Sunday, August 03, 2014

Alberta's "Wonder Woman" to make Canadian political history?

Good Day Readers:

Alison Redford may accomplish something no politician has done in a very long time. As the following articles suggest:

(1) Bring down the longest running political dynasty in Canada

(2) Serve as a lightening rod for recall legislation

Regarding the first, the Alberta Tories have been in power for 40-years. Even high-profile leadership candidate Jim "The Magician" Prentice if successful may not be able to stop the hemorrhaging of Party support as voters increasing flee the Conservatives thoroughly ....ed off with her wanton disregard for taxpayers' hard earned dollars.

One would assume she's not a complete bonehead so wouldn't even contemplate again seeking the nomination for Calgary-Elbow. If she does the riding should be re-named "Calgary-Bonehead." Assuming "The Magician" is successful, at some point there will have to be a byelection to find him a seat. Should "Wonder Woman" resigns so he can run there, if he's got any brains he wouldn't touch Calgary-Elbow with a 10-foot pole "W W's" too radioactive these days.

You have to wonder whether "Magician" knew the extend of the Tories spending scandal when he decided to leave his cushy job at CIBC to run for the Conservative leadership.

Perhaps Alison Redford's other legacy will be to further the cause of re-call legislation in Canada. To date only British Columbia has it. So if you end up with a bozo politician why should voters have to endure their excesses for at least 4-years? She really needs to go for a trifecta. See if she can get the the RCMP to lay Mike Duffy style charges. This would please the Harper government to no end.

As for "Wonder Woman" she should seriously consider a career change. Why not get entrepreneurial to start a small regional air carrier - Air Redford or even better Ghost Air?

Clare L. Pieuk
 Redford could bake Alberta Progressive Conservatives down with her

Allan Maki
Friday, August 1, 2014
A leaked copy of an Auditor-General's report exposing how former Alberta Premier Alison Redford's staff manipulated flight reservations is the latest controversy to emerge. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Calgary - It is muddled and surprising, a mound of disturbing news piled on top of bad news. This is what politics in Alberta has become – an untidy affair for the Progressive Conservative government and its former Premier, Alison Redford.

Since new allegations surfaced against Ms. Redford over her travel tendencies, pundits and politicians have been abuzz about how her fall from power could take the PC party down with her.

“I thought over a year ago that the PCs would lose the next election,” said Trevor Harrison, a professor of political sociology at the University of Lethbridge. “I’m more confident of that than ever. It’s a party in deep trouble. It’s the gift that keeps on giving for the Wildrose Party.”

Ms. Redford’s three years in office produced a series of misadventures. In 2011, she froze the wages of top management officials for three years. Just this week the governThe Tories have ruled Alberta for more than 40 years and their ousting in early 2016 would be viewed as a monumental failure. Opposition members have called for an RCMP investigation into the former premier’s air travel, which included her aides making bogus passenger bookings, then cancelling them late so Ms. Redford could fly alone.

The public backlash over that has made the Tories especially vulnerable.

ment confirmed the salary freeze had long ago been dropped and that top managers had received a 7-per-cent raise.

Then there was the 2013 budget backed by Ms. Redford that managed to anger even long-time Tory loyalists. There was the $45,000 bill for attending the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. And there was the $3,100 Ms. Redford had to pay back for letting her daughter fly with her aboard government planes.

The Tories assumed they were done with the controversies when Ms. Redford resigned in March. But eyebrows were raised again this week when a leaked copy of an Auditor-General’s report exposed how Ms. Redford’s staff manipulated flight reservations.

Former Tory Len Webber said there were trips to and from Calgary where the Premier would fly in one plane while MLAs and their staff took another. On occasion, the second plane was full, which meant party members such as Mr. Webber had to drive instead.

“It was building to the point where I couldn’t stay on with Alison Redford as our Premier,” said Mr. Webber, who left the PCs in March to sit as an independent. “With respect to how she led the party and how she treated people – that was a reason I left.”

There is a way for the Tories to remake themselves. The problem, according to one political strategist, is that it takes time and patience to rebuild public trust.

“No. 1, they have to ‘hope and pray’ that the Redford disclosures are at an end,” assessed Geoff Norquay, a Principal with the Earnscliffe Strategy Group in Ottawa as well as a former Policy Adviser for Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. “No. 2, this caretaker government under Dave Hancock needs to avoid mistakes like the licence plate fiasco.”

The province displayed a selection of possibilities for the new plates, all without the words Wild Rose Country on them. It was seen for what it was – a way to keep the Wildrose party from getting any publicity at the PCs’ expense.

As for the party’s next leader, Jim Prentice is favoured to win it in September. He has managed to sidestep Ms. Redford’s worst scandals, but he has had ties with her in the past. Ms. Redford articled at his law firm. He, in turn, praised her early work as Premier.

Still, Mr. Prentice brings what the former premier squandered – hope for the Tories. And that’s a valuable commodity.

“Prentice has a back record federally [as Minister of Industry],” said Keith Brownsey, who teaches political studies at Calgary’s Mount Royal University. “He has a good reputation with native people as well as the business community.

“He will come in as the saviour on a white horse.”

That would fill the leadership void two years out from an Alberta election. On the flip side, that’s time enough for more damages to ooze their way to the surface and leave a mess.

“No one can say Alberta politics is boring,” said Professor Harrison.

Follow Allan Maki on Twitter: @AllanMaki

"Kick the Old Girl under the bus!" ..... CyberSmokeBlog 
CTF launches recall legislation campaign 
Campaign demands right for Calgary-Elbow and all Alberta voters to recall their MLA

Calgary, Alberta - The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) launched a petition campaign today, calling on the Alberta government to adopt MLA recall legislation to give all Alberta voters the ability to force a recall by-election. If this legislation was adopted, voters in Calgary-Elbow would have the right ro recall Redford if they choose to do so. (Photo: Flicker/Dave Cournoyer)

Specifically, the CTF is encouraging the Alberta government and Progressive Conservative leadership candidates to commit to introducing ‘recall’ legislation, similar to the B.C. model. B.C.’s legislation allows citizens to force a by-election after collecting the signatures of 40 per cent or more of eligible voters in a constituency.

“Citizens deserve the right to hold their elected officials accountable more than once every four years,” said CTF Alberta Director Derek Fildebrandt. “When politicians prove themselves unworthy of, and unfit for their office, voters should be empowered to legally remove them from power. Considering how former Premier Redford has treated taxpayer’s money with disrespect, yet remains the MLA for Calgary-Elbow, the CTF believes that her constituents deserve the right to recall Redford if they so choose.”

Albertans can sign the petition to enact recall legislation at

“Recall legislation has been successful in removing corrupt and dishonest politicians in B.C., and that province’s legislation provides – with a few important tweaks – a sound model for which Alberta to base similar legislation,” continued Fildebrandt.

“There is the real possibility that before this legislation could be passed, the MLA for Calgary-Elbow could fall on her sword, but this isn’t just about Redford. It’s about giving Albertans a new and powerful tool to hold their government accountable,” said Fildebrandt.

“We encourage the PC government, leadership candidates and opposition parties to get onside, pass recall legislation, and allow the voters of Calgary-Elbow to decide the fate of their MLA,” concluded Fildebrandt.  


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