporations and the wealthy to continue growing their wealth.
  • May 5, 2015 please make this the election you vote in.

Before May 5, I encourage you to gather with neighbours and friends in your living rooms and kitchens over tea and coffee and discuss the issues, and question the local candidates about what you need from an MLA.

Robert B. Parker Paperdoll

This is just an aside as I have been working at collection Robert B. Parker novels since his passing (I loved them from high school forward). And the re-read of Paperdoll was a great scene that shows how literature can normalize life. It is a scene with Spenser and Farrell (a cop) discussing Farrell’s life partner dying of AIDS. The just is beautiful, as Spenser the penultimate thug, basically lays out to Farrell what a crappy situation he is in to be loosing the one he loves.

Canada Votes 2015

Six months until voters go to the polls Federally, so I encourage you to begin meeting with your neighbours to discuss the state of our Confederation, and how to make it better (remembering the first step is always marking your X on election day).

One of the out there ideas for reform that came from a coffee klatch I was apart of is abolishing the Senate, Governor General and House of Commons altogether and replacing these federal bodies with an annual meeting of provincial and territorial leaders, the 13 gathered would need to elect a chairperson, and then through consensus craft the budget for the coming year.

Taxes: a progressive income tax would be good, increased corporate tax rates, and an simplification of tax structures. Canada Revenue knows if they owe you or you owe them. April 30 just have a bill or cheque come to one’s mail box. In regards to small business and GST, just have it collected and sent. For rebates to private citizens, just knock it off, what a wasteful bureacracy.

Harper continuing Mulroney Era sell off of Canada with this week’s fire sale of the WCB to Saudi Arabia.

Finding Joe–the Hero’s Journey

Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living’s Friday Night Happy Hour was movie night, and the movie was inspiring as it tied modern day teachers, actors, and entrepreneurs into Joseph Campbell’s teachings around the Hero’s Journey.

This brought out two thoughts on my part:

  1. I am re-entering the fun of the late 1980’s run fof Justice League International the era of “One Punch”, “Bwahahahaha”, “Blue  & Gold”, and “oreos” to name but a few. It was a team of quirks that each story cycle had something new discovered, look them up for a fun read.
  2. For my own journey and passions. Chase one’s bliss, the family is working on recreating our vision at home after a few bumpy years of forced sabbatical, and that is moving to a home that is a community hub. Which if all goes as planned will include a little living library in our front lawn, and the back yard being redeveloped as community garden, with a metaphysical bible study in the fall, and sporadic movie nights ourselves.
  3. But the second thought coupled with the Spiritual homecoming, has led to a sense of coming discernment for renewing my pastoral vows within New Thought, and which well of this stream of the river is to be drank from.

Paddington the Movie

The family road trip today that sparked this throw back, enjoyed a trip to Red Deer’s cheap cinema where I could share a piece of my childhood, Paddington Bear, with my kids with the new movie that came out. The prognosis, if you want a fun movie watch it. If you want a movie for a spiritual movie discussion night–watch it. If you want a movie for a family movie night–watch it.

The Paddington Movie is a hero’s journey to discover one’s bliss of belonging in a home and family.

A story all to familair in the West for how ofter it is not achieved. So this week dear reader, spend time discovering and following your bliss.

Spend time, living into and out of a sense of home where ever you find yourself.

-30-


Glenn’s debate wrap-up video released – watch it now

Posted by Brian Thiessen 103pc on April 13, 2012 · Flag

Glenn_jeans_2.pngWatch Glenn share the Alberta Party‘s perspective on all of the debate questions.

During the televised leaders debate over 1700 Albertans followed Glenn’s live blog (read the transcript).  We’ve received tremendous feedback on our innovative and positive approach to participating in tonight’s debate – despite not being invited.

Immediately after the debate, Glenn and I filmed the Debate Wrap Up Video, where Glenn provides the Alberta Party’s responses to all of the questions raised in the debate.

Please share this video.

Since we didn’t have the opportunity to partcipate in the televised debate, we need your help to share this important video.  Please use the Facebook and Twitter buttons below to share this page.

It’s working! Our impact is growing every day.

All of our hard work is starting to pay off and the Alberta Party’s message is spreading faster than ever. With your continued help, we can make a huge impact in this election! Thank you for all of your support!

Brian Thiessen
President, Alberta Party

PS
– Have you updated your profile image on Facebook and Twitter to show your support for the Alberta Party?  Visit our do-it-yourself campaign tools page to download a special Alberta Party profile image.

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Thin-skinned Wildrose bullies attack the media, again.

The Wildrose Party is proving to be more thin skinned, and bullish than the Klein Government of 1993-2006 that saw a decimation of social programs; health care; etc (any historian or Poli worth their salt knows the tale). Klein dissasociated many reporters (rumour being me among the black listed while I was still in High School).

Yet here the WRP is lashing out at journalists attempting to discover truth in their sound bite vote buying platform planks. My dialogues on twitter with their supporters veers very closely into confusion, as the party’s policy writers do not seem to understand the Canadian Constitution Act 1982 (or the BNA Act 1867 for that matter) or the Health Act; the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (and what our rights actually are as Canadians–sorry we are not Americans);the history or character of our province, the diversity of our citizenry in culture, religion, age and socio-economics or the basics of capacity issues when it comes to growing social sectors; the impact of privatization. The fact that school fees are actually illegal and not just a financial impediment to the family.

But why do one’s homework in regards to those you are seeking to lead? Why not just blow smoke and mirrors… this is the result, motions to eliminate communication, and the ability to create accountability and transparency. The question is not just eliminating those things they view as ineffective, but truly understanding why they exist (much like the Human Rights Commission and legislation they want to abolish) and how to make them actually work properly.

But the question does arise, how do they hope to make this all happen? Let’s be honest, it is not the first time a Conservative Party has sold Albertans a “golden ticket solution” to our problems. Sic Klein and Harper’s $100 a month cheque for child care.

Just sayin’ before voting this April 23, scratch the surface, ask the questions, and find the answers…