Home FAQ Search Memberlist User Groups Register Login   

BloggingTories.ca Forum IndexBloggingTories.ca Forum Index
    Index     FAQ     Search     Register     Login         JOIN THE DISCUSSION - CLICK HERE      


Post new topic   Reply to topic Page 1 of 1
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 6354
Reputation: 299.3
votes: 8

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:32 pm    Post subject: Colby Cosh looks at the merger of Wildfire and PCs Reply with quote

Colby Cosh: Goodbye to the Alberta PCs. And good riddance
Colby Cosh | March 20, 2017 3:11 PM ET

On Saturday, as was generally foreseen, Jason Kenney became leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives. This sounds portentous and impressive. But one of the things that strikes you, since Kenney is proposing to (at a bare minimum) re-brand the Alberta PCs, is that their leaders are not exactly an honour roll of mighty statesmen. The party was successful and did good, and Albertans are grateful for its legacy. But they are, perhaps, grateful in the reluctant, compromised way one might be grateful to an ex-wife who was not much fun but helped the kids turn out well.

Peter Lougheed helped to change Canada’s destiny and define the compact between Ottawa and the provinces. Ralph Klein put the province on a competitive, economically diverse footing and established the fiscal health that a New Democratic government is now exploiting. But Lougheed’s electorally unsuccessful forerunners are forgotten by all but families and friends, and Klein’s successors all came to unhappy political ends.

Why, then, do Albertans speak so fondly of the Progressive Conservative heritage? I am afraid the answer is that older Albertans have chosen to forget it and younger ones don’t understand it. Peter Lougheed led a government that, owing to 1970s oil prices, had more revenue than it knew what to do with. THAT IS NOT A FIGURE OF SPEECH. Much of the art of Alberta government in the Seventies was trying to think up new, non-wasteful uses for oil money.

Most of Lougheed’s choices turned out to be very wasteful indeed after he left office. Those budgeting conditions have occurred only a few times anywhere in the annals of Western civilization, and they are never coming back. If they did, it would now be thought insane to follow a Lougheed program — make bad infrastructure and “value-added industry” bets, throw doomed loans at resource and tech companies, flood the cities with cheapo housing.

Naturally, every politician in the province, including the NDP premier, praises Lougheed at every possible opportunity. Ralph Klein, they mention less often. Still less does anybody speak of the book-censorers and gay-botherers who made up much of his (and Lougheed’s) PC caucus.

The exception, of course, is Kenney, running explicitly as Ralph’s heir. This is almost as funny as Rachel Notley running as Lougheed’s spiritual scion. Kenney was a major thorn in Ralph’s side as a young activist outside government. His advocacy helped the small-government bloc in the PC caucus throttle Ralph’s personal liberal instincts. If Klein were with us, seeing Jason Kenney win the PC leadership might have left him hog-flayingly angry. A lot of PCs felt that way when Klein won.

Alberta politics is full of this sort of congenital confusion. Everybody is asking where the “progressives” or “centrists” in the PC party will go now that Kenney has won the leadership. The results of the PC leadership contest suggest that there aren’t really very many of these people, or that they already defected to the NDP. They may be outnumbered by the federal Conservative voters who demonstrably stayed home in the last Alberta election, and whom Kenney hopes to awaken from their slumbers.

There will certainly be jockeying for the political middle if we end up with a straight Kenney-Notley fight. But the next election is shaping up to be, among other things, a referendum on the Alberta carbon tax. What, I ask you, is the “centrist” position on this tax? As the tax has been designed and implemented, some of the revenue is returned to lower-income households to make the effects progressive while preserving the marginal energy-saving incentives. Depending on whom you ask, and on what day, this rebate is either fairly reasonable, totally futile, objectionable in principle, or not nearly large enough.

Kenney says that if he becomes premier his first act, his Bill 1, will be the total repeal of the carbon tax. But Kenney’s “centrist” rivals for the PC leadership opposed the carbon tax too. Even the nebulous Alberta Party has been criticizing the details of the tax. It is not clear that Albertans will have a party to vote for in the next election that supports carbon taxation but opposes the NDP’s deepening deficits — which seems like a not-at-all unusual or freaky political position to be in.

Kenney says that if he becomes premier his first act, his Bill 1, will be the total repeal of the carbon tax

Maybe what Alberta needs is a proper liberal party, a party of the moderate left that is not a hostage of labour unions. Maybe we need an evidence-driven neoliberal Economist Party that would give us both a carbon tax and realistic budgeting. Maybe we could use a real, hardcore guns-‘n’-weed libertarian party. Lots of people outside Alberta would say we need a harder-left party to goad the timid, post-socialist, pipeline-friendly Notley NDP. And maybe we could use a party to honestly represent the interests and concerns of socially conservative Christians.

What I cannot see the need for is a “Progressive Conservative” party. After all, everyone else seems to be disposing of the PC brand. The old joke that “progressive conservative” means “forward backward” destroyed the whole concept after all.

I wonder ... is the time for 'progressive' conservatism over? Full disclosure: I feel that way myself. It's just an attitude. I feel like I am a 1950ies Liberal, to tell you the truth. But I have to vote conservative and yet the conservatives I vote for have been as engaged in sustaining and expanding the welfare state as the other guys, in the end.

