Thursday, February 21, 2008


Today has been a relatively light news day on the campaign trail. Lots of post-debate reaction, but I've already said my piece on that so I didn't feel the need to repeat it. I was almost worried that I wasn't going to have much to blog about today...

... until I saw this.

The Premier describes the Liberal plan as "absurd". I couldn't agree more.

In a truly stunning display of ineptitude, Professor Taft and his crew have presented a supposed costing of their platform that accounts for LESS THAN A THIRD of their platform committments. Apparently, only telling Albertans how they're going to pay for SOME of their plans should be perfectly acceptable.

Equally absurd is the illusion that the Liberals will be able to squeeze $1.6 billion more out of government coffers by reallocating funds that are currently being spent. They contend that the Government of Alberta is rampant with waste and reallocating $1.6 billion should be a piece of cake. Of course they don't give us anywhere near $1.6 billion dollars in examples.

The Liberals still refuse to offer Albertans a fully-costed platform, instead choosing do a half-ass job of trying to paint themselves as a credible, fiscally responsible alternative. I look forward to the laughs that the words "Liberal" and "fiscally responsible" being used in the same sentence will ellicit across Alberta.

The half-ass job of painting themselves as credible and fiscally responsible, by the way, is again shown in a rambling pdf document from the Liberal website that seems to offer more in the way of excuses than an actual plan. I intend to debunk this in detail tomorrow, but one piece that did catch my eye was where they explain that their position on funding for public transit is to keep doing what Ed Stelmach and the PC Party have already started.

More on this, as I say, tomorrow.

For tonight, all I can do is shake my head and wonder if the Liberal campaign will get anymore absurd.


  1. Gotta love the blatant hypocrisy; less than 1/3 of the Tory plan is costed too even though Ed claimed to have released a full costing.

    "Ongoing initiatives" can't be a label to throw over something that you can't cost.

    You should take off the Blue-Shade sunglasses.

  2. First.... "ongoing costs" for those that don't understand government speak is how one can describe everyday costs of government that has already been approved in a budget (which is available to the public to see).

    Next... Is there ANY picture of Kevin Taft that does not make him look so creepy? That news story has another horrid example.

    And, Lastly... the Liberal costing smacks of cuts to programs that Albertans need (or enjoy having), cuts to departments (read: Albertans JOBS), cuts to the oil and gas industry (read: Albertans JOBS) and even more insidious: RAISING ALBERTANS TAXES.

  3. A bit off topic, but I think that voter apathy in Calgary is, in large part, a failure of Kevin Taft to excite the populace. He bet on gaining seats in Calgary but he has demonstrated that he fundamentally misunderstands this city.

    Seriously, Taft had the perfect opportunity to convince Albertans that he was ready to govern and that he wouldn't risk the province's status as a low tax, fiscally conservative jurisdiction. He has done almost everything wrong in this election - he has made surprisingly few attempts to convince people that he is ready to govern and can be trusted. He doesn't seem to understand that people won't trust him to govern without a fully costed and conservative economic platform. He also missed the boat by thinking that he could win without putting detail to his plans. I.e. - You can't just tell the energy industry that you are going to change the royalty framework (again) without any detail as to how you would make these changes. Well...I guess you can but you aren't going to convince Calgary to support you if you behave in such a cavalier manner. Too much uncertainty!

    If people in Calgary perceive that the Liberals are about to make a serious breakthrough then they will come out to support the PC's because they can't stomach Kevin Taft. He really has a tin ear when it comes to politics.

  4. If "ongoing costs" have already been approved in the budget, why not list the amounts?

  5. One real conservativeFebruary 23, 2008

    Gotta love the lack of Math skills of some of longer-winded on this site: if a plan for stable spending delivers a slight plus on the bottom line in a fiscal climate of massive surpluses, then what you get in the end is a massive surplus PLUS a slight plus on the bottom line.

    This lets you save for the future. That's what the Grit announcement says. If you're a conservative, you should love it, and quit the partisan bullshit.

    The Stelmach "plan" seems to be to piss away money like there's no tomorrow, all the while adding new spending without ever looking at the fact that you're already the highest-spending government in Canada. Thirty-five per cent more per capita than Ontario.

  6. I miss RalphFebruary 23, 2008

    Stelmach's Alberta ... the most bloated government in Canada. Even more than Quebec and Ontario.

    Where to start cutting? How about the undocumented expenses paid to Mark Norris aides for their Las Vegas bachelor parties on the government credit card.

  7. Do Liberals even trust Taft with this provinces finances? They like to fancy themselves a government in waiting but this is just terrible. It would be like me trying to buy a home without a downpayment and relying on getting a raise at work and reallocating money from my personal core services of food, water and electricity.

    Well lets see if I get a 200% raise at work and dont turn on any lights , and shower at the YMCA then yes I can afford that new Ferrari along with a new house!

    Just terrible, Liberals would really have to be blinded by party loyalty for this not to send up all kinds of red flags (no pun intended).

  8. Blake,

    Have you heard the rumour that Buzz Hargrove's CAW is funding the"No Plan" ads airing during the Alberta election? Someone should trace the $ to see where those ads come from.

  9. "If "ongoing costs" have already been approved in the budget, why not list the amounts?"

    Do you seriously think any one cares to have to read that? People want to ensure that their lives continue to get better and that they won't lose their jobs, homes or family security. No one really likes "real" change, it brings too many variables.