Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fiscal Four, Thrifty Three, Tightwad Two...

Fascinating development coming out of the PC ranks; the Fiscal Four or is it Five.

If they add more are they still being fiscally responsible?

On Twitter the predictions are that it goes the other direction. @justin_archer quipped
“When Fawcett loses his seat to Danielle Smith, the Fiscal 4 can be the Thrifty 3! Nice!”
To which I responded
“and when the third falls, they will be down to the Tightwad Two.”

Kidding aside, Daveberta has an interesting perspective and speculates this might be a staged undertaking.
This brings two questions to mind.

1) Is the PC party even intelligent enough to pull something like that off without having it completely backfire? And really what benefit is there from creating, for what, by all intents and purposes, looks like a mini internal revolt? Some Albertans may even say it just four youngsters having a tantrum.

2) Are these four truly spineless? I mean if you believe that this is a staged operation; then you must also believe that they are completely operating under the direction of Stelmach and company.

It is that second one that leads me to believe that this is not a PC staged maneuver. I don’t know Rob Anderson or Doug Griffiths; but I have never heard anyone who does know them, speak ill of them. Jonathon Denis and I have crossed virtual paths and spoken on the phone; I believe him to be principled, I think we have more in common than different.

That leaves Kyle Fawcett. He and I first faced off in the 2008 General Election. Those who have seen that exchange would likely be surprise to learn how things have changed. Since then we have shared late night banter; we have had lunch a couple of times and as a resident of Calgary – North Hill, I am a member of the Community Advisory Panel.

One of the things I have learned about Kyle is that he does care; he takes the time to listen and understand the local issues. In fact he spoke out about what he had been hearing. Unfortunately, this type of vocalizing is not tolerated.

This brings us to why (in my opinion) the Fiscal Four exists. They have seen what happens when “one” speaks out. Perhaps they feel there is safety in numbers. Perhaps they feel by being a group, it will give others the strength to join them.
Sadly though, I think they might also believe they can make a difference.

We have seen over the years that change from within the PC’s is not possible. This past weekend’s leadership result also demonstrates they are quite happy with the course of they are on. Since March ‘08 Stelmach has been saying “we have the overwhelming support of Albertans”; now he can change that to “we have the support of our members.” And he will use that to down play any MLA(s) who are not singing from his song sheet.

Stelmach and his band of merry men have not figured out that the role of an MLA is to represent their constituents; with the overall wellbeing of the province and nation in mind. They cannot get past the narrow minded mentality that if you are not with them you are against them.

It will be intriguing to see how this plays out. Will the four (or 5) be strong enough to speak their minds? And at what cost? Will it even make a difference? Will they bend under pressure from the more senior members and end up silenced?

I will close with this.

Don't worry if you don't get it, it's a lame reference that only some of my friends will get.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Too darn early for this

Stewie decided today that 4:44 would be a good time to get up.  Grrrr. I get up, let him out and reply to a couple of emails. Let him in and go back to bed. Not good enough; he starts bringing toys, one by one, into bed and pestering me. So am awake enough to post a few words.

As I eluded to in a previous post I have gone from having two blogs to just this one. I have received emails, direct Tweets and a few phone calls from viewers and friends asking what happened to my Executive Director blog. Well it is being replaced by another blog; one much better and with a bit of a different angle.

Beyond that I can't say too much, so stay tuned. I would like to thank everyone who had been following it and I hope some of you continue to follow me on this blog.

Meanwhile you still have a day or so to throw a vote my way. I  have pulled ahead, into second place and the only one ahead of me is PC'er Jonathon Denis. Click here to vote.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Life is about change......

Many new and exciting things are happening in my life.  Though I haven't had much time for blogging and I am currently on a "blog reduction program" as many of you have noticed..... LOL
(I will post more on this later).

It seems fate works in odd ways and another blogging opportunity might be presenting itself. You can see what I mean here.

Please help the Enlightened Savage out by voting for the person you feel best qualified to take on such an important role. Whether that is me or not, is your choice. Let democracy reign. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Prediction on Ed Stelmach's leadership review

A lot has happened since I last posted. Late on by-election day I fell, resulting in two cracks to my elbow and a sprained wrist. During the healing process it was in a cast and my typing ability very limited. The timing could not have been worse due the influx of new members to the Wildrose Alliance Party.


The old saying about being busier than a one-armed paper hanger would have been funny; if it hadn’t been so true. Alas the cast is gone and bruising is starting to fade and typing is again possible with only some pain. Today I finally have a few minutes and topic to motivate me to blog.


There has been a lot of talk in the media of late regarding Ed Stelmach’s leadership review. Even Ralph Klein has come out saying he must attain at least 70% to be safe. I am going to go out a limb and make a prediction. (Something I rarely do)

Based on his performance (IMHO) I think he “deserves” a 50% approval rating at best. However, there are two key reasons why the number will be higher than what he deserves.

First, a lot of the people who would have voted against him have moved on and joined the Wildrose. Our membership numbers will be released tomorrow and while we are nowhere near the level of the PC’s; we have made huge strides. Generally it is a very small percentage of the public who join political parties and those who do tend to be politically aware and politically active. I have lost count of how many people I have spoken to over the last few months who have said; “I used to be the President (or CFO or director) of … (insert any constituency name) and I am fed up with Stelmach.”

They are upset for many reasons. Most stem from overall direction and governance of our province. Some cite the internal changes to the fundraising structure. Previously if a constituency hosted a Premiers dinner (as one example), they would receive full benefit of this; now the Premier gets a 50% cut or in the case of cabinet ministers they take a 25% slice. Looks like the provincial arm wants their "fair share".

As a side note: This confirms what we already knew, that their party fundraising is suffering. Actually in my opinion it is more likely that their spending at the party level is the problem. It has been interesting watching their party finances mirror what is happening to the provincial budget. Interesting, but sad.

These are the very people who had voting rights as delegates; for most of them, they have given up those voting privileges. The ones who remain are either Stelmach supporters or still holding out hope for “change from within”.

Which brings me to my second reason for my prediction; who will be the delegates? As I understand it all sitting MLAs and former MLAs can vote. Each constituency can send 15; three of which must be youth.

I have had the unique opportunity to speak with a few sitting and retired MLAs over the past month and they have all shared similar stories. They are receiving emails and personal contact from the Premiers office pressuring them to put in place delegates who will vote in favor of Stelmach. In each of their cases they have lost so many from their core constituency boards that they cannot even come up with 15 delegates!!!

As I understand it in these cases the Premier has the option to appoint delegates to fill in the spaces. Mind you these are for the most part southern MLAs so this may not be the case across the province, but all the same you can see he has the ability to stack the process, ensuring a favorable outcome.

Ironically today their Executive Director is quoted as saying;

Jim Campbell, executive director of the Tory party, insists there's no way anyone can corrupt the voting process. He concedes, however, that people can get emotional as delegates are chosen in each riding by the constituency association executive.
"Sure there's disputes over who's on the (voting) list," says Campbell. "But we don't interfere in constituency delegate selection processes."