Aside from that, the article includes some insightful stuff about the politics of Alberta.

Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 8160
Reputation: 327Reputation: 327
votes: 21
Location: The World

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is so much I disagree with in the article overall;
However I will focus on the biggest issue.

When a party loses an election everyone is quick to write its obituary;
However it rarely sticks.

Jim Prentice did first what Jason Kenney is seeking to do now.
In December of 2014, Nine members of the Wildrose Alliance including its leader crossed the floor to join an already massive PC majority.

The parties were basically united at that point with a few seats on the fringes that likely would have stayed WR in an election.

The problem was that Premier Prentice got it in his mind that he needed a fresh mandate;

The good old Jean Chrétien two step and called an election more than a year before his majority mandate was up.

Prentice and the PCs were sailing in polling after the Wildrose defection and those polls made it very clear Alberta did not want another election.

The rest is history;

The idea that Alberta has secretly been lusting to eliminate the PCs when in reality they would have likely won another majority mandate is ridiculous.

Prentice waits till May 2016 to hold the next election and we are likely talking about Jason Kenney the successor to Stephen Harper Federally rather than leader of the Alberta PCs.

On that topic, Stephen Harper was the master of keep the base happy while keeping those who ultimately get you elected happy;

The Centre-Right ballet;

Jason Kenney is just more of that, which isn't all that dissimilar to what Jim Prentice did.

The argument that the infrastructure and general economy building of Peter Lougheed & Ralph Klein was wasted money is such utter clickbait non-sense.

Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 9707
Reputation: 313.6Reputation: 313.6
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Progressive Conservative-Wildrose merger proposal expected by April: Jason Kenney

Emma Graney
More from Emma Graney

Published on: March 20, 2017 | Last Updated: March 20, 2017 9:13 PM MDT

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean meets with newly elected PC Leader Jason Kenney as they announce plans for new discussion groups for conservative unity on March 20, 2017.

Alberta conservatives will know by Friday who will draft a unity agreement between the province’s Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties.

Official Opposition Leader Brian Jean and newly elected PC Leader Jason Kenney ironed out the first steps in creating a unified political right during a 35-minute meeting Monday in Edmonton’s Federal Building.

The chat in Jean’s office was the first time the two have sat down together as leaders of their respective parties, and Kenney said afterwards he was encouraged by the positive tone.

Jean didn’t speak with media after the meeting, but Kenney said the two former federal colleagues agreed on every point — the initial steps in the process, the need to steer clear of pre-conditions, and that the agreement must ultimately be decided by grassroots members.

He said the unity discussion team, with members from both parties, will report back by the end of April.

Jean is pro-unity, but in January released a video saying the best path forward was consolidation under the Wildrose.

He argued it’s quicker, less disruptive and avoids his party having to get rid of all of its assets and cash which, according to Alberta chief electoral officer Glen Resler, cannot be transferred between parties.

On Monday, Jean reiterated that plan makes a lot of sense, but was going into the meeting with an open mind.

No barrier to legal merger

A document by five Alberta lawyers, released Monday, saw no legal impediment to a merger between the Wildrose and PC parties.

The group, called the Alberta Conservative Consolidation Committee, said the two parties could amalgamate as registered societies, which they say would allow them to keep and combine their assets.

The group acknowledged that only the Wildrose is currently registered as a society, meaning the PC party would have to register or try to amalgamate through the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta Foundation, a registered non-profit corporation.

“Amalgamations in and of their nature are fusions of assets, not transfers of assets,” they wrote.

Newly-elected Alberta Progressive Conservative party Leader Jason Kenney (left) and former interim party leader Ric McIver walk outside the Federal Building in Edmonton on Monday March 20, 2017, after Kenney met with WIldrose Leader Brian Jean. Larry Wong / POSTMEDIA NETWORK

QP desk-thumping irks Kenney

Kenney spent 20 minutes of his second full day as PC leader inside the legislative chamber, watching question period.

He wasn’t a huge fan, saying it sounded like “typical legislative argy-bargy,” and didn’t like the desk-thumping and cheering.

Kenney has urged more co-operation between the PC and Wildrose caucuses, and said after Monday’s meeting Jean agreed it was a good idea.

Despite all their apparent agreements, Jean doubled down on his pledge to one day lead Alberta.

“I want to be the premier of this great province,” he said. “If I receive that privilege, I’m sure it will be behind a consolidated conservative movement.”

Premier Rachel Notley offered her congratulations Monday to Kenney.

Saying she’s not terribly concerned about a united right, she called on Kenney to be transparent about his policy plans.

While Notley didn’t rule out calling a snap election before conservatives carry out their unity plans, she said her focus isn’t on sending Albertans to the polls.

“In the longer term, as we get closer to an election, I look forward to having our mainstream ideas contradicted with the rather more extreme ideas that we hear from folks on the other side of the aisle,” she said.

With files from James Wood, Postmedia

Post new topic   Reply to topic Page 1 of 1


Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum

Colby Cosh looks at the merger of Wildfire and PCs

phpBBCopyright 2001, 2005 phpBB