Its nice when a plan comes together, isn't it?
After a bit of a rough start, it appears as though Premier Ed Stelmach and his government are really on a roll.
Former Premier Peter Lougheed has come out with a ringing endorsement of the new royalty regime. If there is anyone who understands the difficulties of crafting a plan that takes into account the public good, the importance of a healthy economy, and the fluctuations of political instability, its Lougheed. A feather in the Premier's cap if ever there was one.
Speculation is running rampant that the Premier is going to call a snap election. I don't buy it for two reasons:
First, the party (although in a far better position than any of the others in Alberta) is still not yet in position for an election. There are still a number of ridings who have yet to nominate their top-notch candidates (more on that in a minute). Plus, the government is ready to go for the fall sitting of the Legislature which starts next week.
Second, even though Ed Stelmach has been Premier for less than a year, has he given anyone the impression that he's the kind of guy who makes decisions like this on the fly? I thought not.
Speaking of excellent candidates, internationally-renowed journalist Arthur Kent has announced that he will be seeking the PC nomination in Calgary-Currie. Should he win, he will be taking on a considerably less accomplished journalist in the form of one-term Liberal MLA Dave Taylor. The process of how Kent's candidacy came to be, along with some other interesting snippets, can be found in Don Braid's column. If I were Taylor, i'd have the QR77 HR department ready on speed dial.
Changing track for a moment, I spoke in a previous post of what seemed to be a deliberate effort to discredit the Federal Liberals on the part of the Alberta Liberals. We over on "team blue" aren't embarassed by our federal cousins. We, in fact, embrace them and are proud to share a great many volunteers and supporters. That's why it always nice to see our friends in Ottawa backing us up. I don't hear any Liberal MPs or "Shadow Ministers" coming to back up ole Tafty... maybe they should give this guy a call for support, sounds like he's got some time on his hands.
The Alberta-liberals?-no-liberals-here-Liberal presence in the blogosphere has become decidedly bitter over the last few days. Not surprisingly, since their policy and communications somehow managed to get outsmarted by the likes of Brian Mason. I wonder if we'll start to see them sink into their tired old lines about Albertans being just plain stupid if they vote for (insert PC Leader here)? The way things are going, i'd bank on it.
Speaking of bitter, how can we forget Graham Thomson? In his latest column, he takes his usual swipes at big oil (which, admittedly, they had coming this week). He then pieces together what he's pretty sure is a PC strategy to paint the Premier as dull-but-trustworthy. He paints a back-and-forth account of how Albertans might be reacting to the royalty report, but you can tell which side he's on...remember, this is the guy who once suggested that Kevin Taft was an excellent public speaker.
Graham closes by doing his buddy Taft's job for him, yakking on an on about the Premier's ad campaign in Alberta newspapers. A campaign which tells Albertans that he delivered on a promise he made and informs them of where to go for more information or to provide their feedback on the royalty decision. The thing that really gets me is that he suggests that its something that PC Alberta would have produced, "right down to the blue and yellow colour scheme". I realize that Thomson prefers red, but where has been been since he got off the bus from Ontario 20 years ago? The PC party colours are blue and bright orange, have been since 1971. The official colours of Alberta are blue and yellow, the ones in the aforementioned ad. Get with the program, buddy.
To close on a good note, three cheers to our cousins in Ottawa for another round of tax relief! Its nice to have people getting things done in Ottawa so we can focus on doing the same at home.