Why would MLAs be saying something completely different? Who is not telling the full story here, the MLAs speaking in confidence to the WAP Executive Director? Or the Executive Director of the PC’s trying to dance around the real issue in the media?

At this point I can see Eddy still having enough influence and enough people wanting to “stay at the trough” for him to get somewhere between a 72 to 76% approval rating.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Leftover random thoughts on the Calgary Glenmore by-election.

A collection of random thoughts that never quite made it to full blog commentary.


On the NDP:

Not sure why they bothered. An appointed candidate, with no visibility or support. Perhaps Travis pegged it best.



On the SC & Independent (also ran SC):

Both very comical. Toni might actually have a slim chance of coming out ahead of Len.




On Avalon Roberts;

Impressed that Avalon recognized me and approached me at debate to introduce herself.

Campaign manager is top notch fellow.

Too bad they couldn’t decide what to call us; neo-con, right wing, too conservative.

They realized too late in game they had two opponents.

David Swan overheard saying to a Hinman volunteer; “Paul is a good guy. He deserves to win and looks like he might take Glenmore.” I am still pondering this one. Does he not support another Dr. in the Leg? Have they done some polling to show this? Or is he just blowing sunshine up you know where?



On Diane Colley-Urquhart:

Premier Ed Stelmach didn’t go door knocking with the PC candidate. Likely best thing he could have done for Diane Colley-Urquhart. Rick Bell seems to agree.

From everything I have been able to gather DCU door knocked an average of four hours a day. If this map is any indication she couldn’t have covered more than 50% of the constituency.
 
Speaking of pictures; this one makes you go WTF???   Rule #1 of a campaign; “Don’t let the candidate touch the money.” That’s why Elections Alberta mandates candidates have CFO’s. It leads to speculation. The next picture is worthy of captions.  Gentleman contributor; “Really, for $600.00 you will do that for me?”

I wonder if she still is feeling the sting from one of her key volunteers jumping ship midway through the campaign to join a Wildrose Alliance Leadership candidate’s team.

Will Diane’s supportive hugging sessions continue on Election night?

Her number one supporter Jonathan Denis has been eerily quiet since the debate.

There are more, but I've likely said too much already.
As the saying goes; keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.



On Paul Hinman;

I make no bones about my admiration of Paul’s dedication and his ability to lead or serve as an MLA. I could point to many examples of this, but perhaps the most defining moment during the campaign came on Friday, August 28th. That was the day Paul learned of the sudden passing of his brother-in-law. It was the day CTV called him for an on camera interview - - and he agreed. I think that speaks volumes and adds more insight to the man than I can ever attempt to accomplish.

Sadly, it was also the same day our campaign manager learned of the passing of his father. I cannot begin to describe the strength they have each demonstrated to the team. Two of the finest men I am privledged to call friends.


Good luck to all candidates on Monday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

DCU - Decline Comment Urquhart; comments - finally !!

Tonight we attended the all candidates’ debate for the Calgary-Glenmore by-election. It was very well attended and attendees were packed in like sardines. As I understand it the Raging Grannies couldn’t get in due to the number of people.

The audience was largely liberal leaning and asked very good questions.
Len and Toni seemed very comfortable with the fact that they are not considered contenders in this and they both demonstrated great use of humor.

Paul responded to the questions asked, of course I think he did a good job. He got some great chuckles from the crowd when he read a quote from Ed Stelmach using Hinmans’ campaign slogan.

“When Stelmach was asked if it would be a reflection of his government if Conservative candidate Diane Colley-Urquhart loses the byelection, he said without speculating they would wait to see the results.

If she loses, we’ll look at the results of the election and see what the message is.


The questions directed at Diane Colley-Urquhart clearly were plants. So much so that she started nearly every response with “….{insert name} I have know you for XX years,…..” yadda yadda. I swear I saw Jason Fekete roll his eyes at one point. It was so blatantly obvious.

A couple of questions that they thought would corner Paul backfired when he very ably and succinctly responded to them.

Diane skirted around a few questions. She clearly does not understand the difference between being working in City Hall and in the Legislature. She kept comparing what she does in council to what she would be able to do in the Leg. She stated several times that she would continue to fight for the residents. Well that sounds all well and fine, expect at the Provincial level she is “in” a party; one that doesn’t take kindly to those who speak up for their constituents.

One question to Diane though stole the night and is a must see for every Calgary-Glenmore resident.

An attendee from the front row, who was obviously frustrated with Diane Colley-Urquhart skirting the “party” question, posed a Yes or No question;

“Are you willing to put your (PC) membership on the line and sit as an independent if the needs of the riding (constituency) are in variance with the political Party (PC) line?"

You can see her answer for yourself.




So there you have it another trained PC seal in action. I will give her kudos for being honest; for being up front that it really doesn’t matter what the constituents want or need; Stelmach and his PC dictatorship will rule.

DCU – "Decline Comment Urquhart" - Part Trois

It's like a gift that just keeps on giving..... We can now add Macleans Magazine to "Decline Comment Urquhart's" black-balled list.

The failure of a name Tory like Colley-Urquhart (who, oddly, would not permit Maclean’s to accompany her door-knocking) would be a black mark against the Stelmach regime not unlike that left by the Calgary-Elbow by-election two years ago, which sent an Alberta Liberal to the leg (the loss would not be as symbolically potent, however: Elbow was Klein’s old riding). Standing at his door in Calgary-Glenmore, Pete, the landscaper, says he plans to vote for Paul Hinman, the Wildrose Alliance Party candidate (and still its leader pending a leadership race). Hinman is capitalizing on the Tories’ fiscal woes with a campaign to “Send Ed a Message.”

Diane Colley-Urquhart, would not permit Maclean’s to accompany her door-knocking!!

I have never heard of a candidate turning down an opportunity like this. It is an chance to put your best assets on display. Interaction with the constituents is the prime function of an MLA. The door step is where the election is won or lost.

What was she afraid of? That they would not find a favourable reception? That they would be hard pressed to find someone who would openly say they were voting for the PC's?

Is she worried that they might see the little group hug her team does when she gets dissed at the door? Would that lead to the question of how she might handle that in the Leg? Who is going to be there to give her the reassuring hug? Denis? Fritz?

This just in....
A blogger gets shut out!!!! Another Jeremy added to the list.

Here is the list as it now stands:

- Anyone commenting on her blog.
- Interested followers on Twitter.
(Probably just limited to me, but who knows.)
- Fast Forward Magazine - Jeremy Klaszus
- CTV
- CBC
- Calgary Sun
- Macleans Magazine
- PolitiCalgary - Jeremy

Part one can be found here and part deux here.

Tonight should be interesting, or will the community be snubbed as well?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Stewie - All grown up

How Stewie gets his exercise. Looks like Cory gets a little bit too. LOL




This is Stewie when we first got him in March 2008, then he was about 10 weeks and 8 pounds.

