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.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post Jane,
    I listened to the interview as well, in which he was enraged about the WRAP dividing the province north and south. Is he insane? This is what the PC pary did in 2007 with the review. North was home of good government and south was big bad oil.
    As for the patch being better off, good luck. Even if they were this is about Albertans not an industry, and most Albertans will tell you they do not feel better off these days. I read in an article most of the funding to the WRAP was from the oil and gas sector, they sure must feel better off with the NRF.

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