Wednesday 27 May 2009

You know you are a political nerd when…..

...when you are watching the Legislature proceedings at 1:00 AM; worse, you are Twittering with your MLA at the same time.

It started when I noticed this comment by Dave Breakenridge.

BreakenNews @KyleMLA If people only listened to
your party they would think #bill44 is a wonderful piece of legislation.

I realized Kyle was Twittering from under dome. So the exchange started. I thought it was viewable at the time, but still being a relative newbie to Twitter they were direct messages between us.

WildroseJane: How about the voice from an everyday parent who is one of your constituents?
Vote against it Kyle. Free vote, this is your chance.

KyleMLA Jane I
did not know you were a supporter of a Nanny state over parents rights... not to
mention the ND's and Libs.

WildroseJane: I am in favor of
freedom of choice and reduction of legislation, not infringement and

KyleMLA Freedom of choice just not for
how parents educate their children, next you will be getting rid of charter
school and private schools

WildroseJane How did you make
that leap? Freedom of choice would mean more specialized schools.

KyleMLA I agree, but feedom of choice
also has a broader context then just that, parents should also have a choice
within the public system

WildroseJane: They already do
have the choice within the public system thru the school act. You are opening up
the teachers to HRC nightmares.

KyleMLA I understand your strategic
reasoning though, have always maintained that without this clause more people
will opt out of the public system.

At this point I went to bed and then I get this one.

KyleMLA Is
your stance a personal view or one of the WRAP?

Now this is pretty sad….I responded on my BlackBerry from my bed…

WildroseJane Personal. But it is in line with our principles.

Of course I hit the wrong button and this one goes public and makes no sense whatsoever to the casual follower. And a few people called me on it today.... I mean literally called me, using a good old fashion telephone.

One of the Twitter drawbacks is that it limits you to 140 characters, making it difficult to present a reasonable argument.

Bill 44 started out so well, there were high hopes that Alberta was going to lead the way in HRC reforms.

Important reforms to the Alberta Human Rights Commission are coming -- including adding sexual orientation as a grounds of prohibited discrimination, and the removal of wording that endows the commission with censorship powers. Both reforms, especially those relating to free speech, have been strongly advocated by the Herald for some time. The government, and in particular the minister responsible-- Lindsay Blackett--is to be warmly applauded. Alberta has seen collisions between gay rights and free speech rights: Citizens will be best served by reforms that acknowledge both.

Enter Eddy with a heavy hand.
And then Premier Ed Stelmach’s government finally unveiled its proposed reforms, spinning a golden political opportunity into dross. Under the proposed Bill 44, the section prohibiting expressing ideas “likely to expose a person or a class of persons to hatred or contempt” goes entirely untouched, shocking freethinking Albertans and chastening Blackett.

Now the debate over the school portion of this has totally outweighed the freedom of speech issue, which has gone the way of the dinosaur. There is very little good left in what started out at such a promising step. I want to know who and where are all these people supporting it?

The liberal bloggers don’t.

The Wildrose doesn’t.

Even the usually very PC friendly bloggers don’t believe serves Albertans.

I believe this proposed Alberta Human Rights law does not elevate Alberta society, or in any way, serve the greater good. It is supposed to be a law about what we believe in and reflect positively on us as a fair-minded, inclusive, diverse and respectful society. But it is so defective in serving those core Alberta principles, rather than make us proud to be Albertan; Bill 44 makes us want to cringe.

So who are these throngs of people supporting Bill 44?

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Ed Stelmach; completely out of touch.

After years of saying the PC’s are not conservative, I am now at the point that I have no choice but to adjust my belief.

When you add up all the restrictions, legislation and blockades to business; it paints a very clear picture.

They have banned smoking nearly everywhere; pubs and restaurants can no longer make this decision for themselves.

They have imposed restrictions on “happy hours” at bars. Taking away business owners freedom of choice.

They have imposed drink prices. Again taking away business owners freedom of choice.

They have increased taxes on smoking.

They have increased taxes on liquor.

They have restricted the sale of tobacco products to a few select stores. Cutting a huge source of revenue for some businesses.

They have put a cap on both the number of VLT’s and locations where they can exist.

…. And the list goes on and on.

Clearly there are no freedom loving, pro-business MLA’s left. Or at the very least none with a voice in the current caucus. The ones who have the voice, control and clearly the most influence are the ones who want to control the drinking, smoking and gambling of Albertans.

Whether or not you partake in any of these activities, you can clearly see it limits the freedom of individuals and businesses.

Add to this the recent debacle of Bill 44 - - it is crystal clear this is the agenda of a social conservative mindset.

This current government is now completely polar opposite of the average Albertan. By in large, Albertans are fiscally conservative and socially moderate. These PC’s are fiscally liberal, which they have demonstrated for years and are now showing their true colors of being socially conservative.

I can't help but wonder if he has swallowed the same pill as some others and believes the Wildrose is socially conservative. Perhaps he thinks if he makes these changes he will cut into our growing support.

Ironic really, the very thing some people feared from the "fringe" is coming to fruition with Ed Stelmach.

Every time Eddy ticks off a new group off, the Wildrose Alliance grows.

Sadly, though at the same time Alberta, as we know it and love it, is being whittled away.