Next photo, taken tonight on same spot on the couch. He is one year, eight months and about 60 pounds now.  We are pretty confident he is full grown now.


This past weekend, chillin at Paul Hinman's campaign office.

Will it really happen?

PC candidates here in Alberta historically do not take part in public forums. They seem to have every excuse under the sun. Such as; there's a scheduling conflict, not all the other candidates are participating, there are too many candidates participating, etc, etc.


This week it looks like we might actually get a chance to witness this rare phenomenon.



Might be worth a drive south.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The sign thief - part 2

As mentioned yesterday a couple of our volunteers witnessed an attempt theft of a sign, one that had been stolen twice before. They also tried to videotape it.

The homeowners who were the victims have seen the video and do not recognize the individual, yet we are quite certain he lives in the area.

I met with the Liberal team yesterday and they had received a call that a number of signs had been dumped in someone's backyard and that was within about a block of the Palliser location. I also went to the PC campaign to see if they had any information to add to the story, but they were closed yesterday.


In the video there is no clear image of his face. He is about 16-18 years old, fairly tall and his mode of transport that evening was a skateboard.
 
It is unlikely that he can be identified by this video, but perhaps it will serve as warning to others. Volunteers take their roles seriously and don't take kindly to delinquents tearing down their efforts.



Here are a couple screenshots.


The skateboard is quite long and fairly pointed on both ends.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

DCU – "Decline Comment Urquhart" - Part Deux

Thanks to Princess for commenting on my first post regarding DCU – "Decline Comment Urquhart".

She has pointed out we can now add the Calgary Sun to the growing list of group Diane Colley-Urquhart has shut out.

Conservative candidate Diane Colley-Urquhart was not available for comment.

The list now includes:

- Anyone commenting on her blog.
- Interested followers on Twitter.
(Probably just limited to me, but who knows.)
- Fast Forward Magazine
- CTV
- CBC
- Calgary Sun

Editted 6:30 PM to add:

I dropped by  both the Liberal office and  DCU's office this afternoon to discuss an issue affecting all the candidates. Unfortunately, DCU's was closed. Had a chat with Liberal team they were friendly and helfpful.

Willful Damage to Campaign Signs

I know I hear the groans; it is not an exciting topic. However, based on a call from volunteer this morning I think we may have an interesting story on our hands.

I want to preface this with the fact that I do NOT subscribe to the notion that campaign teams do this to one another and I will explain why in a bit. I also want to give some background for readers who are less “politically involved”.

Vandalism and theft of signs happens, it’s a fact of life. The extent of it though seems to vary from election to election. When I ran in Calgary-Elbow in 2007 my campaign experienced very little. In 2008 we had several occurrences that I wrote about here and here.

Yesterday I did a stint in Paul’s campaign office and signs were a hot topic among the volunteers. Partly because the requests keep coming in and they have been working very hard to get them all completed. There a number of people helping with this, I estimate there is a core group of about six who regularly spend every day and weekend (after working full-time jobs) placing signs. Like this young man’s dad.


More and more they have been noticing an increase in signs knocked down, graffiti covered and occasionally gone all together. Now don’t get me wrong, it is not just Paul’s signs, it is happening to all candidates across the board. I just happen to be privy to the inside stories coming from Paul’s campaign.

There are two reasons why I don’t point a finger to the other campaigns and I also quickly discourage others from doing so.

The first is the cost, signs are not cheap. Paul has had to re-order signs twice (thankfully due to popularity, not destruction), a final shipment was picked up just this past Friday.

The second is the volunteers. These people put in countless hours away from family and without remuneration. They construct frames; they drive their own large trucks around on their own dime, most work full-time jobs.

I think all candidates and campaign managers understand these aspects and what goes into this part of a campaign. They understand the cost and they most definitely understand the value of volunteers. Whether you have 15 or 50 they are your backbone of support and truly their time is precious and best spent elsewhere.

The very fact that one of Avalon’s volunteers picked up one our damaged signs and then called us to retrieve it speaks volumes and supports my belief in this.

I guess one could list a third reason… that is just plain ILLEGAL I see that as a “given” and like to believe all candidates are at least above breaking the law.

This brings us to the story; yesterday volunteers shared this unique case to me. (Note: I might be off by a day or so either way these dates).

On August 28th they received a request from a supporter in Palliser for a 4 X 4 sign to be placed on their lawn. The following day it was installed; a two (one sided) signs back to back with three wooden stakes driven into the ground to hold it in place.

Monday, August 31st, the office gets a second call from the supporter. The sign is gone. Not damaged, not broken off at that stakes, but completely gone.

The sign is replaced as it was previously installed, albeit the stakes are driven in a bit further.

Thursday, September 3rd another call from the supporter. It has been stolen yet again. Needless to say the resident is quite upset that someone would come onto their property, not once but twice within five days and steal something right out of their yard.

One has to wonder what goes through a thief’s mind. Do they think they can influence an election outcome by removing a sign? Hardly. Do they think the candidate will be upset by this type of thing? Again, not likely they have far better things to do.

By this point the volunteers are also incredibly ticked that someone could have such little regard to all their hard work. countless hours and the invasion of one of our supporters’ private property; never mind the wasted money on signs that just disappear.

Now I wasn’t privy to the conversation, but as I understand it an agreement was reached between a couple of volunteers and the supporter. The sign would be replaced one more time and volunteers would keep an eye on it.

So it was placed a third time.

This morning I get word from a volunteer that they witnessed the third attempt to steal this sign, not only that; they have video of him fleeing the scene!!!!!!!!!

I have since spoken with this very loyal supporter. I will be picking up the video today and then meeting with the supporter to show it to them.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Invite to bloggers of all stripes

I would like to invite Bloggers and Tweets of all political stripes to attend the Wildrose Alliance Leadership Convention in Edmonton October 17 at the Holiday Inn Convention Centre.

For just $30.00 (same price members will pay) you can have lunch, mix, mingle and be there first hand when the results come in!!

You can register online here. Then drop me an email with your blogs URL and I will add a link to your blog on my Executive Director’s blog. (Your real name will NOT be revealed.) I will also provide you with the discount code for accommodations at the centre.

Edited to correct: (Your real name will NOT be revealed.)

Clearly, I wasn't very clear. LOL

You have to register in your REAL name. Your BLOG name will appear in the list on my official WAP blog. It is your option to have your real name appear there also. And as Ken Chapman has pointed out it will add hugely to your credibility.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Diane Colley-Urquhart’s flip flop

Decline Comment Urquhart 'errr Diane Colley-Urquhart is adamantly claiming she has not changed her mind regarding her aldermanic position. Yet, her very own words tell a very different story.


