It has been an interesting little bit in Alberta Politics and has motivated me to blog. So with that we will get right down to my blog, at the risk of wasting time in my treason!
A little background for the uninitiated. Alberta is a Province in Western Canada. Mostly we are towards the redneck end of the spectrum and certainly seem to tilt a touch conservative, especially when it comes to government in our pockets. We are oil rich (well less rich of late) and we have two major cities. The people here for the most part do ok, we have the Alberta Advantage. Most of this built on some kick ass oil prices and high paying jobs.
Alberta functions under a democracy, much like that of soviet Russia and Castro Cuba. We vote, sure but really we are a one party monarchy. Back in 1935 the Social Credit dynasty began. They ruled all the way until 1971. In 1971 a new dynasty was born. The Progressive Conservatives (although of late Pro Con is more apt), took over in 1971. Peter Lougheed up and rolled Social Credit out of there 36 year thrown. And so started our problem. So since 1971 Alberta as been ruled by the PC party and well the PC party. So here we sit 44 years later with the same dynasty ruling. A year ago, in public up roar the monarch, Alison Redford, was fired. Seems she liked fancy jet trips to all areas on our dime and wanted to build herself a palatial apartment on our dime in Edmonton. Apparently this could not be had. So the PC party elected a new leader. Our new monarch goes by the name Jim Prentice. And well lets just say Jim isn’t too worried about real democracy or entitlement issues either.
Over the past decade and a bit the PC party has enjoyed incredible oil prices. Leading to some great windfalls on their part. Not the type to plan for the future the spent it as frivolously as possible and ran up the salaries of all kinds of public workers. They pissed away money on a fleet of poorly used jets and generally couldn’t give two shits about the future. Can’t take it to the grave right? Problem is in fact they could have left some in this really cool fund we have, called Heritage Trust. But during all these good years they didn’t put anything into the rainy day fund, no they enjoyed a lavish life. Enter Jimbo, promising a change to the sense of entitlement. Now Jimmy here was a federal politician with the Conservatives, so he has been around. Going to change everything. And some of the people here bought it hook line and sinker. See the Problem with Jimmy P’s statement is we only got rid of one infected member but the whole party was rife with entitled douche bags. So really it was a load of shit to begin with.
Let us highlight J Dog’s time in office, since September.
Sold the fleet of jets that got his predecessor in so much trouble. I mean who could resist the temptation of sipping Dom in the friendly skies. A jumbo jet to themselves. So he took temptation away. Will have to sip his Dom at ground level for now. Or pay for expensive first class tickets I am sure.
Good start, I mean low hanging fruit but a good start. Jim promised to listen to the people and hold the line on taxes.
Things were a bit quiet but the writing was on the wall. See Jim wanted a mandate from the people of his province. Admirable except to do so in the upcoming spring he will have to violate a fixed election date law, that he himself was a big proponent of. No big deal, I mean only going back on what he has committed to in the past.
But before we get to an election King Prentice needs to assure his win and try and make it look democratic. Would hate to have to badger voters or fix the results like any good dictator would do. So he demolished the legislature and Alberta’s democracy. Seeing the Liberal party in a leadership change and knowing his only competition was Danielle Smith and the Wild Rose Party (the official opposition) he convinced her to give up her party leadership and cross the floor. Sure this makes her a total clown but Jim had a sneaky, Kevin Spacey worthy plan ahead.
During this time oil prices slid drastically and our province started to look like we wouldn’t be as rich. But remember all that frivolous spending, well we aren’t exactly done paying for that and so now we have a $7 Billion dollar deficit coming down the pipe. Prentice assures us he will not run a deficit, at least that’s where he starts on the radio here in Calgary. Instead he gears us up for the most drastic budget and set of cuts in Alberta History. To Albertans cuts sound good, the poor spending habits haven’t been really great and we are ready for a change. Now in all fairness this budget is little more than a campaign platform. It won’t pass before they election is called and then it will disappear and have to be re-tabled in the future. Two days prior to the Budget Jimmy has an idea, he will piss away $100,000 on a PC campaign commercial……. I mean public address about the budget. Of course he could have just dropped the budget like a normal government but he felt the need to go on TV and tell us no details, followed by a generalization suggesting a slightly softer stance.
