Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

LinkedIn
phil elder would like to connect on LinkedIn. How would you like to respond?
phil elder
phil elder
Independent Education Management Professional
Confirm you know phil
You received an invitation to connect. LinkedIn will use your email address to make suggestions to our members in features like People You May Know. Unsubscribe
If you need assistance or have questions, please contact LinkedIn Customer Service.
© 2014, LinkedIn Corporation. 2029 Stierlin Ct. Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

92vkf2-i1caduv6-5m.gif

Read Full Post »

LinkedIn
phil elder would like to connect on LinkedIn. How would you like to respond?
phil elder
phil elder
Independent Education Management Professional
Confirm you know phil
You received an invitation to connect. LinkedIn will use your email address to make suggestions to our members in features like People You May Know. Unsubscribe
If you need assistance or have questions, please contact LinkedIn Customer Service.
© 2014, LinkedIn Corporation. 2029 Stierlin Ct. Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

92vkf2-i10gxomr-3z.gif

Read Full Post »

By Alvin Finkel

The defection of two Tory MLAs to Wild Rose has largely led to commentary on the state of the Conservative Party under Ed Stelmach. But that may largely miss the point about the broader problem of Alberta politics: it is largely fraudulent politics in which the oil companies call the shots and largely unprincipled individuals are elected to office to represent only the interests of the well-to-do.

What about Heather Forsyth and Rob Anderson and their complaints that the Conservative party no longer spoke for their constituents? Their comments suggest that neither has any political ethics. Forsyth is quoted as indicating that she thinks that the Stelmach government’s new royalty regime is too hard on the energy companies. But their royalty regime, which only modified cosmetically the Klein era royalty schemes, was announced BEFORE the last election, and she and Anderson and all the others who agreed to run under the Tory banner were pledged to that policy. Under energy company pressure and the pressures from Wild Rose, which gas money transformed from a rural nutcase fundamentalist Christian party into a slick urban political machine, the Tories backed off collection of most of the monies that they promised to collect. Yet, for Forsyth, the Tories have failed to go far enough in the direction demanded by the energy giants and by the party that the energy giants captured when their former political instrument, that is the Tories, showed a modicum of independence, however small. Clearly, Forsyth and other Tory MLAs are worried that their former corporate backers will desert them in favour of Wild Rose. So they have tried to do an end-run by joining Wild Rose.

Is that democratic? Not at all. Forsyth and Anderson were not chosen to run in 2008 by a Wild Rose constituency association and they did not run on the Wild Rose platform. They show contempt for the members of their new party and for the voters in their ridings by failing to step down from their seats and seeking to win first a Wild Rose constituency association fight for a nomination and then an endorsement by their voters in their new guise as Wild Rosers.

Well, what about their other criticisms of the Stelmach government, apart from its supposed toughness on gas producers? Forsyth attacked the government both for getting into debt and for its cutbacks. This line of argument is part of the fraud that has been prevalent in Alberta politics for many years but especially since the beginning of the Klein era. It’s the something for nothing philosophy. The notion is that Albertans are supposed to have first class services without anyone having to pay much in taxes. In fact, we have lousy services in many areas because the government is so solicitous of corporate interests and the interests of the well off who could easily pay far more in taxes without it having much impact on their standard of living.

As I write this, I am in Winnipeg, where I have spent the last several weeks visiting my mother who is in a hospital palliative care unit. Mom is a 20-year survivor of ovarian cancer and has required a variety of homecare and health care services during that period. If she lived in Alberta, she would have received much poorer services unless she or her kids coughed up a lot of money to pay for things that are free in Manitoba. In brief, the difference between Manitoba and Alberta is that Manitoba has had 50 years of governments (with a few brief exceptions), both NDP and Tory, that accept the need for some fundamental human decency on the part of government. Alberta, by contrast, particularly since the Klein years, has had governments that could care less about the common man or woman, or the environment, or anything else that does not put the corporate bottom line first.

There is however little secrecy about why Manitoba–or Quebec, or Saskatchewan–can provide humane care for seniors, kids, the poor, etc. relative to Alberta. In Alberta, the flat tax rate means that multi-millionaires pay only 10 percent of their income in provincial taxes. In Manitoba their equivalents pay 15 percent. There is a 7 percent sales tax in Manitoba. Gasoline taxes are far higher than in Alberta. Corporate taxes are higher.

Ultimately Albertans also have to decide whether they want decent services from government or simply want to stash every penny they earn in their bank accounts, which could easily be ripped to shreds if they turn out to be the unlucky ones that have a family member requiring expensive health services, or home care, or daycare, or special educational requirements. Et cetera, et cetera.

The Wild Rose fraudsters, like the Tory fraudsters, pretend that no such choices are necessary. But they are. The Liberals, New Democrats, and whatever groups are forming to replace the provincial Greens need to address fundamental fiscal issues and to offer Albertans a detailed plan for a progressive government. They need to do this TOGETHER rather than separately so that Albertans get a sense that they have a real choice of governments in the next election rather than simply a choice between two fraudsters.

Read Full Post »