Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Half-measures and Double-standards

While Premier Stelmach was busy proposing sensible policies that will help some of the most vulnerable people in our society, Kevin Taft and the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight were busy trying to play policy twister with two left feet.

This morning in Calgary, Taft and Dave Taylor found themselves once again harping on about rent controls. Comrades Taft and Taylor propose a two-year cap on rent hikes of 10% a year, then, as Taylor says, they'd get rid of the program.

So exactly what are they going to do when their program ends and landlords start raising rents again to make up for the 2-year cap?

My personal theory is that after 2 years of a Liberal government (shudder), the demand for housing in Alberta would be drastically lower than it is today. Perhaps the Liberals have started to realize this... but I doubt it.

Seriously though, there are plenty of tools to deal with skyrocketing rents without resorting to such drastic interventionism... particularily when, as the Liberals propose, the interventionist measures are repealed causing the market to undergo an adjustment even more drastic than the current increases.

Moving north, Taft rolled on up to Edmonton this afternoon to talk about items in his Capital City manifesto... er... agenda.

Among his proposals is an item that would bring 500 new faculty members and 2500 new Graduate students to the University of Alberta.

Not a bad idea, admittedly. But, given the Liberal harping about the Premier's proposals to graduate more students in the medical and health science fields, isn't it a bit hypocritical to then go and announce an even bigger boost?


  1. "Seriously though, there are plenty of tools to deal with skyrocketing rents without resorting to such drastic interventionism"

    What's so drastic about it? And what would your alternative tools be?

    And if you don't see the difference between the Liberal annoucement and Stelmach's pulling doctors out of a hat...

  2. I agree with you that the Liberals are a little lost. 'Re-regulate electricity to lower Albertans’ power bills'... just the thought of it makes me shudder a little. But can we really re-elect someone like Stelmach, who shocked the Alberta Economy by 'Getting his Fair Share.' I'm really stuck on who I'm going for, but it won't be the PC's. Wild Rose maybe...?

  3. Stelmach himself admitted he couldn't train that many doctors a year, and his handlers admitted the they would only produce 50 new spots province wide. Since med school at U of A takes four years, and U of C takes 3 years, 50 spots would produce a grand total of 15 new doctors a year!

    Training people in anything but medicine is almost invariably cheaper! I don't remember there being a run on philosophy profs ever, and same with all of the sciences.

    If Stelmach hadn't voted for budgets that cut the number of training spots in the 90s maybe we wouldn't be in this problem today.

  4. Does dumping on the other guys ill thought out policies simply mean you have none of your own?

    There are very many reasons not to vote Liberal.

    Is there any reason to vote PC?

    Is that crickets I hear?

  5. time for a changeFebruary 07, 2008

    Albertatory, I'm looking forward to your post on the conflict of interest regulations story!

    Or is amending the Act on Monday (right before the election was called) in order to provide an out for all the retiring tory aides and MLAs part of the "sensible policies" you support?

  6. I agree with time for a change. At one time I actually felt bad for Stelmach, being left to clean up the massive corruption, crumbling infrastructure, and social problems left by King Ralph. But then Eddy goes and pulls possibly the shadiest move since the EUB Spy Scandal. I don't understand how Conservatives can look the other way on such an obvious lack of accountability on the part of the Premier and his caucus.

  7. Doesn't look like a promise broken to me? The government is bringing in conflict of interest rules. Just because they extend something by 6 months doesn't mean they aren't doing it.

    Sometimes people who haven't ever had the experience of being in government or working in government forget that government does not usually have the option of implementing programs and infrastructure on a dime/whim.