Conservatives Take Their Debate Ball and Hide In A Closet

After so much effort from the Greens to ensure all Canadians can hear an inclusive debate, what the Conservatives are doing now is absurd and frustrating. So the Cons are behaving typically. Will the media let them get off? Yes, history shows.

Of course, the less the Prime Minister says, the less he gets in trouble.

By doing this, the Prime Minister’s Office is sending a clear signal to legacy media platforms that their old way of doing debates is done. By proactively taking that initiative, it looks like Team Harper is attuned to the times – and voter interests.

-JAIME WATT of Navigator (Firm that dropped Jian Ghomeshi)

Why voters would be interested in the Prime Minister dictating what sort of debates there will be for him to participate in, is beyond me.

Why endure the whole thing when you can catch a recap of the highlights by waiting a short period of time?

Because people don’t speak in sound bites except on Twitter, Mr. Watt. Real life happens first, and media cuts down what’s real into what is presentable for those short periods of time they ironically call “news”.

The Hilarious Alberta Election

Last Alberta election it was the ridiculously wrong polling that was the news story.

Then the Wild Rose Party leader switched inexplicably to the PCs, and blew up her political chances in the next few decades. And then the polling was right (or led to the unexpected outcome) and the Alberta NDP are now a majority government.

The PC’s solution to relinquishing power for the first time in decades involves a lot of paper shredders to cover up corruption and make the job more difficult for the incoming NDP.

A friend of mine a couple weeks ago asked me if I’d heard was was going to happen in Alberta. I said no. He said, it’s going to be an NDP majority government. I was skeptical. The day of the election I guessed an NDP minority, at best.

The amount of wounded people talking of moving just because one non-violent political party replaced another, is seriously messed up.

A few closing thoughts on what was an amazing night on Twitter where no disaster took place, aside from the implosion of the PCs, and Prentice’s petulant, post-electoral resignation:

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Opposed to Coalition?

Yesterday’s news:

Today’s news:
Most Canadians are opposed to a coalition government. Presently the only party with the word “coalition” in its founding documents is the Conservative Party of Canada, and yes it’s true as Trudeau said today, that most Canadians are opposed to the Conservative government.

The problem is, if you have a real conversation with Canadians, you’ll learn they aren’t really opposed to a coalition government, they are just afraid of political instability they’ve associated with coalition and proportional representation electoral systems. They’ll unfailingly mutter about Italy having so many elections, and overlook the countries with proportional systems that are not unstable, and have better social programs and democratic participation than Canada manages.

Tomorrow’s news:

Saskatchewan Needs a Real Change of Destination

Greg is making a good point in his latest column, but I had to throw in a Green campaign slogan into the title in good fun. The bottom line really is that the Sask Party is propping up the dying fossil fuels industry, while calls to divest from it are coming from around the world. There’s no stopping this change (for the better).

While the Saskatchewan Party remains bent on thinking small, any reasonable look at the world around us suggests it’s long past time for a big change in direction. And if if this year’s budget again fails on that front, then we should seriously reconsider who’s choosing our destination.

“study finds that the main barrier to achieving those goals is a matter of politics rather than technology or economic limitations.”

“We have the tools to transition to a clean energy economy; all that’s lacking is the leadership to put them to use.”
Greg is bang on, and I’m not saying so simply because I’ve been saying the same thing for years.

Given that there are about 410,000 households in Saskatchewan, we’d need about 3 Ivanpah style solar power plants to provide electricity to every home in the province. We can do it, and we should.

That’s me last year providing a real-world example of technology we could build in Saskatchewan to give every household renewable energy at a price we can afford. We can probably not afford to fail to build such a new system.


ADDED: Prebble and others show that Saskatchewan must turn to renewable energy to succeed in reforming our economy.

When The Tories Left Office

I was too young in 1991 to put the news I was hearing into context. My family had worked for months on my Dad’s campaign for the Sask Liberals in Moose Jaw, and he’d come away in second place. Roy Romanow was the new Premier of Saskatchewan, and Grant Devine would soon fade into political obscurity as some of his cabinet and other MLAs would go to jail, and in the sad case of Jack Wolfe an early grave. Future Lieutenant Governor Linda Haverstock was the only Sask Liberal MLA in the Saskatchewan Legislature.

Soon, the new hospital in Lafleche was turned into a band-aid centre; babies no longer permitted to be born there. In the next four years, my school was closed despite it costing more to bus kids to other towns than it did to run the entire school in Wood Mountain. The railway was closed and ripped out everywhere near my hometown (but not through it, because of a clean-up bylaw imposed by the Village council). Rural Saskatchewan was both dying, and being killed. The NDP were in charge, and their eyes turned to urban Saskatchewan, as they shunned their rural roots.

In 2007, The Saskatchewan Party came to power. Brad Wall was the new Premier. The NDP faded from the scene, and wherever there was big industry, private or public, they got the support of the government. Our huge resource revenues were utterly spent. There was nothing put away into a savings account, and now that oil has come crashing down, there is nothing in the tank.

Another provincial election is coming, Wall’s 2nd as Premier. Will the oil crash of 2014/15 expose how badly the province is being managed? Is Wall’s extended honeymoon over? Probably not, but now there’s a chance of him reaping what he’s sown.

Parliament Should Go Solar

Following up on my 2010 blog post on solar for the White House, it takes almost 3 years to get solar added to a historic national building.

Ottawa 2011

That’s why we should all get started with pressing Parliament Hill’s renovation to include commercially available PV solar panels to the south facing slopes of Canada’s iconic government building.

Simply put, solar panels mean less carbon pollution, and more jobs for Americans – jobs that can’t be outsourced. They’re good for our energy future, and they’re good for our economy.

Time to follow America, again.

2014 Stapleford Lecture on Senate Reform at #UofR

Part 1

I really have to disagree with Dr. Barnhart, who had the power to sign, or refuse to sign laws of Saskatchewan into effect while Lieutenant Governor, that he is a powerful person. Now his influence may be lessened, even to the point where Global TV won’t keep a promise to him, but he did get invited to to a prestigious lecture for the UofR too, didn’t he?

There’s a time to be modest, and a time to be real.

Part 2