Diane Colley-Urquhart, August 5, 2009


Very clearly she states she is taking a “leave of absence”. The Wiki definition:

Leave of absence (LOA) is a term used to describe a period of time that one is to be away from his/her primary job, while maintaining the status of employee. This term is in contrast to normal periods away from the workplace, such as vacations, holidays, hiatuses, sabbaticals, and “working from home” programs, in that they are considered to be exceptional circumstances, rather than benefits. Generally such an arrangement has a predefined termination at a particular date or after a certain event has occurred.

Diane Colley-Urquhart, in today’s Calgary Herald:


Colley-Urquhart said her decision to stay on as alderman was made after consulting colleagues and advisers. She said she'll pay back the aldermanic wages that she earns during the campaign period.


“Stay on as alderman” is quite different than “leave of absence”.

Both times she refers to “discussing or consulting others”. Which begs the questions; is she getting “advice” from multiple sources or are they the same ones who are changing their minds? If so, why doesn’t she stand up to them? Or is it Diane who is changing her mind?

Either way, it boils down to; at best very poor optics and at worst (IMO) unethical behavior.

In fact if Diane Colley-Urquhart were nearly anyone else at City Hall she would be in breach of their “Conflict of Interest Policy.”

It very clearly states that employees take a “leave of absence”
Federal and Provincial Elections:

• An employee will be entitled to a leave of absence without pay during candidature for a provincial or federal election or by-election.

The catch is:

SCOPE / EXCEPTIONS

This policy applies to individuals employed by the City, including those on contract, but not including elected officials.

So there you have it; one set of standards for the peasants and another for the lords.

Shouldn’t our elected offices be held to an even higher standard? Even it is not “written in” to their policies; can they not “lead by example? Perhaps I am just asking a bit too much.


Hat tip to FFCanuck at Blogging Tories for bringing the Conflict of Interest document to my attention.

I should also note you will not find Diane’s comments on her blog as she has since deleted them. In fact she has deleted every comment from every post on the blog and no longer allows comments.


It would appear Diane Colley-Urquhart took my “advice”.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Things that make you go 'Hmmm?"

First I must thank the receptionist at Diane Colley-Urquhart's office; because you really can't buy coverage like this;

CTV News tried to talk to PC candidate Diane Colley-Urquhart about Alberta's current financial situation and whether the growing deficit was having an impact on her campaign. We were told she was too busy to speak to us.
Priceless.

That leads us to what makes you go "Hmmm?" At the 1:47 minute mark of the video we get a very clear shot of the front of Diane Colley-Urquharts campaign headquarters. The windows are completely covered; that is 100% covered.

At the same time we have this in the news;

Last fall, Swinton commissioned a replica of a Michelangelo Sistine Chapel scene, using the same material applied to bus windows so that people can see out of the store. He says the company that did the work didn't tell him it would require a permit from the city.

Acting on a complaint, planning development and building approvals staff visited the site and told Swinton he would have to either remove the art or apply for a development permit.

John Purdy, the city's chief development control planner, said the permit was rejected because the sign takes up 100 per cent of the window. The land use bylaw allows for 30 per cent of the window to be covered.

Clearly we have two individuals who have violated the bylaw, yet only one has to answer to City Hall.

Editted to add:

Thanks to all who sent me photos of Diane Colley-Urquharts campaign office.

From the outside, screen shot from video:




From the inside:

Photo removed at the request of the Facebook owner.
(Editted: Sept 5. 13:52)


Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 12 and going into second weekend ...

Here we are at day 12 and going into the second weekend of the Calgary Glenmore by-election. Thought I would surf the other candidates websites.

It is good to see the NDP finally have acknowledged their candidate.

And the PC camp... oh wait... what's this?

Diane Colley-Urquhart's site seems to be down. I checked her Twitter and nothing posted there about what the issue might be.

Anyone want to take odds that she got the Boutilier err I mean boot for speaking against King Eddie?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Diane Colley-Urquhart; Tories hiding from dissenting opinions.

I was alerted today that Diane Colley-Urquhart Tweeted yet another brillant quote.



Is she truly oblivious to the facts that got us to this point? The PC's have been overspending for several budgets in a row now. More than a few sources have been pointing this out for years and predicting the deficit situation.

This is the second great nugget of wisdom to come from Diane Colley-Urquhart and since she has been following me for a while on Twitter; I thought it time to repay the favour.

But alas when I click on "Follow" I get a big red (ironic, isn't it...Big Red) warning.



I have little doubt that Diane Colley-Urquhart has blocked me because she may not have liked some of my commentary on her and I have heard through the political-grapevine that she doesn't take critism very well.

But really Diane is this how you handle difficult or challenging situations? Turn a blind eye to them? Shut the door and hope they go away? One wonders if this will be a regular practice should she become the MLA for Calgary-Glenmore.

Luckily the residents who do their research have been finding this blog... and in record numbers of late. Good to see that in a Google blog search of Diane Colley-Urquhart; my blog comes up as a "related blog". In fact hers is currently fifth on the list.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Oh what a dilema....

This morning I am reading through my google search hits (as I often do) and one of them takes me to Brian Dell’s blog.

He drops some interesting hints as to the identity of the phantom blogger Enlightened Savage. Enough hints for me to figure it out rather quickly.

Now I find myself in a bit a spot. Normally this kind outing would be a bit of coup; but I actually like this guy.

What a dilemma; what to do?

A) Out him. -- I am a strong believer that people should stand behind their words.

B) Leave it be.-- If I can figure it out, surely others will now too.

C) Is there a third choice?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Paul Hinman, Calgary Glenmore Kick-off a HUGE success.

It was a beautiful day in Calgary; perfect for the first large volunteer effort on Paul Hinmans campaign. We met at 10:00 AM and the workers were eager to go. We managed to snap this picture of the first 35 volunteers.



By 10:15 they had their packages and spread out like busy ants throughout the constituency. CTV stopped by to do a quick interview with Paul and then he was on his way too.

By 11:00 AM we had late arrivals signed in, along with another half dozen from each the Mark Dyrholm and Danielle Smith campaigns. Bringing our confirmed number to 55!!

With so many hands we covered all the targeted areas without having to over work any of your dedicated members. We reconvened at the Boston Pizza at Southland Drive and 24 St.SW.



The management welcomed us with great hospitality and the staff did an amazing job creating a vast selection of their finest pizzas. The food was delicious and was perfect for those who had worked up an appetite.



All in all, it was a great day, it went smoothly, we accomplished our goal; it was a HUGE success.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out.

In the coming days I will be posting an invite to visit at our campaign headquarters. For more information you can also visit Pauls website.

Friday, August 21, 2009

How would you feel?

How would you feel if the party you were running for, or the leader of that party, barely recognizes that you are their candidate? Or that there is even a by-election on the go?

Diane Colley-Urquhart was the first candidate nominated to the Calgary – Glenmore way back in early June. Yet no statement has come from the Leader of the PC’s in support of this candidate.

The PC website didn’t even acknowledge there was a by-election on the go until AFTER it was pointed out on two blogs, here and here in the comments; and that was two days ago. We all know this party knew when the by-election was going to be called.

