Friday, February 8, 2008

Next time, I'll use an asterisk

It seems as though my declaration that "A Liberal is a Liberal" was a bit too broad a stroke for some.

It has been correctly pointed out that, in my previous blog life, I listed the BC Liberals under "Teams I like". The BC Liberals, as with the Parti Liberal du Quebec, are slightly different characters. I probably should have made this caveat, but will plead that the omission of clarity was the result of the late hour and my rather stranded nature as highways all over the BC Interior remain closed.

Going into the details about the BC and Quebec Liberal Parties would hardly be of interest to most of you who are here to read my perspective on the Alberta election. Suffice to say, they are both unique coalitions fused out of a common purpose (in BC, to stop the socialists... in Quebec, to stop the separatists). I will point out, though, that these coalitions are beginning to break apart and are again starting to separate Liberals from Conservatives.

Either way, its a moot point because the Liberals in Alberta are hardly a coalition to stop the socialists... some of us argue that they ARE the socialists (or at least pretty close, anyway). This brings me to something else I wanted to address.

I was completely bewildered when I read that a former aide to Preston Manning is supporting his local Liberal candidate in this election. Ron Wood's justification is that the Stelmach crew are spending too much money. While i'll agree that the latest round of funding announcements are not a way for the PCs to endear themselves to hard fiscal hawks, I will challenge anybody who argues against the necessity of these investments.

He goes further, though, and suggests that he believes the Liberals share his fiscally conservative views. Two words:


I could buy that argument if it was coming from him in 1993 and he was speaking of the Decore edition of the Alberta Liberal Party. This, however, is definetly not the same party and Kevin Taft damn sure isn't Laurence Decore.

Taft has been making even wilder promises than the PCs have. What's worse is that he's been making them without any price tags attached. Perhaps Mr. Wood wasn't aware of this since the MSM has essentially chosen to give Taft a free ride when it comes to explaining how he'll pay for his fairy tales (an interesting topic that i'll probably get into later in the campaign, but that is being discussed over at the Enlightened Savage).

At any rate, I think the debate over the fiscal promises of the PCs is fair game. But to suggest that the Liberals are better on this file is absurd.


A few quick things I want to mention:

-Congratulations to Daveberta on his impressive trio from the 2007 Canadian Blog Awards. I voted for Dave, particularily in the Best Blogosphere Citizen because of his foresight in buying While I think that the matter should now be put to rest, he certainly raised everyone's awareness about the importance of being on top of the web game politically.

-I was pleased to see that, at today's good news announcement, Premier Stelmach was given some specific program benefits and costs to mention along with the general details. This will be an important practice to continue, especially as the Liberals continue to avoid attaching a price tag to their promises.

-His chest-thumping rhetoric aside, I think Brian Mason has proposed an interesting idea. I'm not adverse to the argument that, since organizations (corporations, unions, whatever) can't vote, they shouldn't be able to influence through political donations. It seems to work reasonably well at the federal level. An important part of the debate, though, would be whether or not public funds would be directed on a per-vote basis to parties as they are federally. Still, kudos to Brian (or is it Bill?) for raising a relevant issue.

-Anyone else wonder how this has gone largely unreported?


  1. Blake:

    While I agree with your post, you snd I both know that the media thrives on peronalities and creating controversy.

    Although policy wonks like ourselves wish to see the media focus on the issues and assist in educating voters, the reality is that the media caters to the trivial because it sells with the public.

    The Premier has amassed a significant list of accomplishments over the past year. The fact that this list of accomplishments has been discounted by the media is due to the abysmal performance of the Premier's handlers in the areas of political strategy, message packaging and positioning and communicating through the media filter.

    Good examples of this inadequate performance by the Premier's handlers include holding the campaign kickoff in the legislature media room and a health care announcement at the Capital Health Region. Others include not having correct physician training numbers and not knowing how much savings would accrue to affected Albertans from the day care and Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit changes. This is Politics 101 and the Premier has been badly let down by his handlers. This is not acceptable.

    We will see how the Premier's handlers respond to the court decision today ruling that the soft tissue damage cap of $4,000 is unconstitutional.

    If these problems continue to occur next week, perhaps it is time to retool and replace some of the less than stellar handlers with old hands like Rod Love and Marv Moore.


  2. I look forward to seeing who the Canadian Taxpayers Federation will endorse in this election. I have an inkling it won't be the PCs or Wild Rose Alliance...

  3. Hey kyle,
    Who knows... it could be the Liberals... unless they decide to actually cost out their policies.

    Then they're toast.