Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Memo to Maurice Tougas...

... and whoever else is in charge of communications coming from the Liberal war room/phone booth:

Take a pill.

The week started with this gem, written with all of the skillful prose of a smarmy 10 year old. All that was missing was a picture of Tougas sticking out his tongue in defiance. (Kudos to the Journal's Joel Kom for picking up on it)

Today we see another over-the-top piece from the Alberta Liberal Comm Shop and Trudeau Worship Centre on 124th Street.

After three and a half weeks of making absolutely zero impression on Albertans, the Liberals are coming back to the horse they tried to beat to death a few weeks ago... Returning Officers.

The object of their ire is Edmonton Castle Downs Returning Officer Linda Brown. Mrs. Brown formerly worked for Castle Downs incumbent MLA Thomas Lukaszuk, that's what seems to have their knickers in a knot. Her situation is no different than any of the others that the Liberals have complained about, yet they're giving it extra special attention. Partly because they lost Castle Downs by 3 votes (at the hands of a JUDGE, by the way, not a Returning Officer)... and partly because they're running out of ideas on how to fool people into voting for them.

What is truly incredible in all of this is the absolutely INSULTING letter they sent to Alberta's Chief Returning Officer, Lorne Gibson.

In their letter, they quote several pieces of legislation to remind him that he has a duty to ensure the fairness and impartiality of the 2008 Election.

Seriously... do they honestly believe that Alberta's CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICER is unaware of his duties DURING AN ELECTION???

The letter is full of typical Liberal arrogance and completely incredulous that anybody wouldn't see things their way. Albertans are used to this from Kevin Taft and the Alberta Liberal Party, but when people like the Chief Electoral Officer are being talked down to in such a manner it really does show how low Liberals will sink.

Calling for outside assistance to Elections Alberta suggests that the Liberals honestly believe that democracy in Alberta is akin to a third world election that requires UN supervision. Albertans know better than that, which is why they've largely ignored the huffing and puffing from the Liberals on this issue (and pretty much everything else they've said).

The related item on the Liberal website mentions that it was a Sun Media story that brought to light Mrs. Brown's appointment. I'm not entirely certain how, over 3 weeks into the campaign, this is news. Nonetheless, I suppose it'll sell newspapers.

What I love, though, is that the Liberals seemed to overlook part of the story, namely:

"Kibermanis said the Liberals are training their scrutineers to be vigilant, but that he's also met Brown and believes she will do her best to remain impartial."

The weak powers that be in the Liberal war room/phone booth have also forgotten another thing. Chief Electoral Officer Lorne Gibson has also gone through thorough interviews with each and every one of these Returning Officers whose good names are now being dragged through the mud.

While he may not be a fan of the process that chooses those Returning Officers, NOT ONCE has he called into question their ability to perform their duties to the standards that the Liberals so arrogantly remind him are enshrined in law.

The saddest thing about this whole debacle, though, is the effect it may have on future elections. In that same Sun article, Paul Stanway explains that names familiar to the government were leaned on to take on the roles of Returning Officer because of a chronic shortage... nearly 20 vacancies left to be filled as the election was approaching.

After seeing the depths to which the Liberals will sink in dragging those who offer to fulfill these important roles, I think even more Albertans will think twice before offering in the next election.

That's the real disservice to democracy here.


  1. Tougas was the MLA who decided not to run again because "it wasn't his thing". Apparently writing smarmy little press releases is more his bag.

    Instead the Liberals get sloppy seconds in Debbie "I-would-have-run-under-the-PCs-if-I-could-have-won-the-nomination" Cavaliere.

    I mean really, how do you doorknock and have an answer for that question if it comes to you? Umm, I really really wanted to run as a Liberal, but I walked into the wrong nomination meeting? Puh-leeze.

    In other thoughts, what will Tougas do when the election is over and (hopefully) the Red Menace is defeated?

  2. I think the saddest thing about this whole blown out of proportion RO issue is that come next election it is going to be completely IMPOSSIBLE to get ANYONE to want to be a Returning Officer. So, when Taft is long gone he can sit in his rocking chair and get all red faced in pleasure at knowing that he does have a legacy in Alberta after all.

    As for Tougas, I think it would be brilliant to make him the deputy Provincial Returning officer. then he can affect real change.

  3. Stettler StanFebruary 29, 2008

    That "Open Letter" is actually a hilarious and effective release. Shows the Tory war room for the overpaid morons they are, who can't even be bothered to read a newspaper.

    I doubt Tougas wrote it. He's not that clever.

  4. I guess Calgary Grit and the -$500K Liberal War Room don't even trust their own scrutineers to ensure a fair count. Even though they haven't come up with a single complaint regarding unfairness in any count, other than some admittedly inappropriate comments (vs. action) by the DROs in one Calgary poll. Blake's right - call in the U.N.!

  5. So, anon@10:47 you're in favor of having the candidates wives do the counts then? After all, they'd be under the same oaths to be impartial, and we haven't had any complaints about them yet either.

  6. No, what I'm in favour of is having the shrill character assassinations stop.

    But I expect all you'll do is keep pushing your rhetoric to absurd levels, in the hope that someone notices you. Don't worry, we have. But we don't think there's a crisis. Instead, we just think you're defaming good people.