They knew the date, they knew who their candidate was; yet they failed to give Diane Colley-Urquhart every day of free advertising they could on their very own website. It took a couple astute bloggers to bring it to Ed’s attention.

And where is Ed? Diane kicked off her campaign Monday afternoon with a handful of people in attendance. This is not a general election where he can’t attend all 83 constituencies; there is only one show on the go, yet he doesn’t even show up for her kick off???

Does he just “assume” she does not need his support? Perhaps he doesn’t support her as a candidate?

Is he afraid to step foot in Calgary? Has he caught wind that there is a message to be delivered to him? Or is he even paying attention?

So many unanswered questions….counting the days until Eddy makes an appearance.

Strange happenings in Calgary - Glenmore

Last night the sign crew got our good 'ol election truck done up with a couple of 4 X 8 campaign signs.




Pic was taken with my BlackBerry and is a bit blurry, but you get the idea. Today was it's first day in the constituency, busy delivering more signs.

The sign crew stopped at a local convenience store for some refreshments, when they came out there was someone who appeared to be taking down their license plate numbers. (From this truck and another)

She was in the passenger seat of a BMW. They described her as being an older woman with her hair dyed red. They thought this a bit odd, so they also took down her plate number.

A gentleman then got into the drivers’ seat. The campaign truck pulled out of the parking lot and realized the beamer was behind them. Coincidence perhaps, so they turned down a residential street and so did the car.

Turn down another street. Yup still behind them. Three turns later the campaign truck pulls over; the car pulls over too about half a block back. Truck pulls out, car pulls out…. A few back alleys and side streets later they lose the tailing car.

This is my husbands truck and he was driving it today. Now, I know he is one good looking man, hell he is HOT....and he does have a thing for older women, but he is taken!!!

So back off....LOL

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Funny Calgary Glenmore By-election story

Truth be told, I am not that "involved" in the actual campaign. Other than fielding and redirecting calls that happen to come into Head Office. So this might end up being the only funny story from me.

Tonight the sign crew was working on installations at Wildrose Alliance members homes, so I thought I would tag along for PR. Had a great time catching up with some I hadn't seen for awhile and since many are new; meeting others for the first time.

On one particular street there was a sandwich board sign saying Diane Colley-Urquhart was "door knocking" in the area. We did quite few signs there and were in the vicinity for about 30 minutes.

When we were re-grouping to move to the next section, my husband turned to me and said; "I still haven't seen Diane's knockers."

With a rather astonished expression I said; "Excuse me????"

And he repeated; "I still haven't seen Diane's knockers." Then he realized what he had said.... priceless.

Monday, August 17, 2009

When things don't add up.

As a bookkeeper things that don’t add up catch my attention. This was the case recently as I read through some of the Alberta Human Right Commission (AHRC) decisions made by Diane Colley-Urquhart.


You can see from this screenshot it looks like the most recent case determined by Diane Colley-Urquhart was made on June 16, 2009. I was pretty sure she had stated she resigned after her candidate acclamation. I searched out news articles to confirm her acclamation date. Several sources confirm what we see below June 4th was the deadline for nominations and therefore by June 5 Diane Colley-Urquhart was the PC candidate.



When I re-read her comment about her resignation, I realized it is indeed ambiguous with no specific date given. One might “assume” the date was June 5 the first business day after she was confirmed. Now that was a Friday, so maybe she waited until the Monday. All we can discern with certainty it was not between June 1 and 5 and given she made an AHRC decision on June 16 it likely was not before then either.




The fact that the AHRC did not remove Diane Colley-Urquhart’s bio from their website until it was pointed out only adds more doubt to the exact date of her resignation. This leaves one wondering “why be so vague” about it. If she had business to conclude with the commission, why not just say so.

Personally, I think individuals who run in elections don’t need to step down from their current paid positions until the writ is dropped or until they start “actually” campaigning. It is not an uncommon practice within in political campaigns that the candidate be remunerated from contributions, sort of “in lieu of” salary they are no longer receiving. I have never done it and I don’t condone it, for me I see it as a cost of my commitment, also I think contributions are better directed to campaign expenses. (signs, advertising, etc.)

Having said that the PC Calgary-Glenmore constituency has more than $150,000.00 in their coffers, it's well within their means to replace their candidate’s salary for the duration of the campaign or even the campaigning, which in this case started long before the writ was dropped.

Diane Colley-Urquhart is on record August 15 stating; “We have been campaigning in Calgary-Glenmore now for over two months.”


Many have criticized her for not resigning her aldermanic position while campaigning. As a Calgarian I agree, our tax dollars pay her salary and she should not be receiving it while she is clearly not carrying out those duties. This is evidenced by both her statement and the fact that she has been absent from some votes at city council.

When questioned on this Diane Colley-Urquhart said; “I am taking leave of absence and paying back my salary when the election is called.”



Who are her "community leaders"? Bronco? Shouldn't she be answering to the people of Calgary?

Her statement is very vague. Is she only paying back salary received from today to election day? Or is she paying back everything from when she started campaigning?

Why bother with “paying back”; why not simplify things and take a leave of absence “without” pay? Let me know what you think, vote in the poll on my blog.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Stats and Twitter are a buzzing.

For a Saturday, my stat counter is racking up the hits today; haven’t had this kind of activity since I exposed Rebecca. I also seem to have a new batch of Diane Colley-Urquhart supporters following me on Twitter.

It didn’t take long to get a response from Diane Colley-Urquhart in reaction to my morning entry.



As you can see two of my three questions have been answered. Diane Colley-Urquhart has now removed my name from the entry and deleted Travis’ comment. However, she maintains her stance that investing copious sums of money in the carbon capture boondoggle is critical. So it is safe to say the Progressive Conservative’s (PC’s) will be pissing away more money on CCS.

Diane Colley-Urquhart has also confirmed her resignation from the HRC. (This question was previously brought up on Travis’ blog)

She goes on to explain how her campaign will not engage in name calling. For the most part I agree with that comment; facts certainly make a better argument than petty names. However in politics, it is inevitable. I have been on the receiving end and I sure there are examples out there of me dishing it out as well.

If Diane Colley-Urquhart is taking issue with my using the moniker of “Big Red”; she must really have a hate on for Rick Bell, he uses it no less than nine times in this article.

Lastly, it is rather comical that she posted during her volunteer rally. I feel honored that she would take time away from her volunteers and supporters to respond to a member of an opposing party.
Hmmm, wonder how they feel about it?

Diane Colley-Urquhart recap and covering her tracks?

As you may recall Diane Colley-Urquhart Tweeted this bizarre comment about the Pembina Institute.

Diane Colley-Urquhart: Need to get up to speed on the Pembina Institute and your policy positions...you do good work..


It caused others to muse:

(I_Q to Diane Colley-Urquhart} you'll be kicked out of caucus before you even start if you continue talking like that.


