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who wrote the government of alberta electoral boundaries report?

Alberta’s Electoral Boundaries Commission is holding public hearings in Edmonton today and tomorrow to gather recommendations on their Interim Report.

One of the recommendations collected was a monstrous 100 page submission that is expected to be presented by Deputy Premier Doug Horner today. The submission is filled with individual recommendations around proposed boundaries, but it is the sources of this information that is the most interesting (and confusing).

The submission document opens with an introductory letter from the Office of the Minister of Advanced Education & Technology and describes the document as “a collection of the recommendations made by Government caucus” Following Minister Horner’s letter, the document then clarifies that “the Government of Alberta is presenting its recommendations” in this submission. In an even more confusing twist, the document bases many of its recommendations directly from Progressive Conservative Party constituency associations submissions to the Commission.

The lines are very blurry when trying to figure out who the recommendations in this document represent. Was this submission prepared by taxpayer funded staff inside the Office of the Minister of Advanced Education & Technology, the Government Caucus, or the Government of Alberta, or the political staff inside the Progressive Conservative Party? Why would a Government of Alberta report include direct recommendations from Progressive Conservative Party constituency associations?

UPDATE: The Wildrose Alliance will be holding a media conference on this issue tomorrow at the Legislature (see comments for more information).

15 replies on “who wrote the government of alberta electoral boundaries report?”

So much conflict of interest, so weak an opposition. It’s shameful that they don’t see anything wrong with this. Peter Lougheed demanded so much better from his Government and Party.

One of the most disconcerting aspects for me moving to Alberta after living in 3 other provinces is the amazing blur between Alberta’s “government” and the Progressive Conservative party of Alberta even (or perhaps especially) in the eyes of elected PCs themselves.

Case in point is the remarkably partisan rulings made by Speaker Ken Kowalski who abuses his office most severely and is an affront to democracy through his antics in the chair – but I digress.

This is NOT the way it is everywhere – in Canada (from what I have experienced) this is an anomoly to Alberta and it needs to be brought to public attention and resisted.

Thank you, Dave, for doing just that.

Why have reporters not asked these questions? Where is the “responsible media” when you need them? Oh, yeah, their political masters down east have gone bankrupt.

This landed in my inbox this evening:

MEDIA ADVISORY For Immediate Release

WILDROSE ALLIANCE QUESTIONS GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE IN ELECTORAL BOUNDARY COMMISSION

EDMONTON, AB (April 19, 2010): Wildrose Alliance Caucus will be hosting a news conference tomorrow at the Legislature to expose the latest attempt by the PC Government to interfere in a non-partisan process. Today it was learned that Deputy Premier Doug Horner has made a 207 page submission on behalf of the Government Caucus in a brazen attempt to compromise the integrity of the Electoral Boundary Commission in favour of the PC party.

Details of the news conference are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, April 20 2010

Time: 9:45 a.m. MST

Location: Legislature Media Room (if unavailable, front steps of Legislature)

If the media have questions about this event, please contact Barb Currie at (780) 638-3505.

The Wildrose Alliance was formed in January 2008 and has three elected Members of the Legislature. Wildrose advances competent, principled and conservative policies that will lower government spending, increase economic opportunities, empower communities and strengthen individual liberties and freedoms.

– 30 –

Joe, indeed Doug Horner is free to make a submission as a private citizent – that is his right. However, what he submitted were recommendations on behalf of the Government of Alberta. When representing that body, a Minister is obliged (it’s not just a good idea, but actually the law) to represent all Albertans and not his own party. In fact, this is a dangerous conflict of interest – or, at the very least a dangerous blurring of the lines between party and government. It is the same reason that the Legislature has rules about using govenrment resources for politcal party functions and/or fundraising.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta has more than enough resources and influence in Alberta, not to mention a controlling number of appointees on the Commission, to have its views fairly and forcefully represented at these hearings. For a Minister of the government to present the PC’s recommendations as their own smacks of bullying and a misunderstanding of the seperation that is vital if democracy is to be preserved – at least the appearance of it anyway (nobody should be under any illusion that it actually exists in this province).

The NDP did the same thing on their own letterhead. But you won’t hear about that on this hyperpartisan blog.

Thanks for the comments, Jerry. I think that’s what happens when any party has been in power for almost forty straight years.

Joe: Which NDP submission are you referencing?

Nope, the NDP did it on legislative assembly letterhead. What’s the issue? Oh wait, this is the hyperpartisan daveberta.ca. Nevermind then.

Accusing Dave of being a ‘hyperpartisan’ NDPer is amusing.

While I think he SHOULD be an NDP member, I’m not sure if he’s ever even voted for an ANDP candidate.

@Joe – There is a distinct difference when something comes from a caucus as opposed to coming from the government. It is that very important distinction that is at issue. It is the partisanship of that action that needs to be kept out of these decisions. Thank you for making my point.

Lou: I’ve never voted for a provincial NDP candidate, but I did vote for Linda Duncan twice.

Jerry & Joe: That is the distinction. Brian Mason’s submission was as the MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood. That was clear.

Minister Horner’s presentation was not so clear.

I would just like to clear the air that this person calling himself Joe Albertan has no connection to my blog or anything else that has to do with me. This person goes on sites and posts stupid moronic comments intentionally to discredit me. The best advice I have for all of you is to pay no attention at all to this idiot or you will be giving him what he wants. My best guess is that he is a PC hack.

I read your blog all the time Dave and respect your opinion. Please feel free to contact me at
stopthepcs@hotmail.com
or on my blog
http://www.joealbertan.blogspot.com

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