Friday, April 27, 2012

Morton, Hinman and Some Bickering

The last pre-election message on Ted Morton's website:

To our Supporters:

Thank you for supporting me and the PC Party—a party that has madeAlbertathe best place to work, to live and to raise a family. As your MLA for Chestermere-Rocky View, I will work for you to keep it that way.

I wasn't really sure if that was a premature victory speech or an awkwardly worded appeal to get out the vote. A paragraph down, to the undecided voters he wrote:

Vote for a candidate who has known and worked with Prime Minister Stephen Harper for over 20 years, and will work effectively with Ottawa to ensure Alberta’s continued prosperity by getting the export pipelines like Keystone XL and Northern Gateway built.

Vote for a party that will build the new schools and health facilities our growing communities need, not fritter it away with “Danielle Dollars”.

Vote for a candidate and a party that will protect the Bow andElbowRivers, and the Eastern Slopes, not a party that will repeal the Land Stewardship Act.

In summary: I'm pals with Harper, infrastructure spending, and we did nothing wrong with the land use framework. There are all kinds of interesting issues regarding Morton's election loss, however I will simply say that as the key architect of the land use framework it isn't too surprising that the voters walked away from him. The framework was perceived as heavy handed, lacking due process, and just alienated land owners. To get rural Albertans to vote out a PC Cabinet minister takes some special talent.

The sad thing is something like the framework is needed, and the alternate policy that would have been implemented by the Wildrose would have made it impossible to stop polluters, help endangered species, or act in any way in the public good.

Aside from that rumours persisted in the campaign that Morton was disinterested in the campaign. The Premier must have been extremely disappointed that he wasn't reelected. No seriously...

A gratuitous photo of Richard Nixon leaving the Whitehouse for the last time in 1974

Paul Hinman's Wildrose website, on the other hand, went 404 almost immediately after the election.  Today he announced through a local Pravda outlet that he would not be paying back wages recieved for being a member of a committee that never met. Also known as the money for nothing scandal. I'm still a little confused exactly about this pay structure, but so is everyone else. But if all of those involved agreed to pay back those wages, it seems to me that Hinman should as well. I'm not sure it's a great career move.  Rick Bell will have to find another hero.

Naturally, the party leader shrugs her shoulders. What can you do? He's a private citizen now, she roughly said. He's presumably still a party member and was or is on the executive. I only bring this up because the leader spent so much time talking about entitlements, big government, and transparency. I should learn not to be so naive.

Hinman's loss will make it interesting for the Wildrose Caucus having 17 members but only 2 with previous MLA experience, and a leader who has spent her whole career in elitist right wing bubbles. Hinman had some MLA experience that might have been useful. How to table a pseudo-scientific paper on the climate change hoax, for example. Without Hinman who else will  compare mundane legislation to Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor.  Someone will have to step into those shoes.

At last we get to Gary Bickman. the new Wildrose MLA for Cardston-Taber, who believes the urban voters got it all wrong and don't understand. It's a dish better served in his own words:

"I think they possess more common sense, a least that's my experience. The people who make their living off the land really seem to understand the way nature really works," said Bickman.

He went on to say that city dwellers just don't understand the issues.

"I think that these social issues that came up during the last week and the PCs ability to exploit them, caused some concern in the voters within urban areas, at least, because they didn't really understand the issues, they didn't really understand that there was an aspect of free speech, " said the Cardston-Taber-Warner MLA-Elect.

Yeah, common sense. The people who live off the land in southern alberta have it tough enough considering how arid it is. I wonder how they think nature will really work when the global climate is a few degrees warmer.

And as far as issues go, Bickman should know that almost the entire Wildrose Platform comes from institutions in the cities:  universities, the churches, and the think tanks. Even homophobia, carefully packaged  for hipsters to seem harmless comes from the large urban mega churches and the urban hate groups like Focus on the Family.  Also, professional sports.

We hope that the Wildrose MLAs keeping expressing their thoughts in the media. The party has made a rather open commitment to free speech and MLA autonomy. It should be interesting when dogma meets reality. Please recommend this post

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