We have seen with Guy Boutilier; speaking your mind gets you kicked out.

(russlyster to Diane Colley-Urquhart) The Pembina Institute does good work? They're probably the largest anti-oil propagandists in AB. Not something we need, IMO.


Perhaps what Diane needs to get up to speed on is that fact that the O & G industry is the largest driver of Alberta's economy, never mind the fact that she is running right in the home base of it.

(ABConservative to Diane Colley-Urquhart) WOW! Really Diane?


and

(WildroseJane to Diane Colley-Urquhart)HUH? PC Candidate?


We of course were questioning exactly what type of "good work" they do and how a PC candidate could possibly be taking them seriously. A true conservative would be more apt to take any report they put out with a HUGE grain of salt. If these are the types of policy positions the PC's are considering people might as well vote NDP.

Now Diane had ignored all four of these responses directed to her until I blogged about it here on August 11 at 1:00 PM.

On August 12 at 3:30 PM on Twitter:

Diane Colley-Urquhart: Sorry for the delay Jane, not intentional, I will post a reply on your blog


I waited, but nothing came. I was getting comments from others so the feature was indeed working. Then, more than a day later I get a comment from Travis, a fellow blogger that she has posted the response on her blog.



This was Diane's response.



Then by 10 AM the following morning it has been removed!!!

It is only thanks to Google cache that I am able to provide you with the screen shot. Unfortunately, it does not show the comment Travis had left.

Why did she pull it?

Perhaps someone pointed out that it was a bit odd to see the name of the Wildrose Alliance's Executive Director as a subject title on her blog?

Maybe she couldn't stomach the negative comment Travis had left?

Or could it be that the PC puppet masters laid down law when because she clearly states:

In particular, carbon capture and the heavy investments made by our provincial government and the feds is critical to reducing GHE.


This speaks volumes; Diane Colley-Urquhart supports "heavy investments" for carbon capture. Not only does she support it, but in her own words it "is critical".

Her nickname of Big Red takes on a whole new meaning in this light.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What gives Diane ?

It would appear she has removed her comments. What gives with that?

I am on my way to the Canadian Centre for Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention for testing, but will delve into this a bit more later.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Diane Colley-Urquhart responds

Diane has responded on her own blog with the following:



I tried to respond with the following comments yesterday ...

I have been busy door knocking and campaigning so apologies for not responding sooner to your inquiry regarding the Pembina Institute. In particular, carbon capture and the heavy investments made by our provincial government and the feds is critical to reducing GHE. I agree with the PI that this is only one of the measures we need to take with regard carbon dioxide emissions and finding sustainable solutions.

Posted by Diane Colley-Urquhart at 9:26 PM

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vows and other things.....

Just returned home from my son's wedding. It was a beautiful early evening event on the rooftop of a building in downtown. The sun came streaming out for one last gasp at just the right moment. Even a little breeze whipping up the brides dress was well timed. Later in the evening guests enjoyed dancing with the Calgary Tower as a backdrop.


On another note, Diane Colley-Urquhart has replied on Twitter, that she will be providing commentary here on my blog in response to fellow "Twitterers" (or is it Twits? LOL).

While she is at it I invite her to check out a fellow bloggers post here. It seems a question has come up in the comments with regards to her current status with the Human Rights Commission, that she could clarify.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Diane Colley-Urquhart - True Colors?

I have heard DianeColley-Urquhart referred to as "Big Red", I always thought it referred to her hair color. Then I saw her post this on Twitter ten days ago.



Leads me to think she might have a heavy Liberal red stripe to her....err or is that more an NDP orange?

It raised the eyebrows of other Twitter users and prompted these resplies to her.



After a week she had not addressed the inquiries. I went away for a few days, thinking there must be a response by now.... but alas there is none. Leaving many wondering just what the heck she was talking about.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sometimes when we touch, the honesty's too much...

I heard this song a few days ago and it started the gears churning on my blogging hiatus. In some ways it could be an alternate title to my blog, but not if I fear “going there”. If I avoid being to “up close and personal” or “the honesty is too much”…..then I really should change the blog name.

“Sometimes when we touch….”

Touch can be a warm hug from a dear friend or an electrifying kiss, but it is not always physical. You can be touched by things that don’t even involve you; like a disaster in another province. You can be touched by a look; like my sons’ eyes when I explained what has been happening with me. You can be touched by words; as the numerous emails I have received from friends and strangers. And perhaps this blog entry will touch someone and make a difference in their life.

If you are squeamish or have a weak stomach, you may not want to continue reading.

July 21, 2009

Cory and I celebrate our second wedding anniversary. We have a great barbeque and exchange gifts. He gives me an aromatherapy neck bag. Very thoughtful, as I seem to be plagued with headaches and a sore neck from too many hours at the computer. I give him a book published in 1920, “The private letters of Sir Robert Peel”; Conservative Prime Minister of the UK in the early 1800’s.

July 22, @ 3:00 AM

I awoke to a mouth full of blood. Of course I ran to the bathroom to vomit. I was barely able to formulate the thought that I must be bleeding internally, only to realize blood was streaming from both nostrils. I tried for 15 minutes to get it to stop and decided to wake Cory up. After another 15 minutes, he declared he was bringing me to the hospital. Later we would marvel at how I did not spill one drop from the bedroom to the bathroom, yet the bathroom looked like a slaughter house floor.

At the hospital they have me take a seat right in the triage office and affixed a massive clothespin on my nose. Then started taking my vitals and had the admitting clerk come into the triage area to obtain my personal information. Cory was still parking the car at this point, which gives you an idea of just how quickly I was attended to.

The questions start, all pretty straight forward until… “How long have you had high blood pressure?” My response, “Never. I have low blood pressure.” Nurse: “Not tonight you don’t”. They move me to a treatment room in the emergency section, good thing I can’t lay down as all the beds appear to be full.

Over the next 30-45 minutes they monitor my blood pressure, which remains high. I now have an ice pack on my neck. With my nose blocked the blood runs down my throat and is clotting so I continue to throw up globs of semi-congealed blood. The doctor explains the procedure of chemically cauterizing the rupture in my nasal passage. The first image that pops into my head is the scene from Fight Club when he burns the back of his hand with acid. As he takes out the nasal forceps yet another movie pops into my head…Total Recall. Go figure, my nose is a flexible as Arnie’s.

The doctor explains that in his opinion, I am very lucky to have just a nose bleed and that this could have just as easily been a stroke or brain aneurysm. He suggests I stay so they can run a few more tests. I balk at this (at this point, I am still doubting the seriousness) and he relents so long as I agree to see my regular doctor later in the day. Agreed.

6:00 AM

We are back at home. I send a quick email to the board and Heather, (my office administrator) letting them know I will be taking the day off. Cory cleans up the slaughter house bathroom and I try to get some sleep.

