News has broken that Calgary Montrose MLA Hung Pham has decided not to seek re-election based on the party's treatment of volunteers who disqualified a potential nomination competitor in 2004.
Now i've said before that I disagree with the notion of leaving volunteers hanging out to dry, particularily if their homes are on the line. That being said, I really don't know any of the intricacies of this dispute and can't really offer any comment as to why the party is proceeding the way they are.
The loss of Hung Pham, on the other hand, won't really cause me to lose sleep. Hung may be a bright guy, but his attendance record at the Legislature suggests that he may be better suited to a career that doesn't involve the responsibilities required of an MLA.
As for the Liberals who are trying to make hay with this story, I would hasten to remind them of an MLA they weren't terribly fond of that they "dealt with" last year.
A little closer to my current locale (though not for long), Canada's Premiers have been meeting to discuss, among other issues, climate change.
The media was speculating that this meeting had the potential to turn into a beat-up-on-Alberta fest as the "green warrior" Premiers sought to further their agenda.
For the record, the Green Warriors are Gordon Campbell (BC), Gary Doer (Manitoba), Dalton McGuinty (Ontario), and Jean Charest (Quebec). All of these gentlemen have been critical of Alberta's green plan. For the most part, they're disingenuous sentiments that have little to do with a real committment to environmental action.
Gary Doer comes from a province with a lot of water and very little industry. It is in his best interests to promote a carbon-trading scheme that will increase wealth transfers to his have-not province.
Jean Charest is in the most precarious political situation of all the Premiers right now. He leads a shaky minority government with not one but two opposition parties hot on his tail. Quebecers are by far the most left-leaning citizens in the nation and still cling to the failed dogma of Kyoto. Any chest-thumping by Jean Charest is done purely to shore up support with his very fragile electorate.
Gordon Campbell, the unofficial leader of these green warriors, has a lot of political eggs in the enviro-basket. Some say he's genuinely concerned about the environment, others would suggest that he's just trying to pre-empt political damage from this brewing storm. To his credit, Premier Campbell is on record as saying "i'm not trying to convince anybody of anything."
As for Dalton McGuinty... my general rule is that if Dalton is pissed off, you're doing something right.
Thankfully, Atlantic Canada's Premiers decided that there were more important issues to discuss. In particular, New Brunswick's Shawn Graham and Nova Scotia's Rodney MacDonald were more concerned about the potential economic downturn in the U.S. and relaxing provincial trade barriers, both of which are very important issues that need to be tackled.
It appears that these two young men were successful in pushing the issue.
Rather than get bogged down in an issue that clearly creates partisan divisions, two young leaders from two of our oldest provinces managed to move an important, pan-Canadian issue forward.
Kudos to Premiers Graham and MacDonald. Some of their veteran counterparts could learn a thing or two from them.