Wednesday 22 July 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 14 July 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 13 July 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 would explain his crankiness.

Saturday 11 July 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 8 July 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 7 July 2009

Time for a laugh....

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


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......