9:00 AM

Call my doctors office, he is not in but we decide to go anyway and see another through the walk-in clinic in the same office. I can’t shake the words from the emergency doctor, so I start to do my own research and I start to have a better understanding. Though it will still be sometime before I admit there could be anything “really” wrong with me.

11:00 AM

The walk-in doctor didn’t ask too many questions and said my blood pressure was pretty much normal. Though he did note from my history, it could be seen as being on the high side. He felt my nose bleed was likely due to the dry air in Calgary and nothing to be concerned about. All the same, keep an eye on your blood pressure. I took it upon myself to book a follow up with my own doctor the following week.

Over the next five days I went to my local Shoppers Drug Mart, took my blood pressure and recorded it in a book. It was different every day, one day even normal. Aside from that though, it was consistently high (averaging 147 over 107). During that time I did not “feel” sick. In fact, I didn’t feel much different than I had prior to the nosebleed.



“…The honesty’s too much…”

Honesty, like touch can take many forms. It can make you laugh, cry, it can be surprise you in a delightful way or it can shock you and scare the hell out of you.

July 28

I have another bad nosebleed in the morning, but am able to get it to stop and attend my afternoon appointment with my doctor. From my research and the questions he asks, I now start to face the fact that there’s more to this picture than just a nosebleed. For a few months now I have been having trouble focusing my vision first thing in the morning. Not every day, but enough for it to be annoying to me. Also, Cory and I have now recalled an incident that happened about a month ago, where I suffered extreme chest pain. It was a crushing pressure, like a tight squeeze. At the time, I put these off as insignificant, odd occurrences’. I share these with the doctor along with the record of my blood pressure readings.

He promptly sends me for blood tests and an EKG (why do they call it that when there is no K in it?) and tells me to return with a copy from the lab. I check in at the lab and they take me in right way, no waiting despite other people in the room. (I wonder just what the heck my doctor wrote on the form, the only legible part was ASAP). I walk back to the Docs office with a copy of my EKG in a brown envelope, I am very tempted to open it and look. But I honestly, I would have no clue what I was looking at, so I refrain.

The doctor reviews the EKG and says it has some “irregularities”, nothing serious he assures me. All the same he would like to get a chest x-ray done. Off I go again, requisition form in hand, down the mall to x-ray. Here I have to wait. I get a bit of a chuckle about all the “Turn off you cell” signs as the girl behind the desk answers a ringing phone…..her cell. Within the half hour I am returning to my Doc’s office with another tempting envelop in my hand, again I decline to look. It’s like a bad dream, I thought what if the x-ray showed my heart with a “best before date” and that date was already past.

I wait while the Doc reviews it. I am hoping he comes back with a verdict, then again I’m not. And that’s sort of what I get, a half answer. He tells me he has booked me an appointment with a cardiologist. Umm, ok, why? “Well your heart is enlarged.” He explains this could be a number of things. Most likely, the high blood pressure or less likely a tumor. He also strongly believes the episode of chest pain I had a month ago was in all probability a mild heart attack. He gives me a prescription to lower my blood pressure; books more blood work (to check for kidney damage) and a follow up appointment. In a nutshell, I have Stage 2 hypertension and in a very high risk category for a heart attack or stroke.

Then I get read the riot act, which I have heard before and knew it was coming.

You drink too much coffee; cut back.

You use too much salt; cut back.

You don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables; eat more of these.

You smoke; STOP. (This one changed a bit, he used just say, cut back)

You are overweight; start some sort of exercise, mild exercise for now. (Geez, he used to be more diplomatic about this one too)

I think this was more my day of awakening than any of the others. It starts to sink in; deep. I can’t help but think, this is so typical and you hear it all the time. Where people get everything “right” in their life; only to be taken from this world. I have found the love of my life, my kids are grown and on their own, I have a wonderful grandson and a career I thoroughly love; what more could I ask for? Apparently, I could ask for another 20 years to enjoy it all.

Cory and I talk about “what if’s”. The “what if I die” seems a whole lot easier than the “what if I don’t”. If I die; he will move on with his life. Will he find another? “Yes”, he says. I am ok with that, hell I even expect it. He’s young. In fact my sister has offered to take very good care of him. LOL

What if I am suffer a severe stroke or have a blood clot in my brain? What if I am either mentally or physically incapacitated, but not dead? Would you move on then? “Yes”, he says. Ouch. Score another one for honesty. He goes onto explain, if the situation was reversed he would want me to move on. This was days ago, I am still processing it.

The past week I have had a nosebleed every day, sometimes twice; but they are lessening. My blood pressure has come down marginally.

I have reduced my caffeine intake to one cup of coffee in the morning. If I have other coffees in the day, they are decaf.

Cory has been working very diligently on reducing the salt in our meals and I am eating more fruit and veggies.

We are going for walks every day now.

The smoking is by far the most difficult. I was smoking close to a pack (24) a day. I have it down to 10 a day now.

I have a follow up with my doctor this week, and then see the cardiologist next week. In the in between time I will be attending my son’s wedding and being thankful for YouTube so I can enjoy my grandson Taelon's laughter from halfway around the world.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Taking a break

I am going to take a bit of breather from web forums and from my personal blog. Last night Cory had to take me to emergency. I rested today and did some reflection.

While I am fine now, it is clear that I have been given a warning sign that I need to make some lifestyle changes. Personally I need to refocus on my wellbeing and politically on where I can make the greatest impact; neither of those will occur on the web.

People who are interested can follow the party on the website. Current happenings will still be on my Executive Director blog and Twitter.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jim Campbell needs to stretch his imagination.

There is a great quote in Don Braid's "Tories easily spooked" appearing in today's Herald, from my PC counterpart, Executive Director Jim Campbell.

Regarding Ed Stelmach’s upcoming leadership review Braid comments;

These Tories point out that a negative vote would come only a year and a half after Stelmach won 72 of 83 seats in the legislature, the biggest first victory ever for a Tory premier. Many Albertans would wonder how much power Conservatives need to be satisfied.


To which Jim Campbell responds;

"I can't imagine people in the party wanting to vote against a premier with a record like that," says Jim Campbell, the party's executive director.


This is exactly the attitude I was referring to yesterday when I said…..

It's like they think everything is "stuck in time"; that every day is March 3, 2008. Well there have been many days since then and there will be many more before Albertans go to the polls again.


So in addition to Mark Norris (former MLA) and a few current MLA’s (who I won’t name); we can add their Executive Director to the list of PC proponents who think everything is rosy in Eddyville.

It's becoming clear why Stelmach had to look elsewhere to find people to "think big".

Monday, July 13, 2009

My thoughts on Mark Norris

This is a follow up to my Saturday, July 11 post. See that entry for links to the phone call I am refering to.

My past careers have included many years in call centres. As soon as Mark Norris (former, MLA, cabinet minister and also ran in the PC leadership) started to speak it was evident he was frustrated and even said as much. His tone and volume were very aggressive in nature. In a call centre a coach would say this call can go either way; the caller will completely lose their cool or if handled properly, they could be diffused.