And so the Budget came. They used a surgery for this bad boy to decide on some of the items. A provincial sales tax was not tabled because most Albertans said they didn’t want it. However most Albertans said they would like to see an increase to corporate taxes, but Jim’s crew wasn’t really feeling this. They worried about small business they say. Of course they could just have done a progressive tax on corporations like they did to individual income tax. But I guess that was too complex a theory for the PC party of Alberta. Really thinking isn’t their best skill, spending is. They held the line on education spending and they cut a hair off the top of health care. In the mean time they added a health care premium (the one they got rid of in 2008) back in but it is actually a poorly veiled income tax, as it is also tied to income and really doesn’t necessarily go into health care. Well so far this thing sucks. On top of that they slowed a major infrastructure project and jacked taxes on cigarettes, booze and gas. They booze, gas and cigs tax took effect immediately. Their reason for those going into play right away? They didn’t want business owners to gouge customers by adding the tax on before it came in. That is right, the government that has made a life out of screwing us out of our money and pissing it away was worried the local businesses would take us for a few pennies here and there. I guess it takes a thief to know a thief? Traffic fines go up drastically and a number of permits go up. Things like marriage certificates, car registration and death certificates. Yeah that is right, these pricks are going to get you even when you croak. In Alberta the 2 new absolute are 1) taxes and 2) paying taxes after you fucking die. By the way the deficit we weren’t going to run, yeah Jim decided to run a $5 billion one of those. So much for his word, but at this point we knew it was garbage.
Last weekend was nomination weekend for the PC party. Time to pick who would be running in the ridings for the upcoming provincial election. Party memberships sold by candidates. Remember the Wild Rose leader, Danielle and her floor crossing, well she took a number of others with her. A couple quit and so didn’t need a nomination. A couple more won their nominations. But ole Dani Girl got the boot from the Highwood residents who told her pretentious ass to hit the bricks. Doesn’t matter who they nominated, she screwed that riding and they spoke. D. Smith was pissed in fact so pissed she told a reporter, inquiring about her political future to piss off. Now relax Danielle.
Fear struck Jim, see he had promised the WRP members things. And now they were getting punted all around him by the voting members of his party. With a riding to go Bruce McAlister was the last floor crossing asshat remaining to not know his fate. But see there was a problem. Brucey is high profile and Jim likes him obviously. But Bruce could sell only 700 memberships, his competitor, a young Jamie Lall, went beyond 1000 new members. Jamie had previously tried to win nominations in the past in a couple of other ridings. So he was on his third try. Jim could see that Jamie had a chance to win the nomination. Jim would have none of that shit. So nearing midnight the night before the nomination vote, the PC party sent Mr. Lall a text. In this text they informed him he had been disallowed. Seems their investigating had turned something up, I guess the previous two vettings had been poorly performed? So they were incompetent in the past, or they are fixing this vote. Of course we all know they are engaged in end running democracy cause really who needs that. And hey, no one harmed and no families threatened. No gulag either so so far we are one up on Stalin. Jim’s cryptic reason for disallowing Mr. Lall? “Jamie knows why we disallowed him.” What a crock of shit. When I was a kid my dad had a trick. See I knew how to find trouble but I was punished by a small bit of a conscience. So my dad would sometimes say to me “Is there something you want to tell me?” Sometimes he had intel but just as often he did not. Guess what I confessed. I feel like Jim is hoping for one of these crazy confessions. Of course Jamie has none and has instead found some legal advice. Hoping Jamie pops up and takes that seat from a PC member.
The election call is probably coming April 7 or so, if you believe the pundits. Which I do because they have a reason to say these things and seem to all be on the same page. This is the week before and the PC party is participating in a classic PC tradition. Pre-election they start spending our money to make announcements and campaign promises, under the veil of government business but it is really just political platforms. So one day was Health, then Education and then whatever else suits them. But most are seeing through it.
Today the government came into a real doozy. Jim, not one to stick to his word, had a chance to demonstrate his entitlement. So while he goes to the people for higher taxes, fees and health care “levies” to recover from his parties mismanagement, he had time to go on a bit of a pick me up. Feeling down about the backlash he has received over the past few months I am sure, he went for the old retail therapy. Jim acquired $13,000 worth of 80″ Sharp LED TVs. An expense he explains is for things like video conferencing. Of course these things are valuable to a government. But come on guys don’t be assholes. Come to me with your hand out and go and piss away $13,000. Buy those TVs when times are good, not when you are trying to save money. This is ridiculous.
So as you can see democracy isn’t working here, because just at the moment it looks like it will the PC party rigs the vote. So the question is why are we calling an election at all. Obviously the king is trying to secure his seat by cheating the process. So fuck voting and lets revolt. Well ok that isn’t really an option just yet, but I am all for it being on the table in the future. My hope is Albertans will get off their poor voting habits and fire this group of assholes during this election. I would be happy to book a vacation day to drive people around so they could get out and vote. Vote for anyone but the PC party, this province needs change immediately.
Prentice you are an asshole by the way! My hope is this is a long and painful death to your political career, you can watch it on your new 80″ too.