Mark really came off sounding just plain cranky and one has to wonder why. I will look at a couple of his comments.

First when referring to where the Wildrose Alliance gets it funding from.


…….really wealthy old guys who are just pissed off.


So much can be extracted from this one statement. He seems to take issue with how wealthy people choose to spend their money. Also that they only do it because they are “just pissed off”, which implies they are doing it without any forethought or examination of where they are spending their money.

Our financial records up to the end of 2008 are public domain, now they do not show the age of contributors. However, I have had the great pleasure of speaking to most and meeting many of the contributors and I can confirm they pretty close to my age. At 46 I don’t consider myself old, but I guess if you are a young buck like Mark you might. By the way Mark is 47.

The other aspect the financials do not show is everyone who donated under $375.00; all the middle class families, just trying to get by; the students working their way through school and the truly “senior” people of Albertan who are on very tight fixed incomes. These are the grassroots supporters who send us what they can because they care and want to help us make a difference.

All of our contributors give because they have done their research; whether it is $10 or $10,000. If Albertans gave to a political party (that does not have a seat, as Mark pointed out several times) just because they were “pissed off”, well, we would be rolling in dough.


Mark Norris regarding the New Royalty Framework.

….. the is reality changes had to be made, the people of Alberta were calling for them. Stelmach did the best job he could at the time.


First of all before Eddy came up with the “Our Fair Share” the only Albertans who were calling for an increase were Liberal and NDP MLA’s. Albertans wanted change, but it was to the PC’s spending habits. Some Albertans do not even understand Royalties. They do understand a government that spends more than it takes in and how the leads to deficits. Stelmach did what he had to, to get votes. And that is not the best job he could have done at the time. Had he being doing his job (protecting Alberta and its interests) he would have looked at the things that were already impacting the O & G industry and acted accordingly.

Rather than pit Albertans against “big oil”, he could have educated Albertans on the huge benefits of having a healthy environment for the energy sector to conduct their business. Mark should heed his own words from July 2001.

I firmly believe business drives jobs. The government’s best role is to create a framework for businesses to work mostly unfettered.


Mark continues with:

I know many people in the patch who think they are better off.


I can’t deny this, I am sure there are a few, but they are just that, few and far between. I would also speculate they are better off despite Stelmach and the NRF; not because of them. Like this one. Oh look, Mark Norris is the chairman of the board. I see from their news section they have some huge sales in the United States. Good on them.


Mark on why other provinces are now doing better than Alberta.

….the reason SK, BC and MB have risen is because they all copied models we put in place 10 years ago.


Umm okay. So they are using a model we used 10 years ago; which seemed to work fine for us at the time. Now three other provinces are currently using the same model and it is working very well for them. Tell me again….why did we abandon it?

Mark says he will be back in politics, I suspect he will at least run as an MLA or maybe he will take another stab at the PC leadership. The only question remains is will he be sitting in an opposition seat when the time comes.

Mark makes several references to the Wildrose not receiving any votes or seats, not having the grassroots support, Paul Hinman losing his seat, etc, etc. I have heard this from current MLA's as well. It's like they think everything is "stuck in time"; that every day is March 3, 2008. Well there have been many days since then and there will be many more before Albertans go to the polls again.

I suggest if he only reads one short thing about us it should be this. Or maybe he has already read that, among other things.....it would explain his crankiness.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mark Norris implodes.

Former cabinet minister of Economic Development and Tourism and an "also ran" in the PC leadership race; imploded yesterday on the Charles Adler show.

You can hear it for yourself in the audio archive of QR77, click here.

Go to Friday July 10, 2:00 PM. Interview with Kevin Libin starts at 6 minute mark and then moves to interviewing Danielle Smith. (Adler will be interviewing Mark Dryholm next week)

Norris is first caller in that segment and is very, very cranky. That is at 37:25 minute mark.

I have to run now, but in my next posts I will be giving my thoughts on Mr. Norris' tantrum and will also be following up on the "Who is Rebecca?" post.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Who is Rebecca?

A while back I had an anonymous comment and in my response I hinted that I knew where they were posting from. You can see it here. I thought that would be enough to enlighten them that they are not completely “anonymous” and since there were no subsequent comments from them on that entry… I figured they got the hint.

That is until today, when I got this second comment from the same IP.

Anonymous said...

Everyone already knows that the Wildrose Alliance is radical, extreme right wing, redneck, and far right. Now add petty to the list.

July 8, 2009 1:32 PM



Clearly a comment with no evidence to support their claim and likely intended to stir things up. Well, be careful what you wish for.


Upon further digging I have discovered that since late March this person has been all over all of my blogs. Here is a screen shot of the IP in question. (You can click on the images to them full size)




As you can see there have been multiple visits over more than one day; also no referring link, so they likely have my blog bookmarked. None of this is unusual. The interesting aspect is the source, Alberta PWSS. Which is short for Public Works Supply and Services.

Now I get a lot of hits from the Legislature and the House of Commons. However, none of them have taken the risk of posting from their publicly funded offices while they are supposed to be earning their salary. (Also courtesy of the taxpayer)

For the heck of it I Googled the IP address, it netted several results, most simply showing stats for this IP. One did confirm this IP is registered to the Government of Alberta.


Another caught my attention, I recognized a very familiar name, Kevin Taft. Of course I had to click on it and it appears to be his constituency website. Here is a close up of the relevant information.


A search for “Rebecca” within Taft’s constituency website nets 22 results of posts made from (coincidently) March to as most recently this week from the same IP.

I have tried to find exactly what they "do" at Alberta PWSS, but no luck so far. It does seem odd though that their tasks would include updating MLA’s constituency websites. I would think that task would more likely be done by staff within their own office, by an independent webmaster or even by a volunteer. (The latter being most likely for the Liberal Party)

Of course the more interesting question is why is someone from Alberta PWSS spending their workday surfing and posting on blogs at the taxpayers’ expense?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Time for a laugh....

I recently received this email from a WAP member and felt it was worth sharing the laugh.....enjoy.

MY NEW TRUCK RADIO

I bought a new GMC Sierra and returned to the dealer yesterday because I couldn't get the radio to work.

The salesman explained that the radio was voice activated.

'Nelson,' the salesman said to the radio.

The radio replied, 'Ricky or Willie?'

'Willie!' he continued and 'On The Road Again' came from the speakers.

Then he said, 'Ray Charles!', and in an instant ' Georgia On My Mind' replaced Willie Nelson.

I drove away happy, and for the next few days, every time I'd say, 'Beethoven,' I'd get beautiful classical music, and if I said, 'Beatles,' I'd get one of their awesome songs.

Yesterday, some guy ran a red light and nearly creamed my new truck, but I swerved in time to avoid them.
I yelled, 'A$$ Hole!'

Immediately the radio responded with, "Ladies and gentlemen, the premier of Alberta, Ed Stelmach."

Damn, I love this truck......