Wow. That felt nice.


labrador update

Well, i’m sure that other blogs are covering tonight’s TV address by Prime Minister Paul Martin. So, if you would like to read about that, there are blog links on the sidebar that you can link to. I’m going to write about something different.

Last week, the PM called a by-election in the currently vacant riding of Labrador. As I am a political science student, it’s in my bizarre nature to be interested in such events. So, here I go:


The skinny: A by-election was called following the death of Labrador Liberal MP Lawrence O’Brien. Mr. O’Brien, who had served as MP for Labrador since elected in a 1996 By-Election, passed away from cancer last December.

2005 Candidates (so far):

Graham Letto, Conservative – Mr. Letto is the Mayor of the Town of Labrador City (yes, it’s a town of a city).

Todd Russell, Liberal – Mr. Russell is the President of the Labrador Metis Nation (and has a way better website than Mr. Letto).

No word yet on who the NDP or Green candidates will be. The final list of candidates will be announced by Elections Canada in the upcoming weeks.

There wasn’t that much information that I could find on this by-election. For up to date breaking news on the by-election, keep an eye on I do know that if a General Election is called before May 24, the by-election would be cancelled and it would merge into the General Election.

Interesting Labrador facts:

In Labrador…

…there are 27,865 people.
…there are 20,049 registered voters.
…it costs $30.00 to purchase a dog licence.
…it costs $3.00 to purchase a cat licence.
…the average winter temperature is between -10°C and -25°C.
…the average summer temperature is between 5°C and 15°C.
…95% of North America’s Puffin’s breed in the Newfoundland and Labrador region.

Past Labrador Election Results

Lawrence O’Brien, Liberal – 6,182
Randy Collins, NDP – 4,615 (Mr. Collins is now the NDP MHA for Labrador West)
Mike Patton, PC – 842
Stephane Girardin, Reform – 573

Lawrence O’Brien, Liberal – 7,153
Amanda Will, NDP – 1,284
Hayward Broomfield, PC – 1,254
Eugene Burt, Alliance – 677

Lawrence O’Brien, Liberal – 5,524
Merrill Strachan, Conservative – 1,400
Ern Condon, Independent – 919
Shawn Crann, NDP – 856
Lori-Ann Martino, Green – 178

UPDATE: The NDP have nominated Ms. Frances Fry as their Candidate. Read the ND Press Release here.


fresh off les presses

My friend Howard and I wrote the below OP-ED peice which was published in this week’s
Hill Times.

PM may have ordered Gomery Inquiry, but courage is now needed to reshape Liberal Party, and to ensure this never happens again

By: David ***** and Howard ******

EDMONTON, ALTA. — As young Canadians who have been involved in federal Liberal Party politics for many years, we believe we speak for a great number of Young Liberals who are absolutely flabbergasted at the allegations unveiled at the Gomery Commission. We share the frustration, anger and resentment that many are feeling. The implications of these allegations, if proven true, are far ranging, and will sow the seeds of discontent for many years to come.

The decline of youth involvement in Canadian politics has been an issue which youth from all partisan backgrounds have striven to deal with for many years. Whether it is low youth turnout in election voting or the growing age of the average Canadian party member, democracy is losing the battle. Youth members from all parties have dedicated countless amounts of time and energy trying to involve our fellow young Canadians in our parties of choice. If one conclusion can be made from these exercises, it is that the youth of Canada are disenchanted, disengaged, and distrustful of politicians and political parties. When allegations such as those presented at the Gomery Commission are revealed, it only serves to grow the rift between the political process and the youth of Canada.

Young Liberals are, in general, moderates who steadfastly hold strong to eternaloptimism, a hunger to maximize equality of opportunity for all, and a belief that government can be a force for good. When we hear allegations that senior party officials, whom we look up to, are acting in a way that benefits a few rather than the many, we get angry. Perhaps we are idealistic, but young people demand that our leaders set our sights a little higher, and exhibit a betterstandard of behaviour. Nothing less should do, and nothing less will do.

Canadians have had a few weeks now to absorb the enormity of the allegations of wrongdoing. What is absolutely clear is that it is essential that we find resolution to potentially one of the greatest betrayals of the public trust perpetrated against the Canadian people. The Liberal Party of Canada requires a fundamental change in its mindset, its philosophy, and its way of operating. Governing a country is a privilege bestowed by the people who entrust it to accomplish the great aspirations of the nation. Governing a country is not a divine right to rule.

The Liberal Party of Canada has reached a critical junction at which it has the option of sinking or swimming in the hearts and minds of young Canadians. In the past few years, it has been clear that this is a party in need of reform and redefinition. What is needed is a Liberal Party which is not solely concerned with following the ups and downs of the weekly opinionpolls to gain and maintain its place in government at the cost of liberal values. What we believe is needed is an association of Canadian liberals from across the country who are committed to Canadian liberalism in policy and practice; an association which truly heeds to the will of its members across Canada, rather than a select few party bagmen and backroom strategists.

The Prime Minister may have established the Gomery Commission to get tothe bottom of the rot, but courage is what is needed now to reshape the Liberal Party to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. The party cannot spin its way out of the present mess—there must fundamentally be a renewal that starts from within. We cannot wait until Mr. Justice Gomery releases his two reports this fall. Instead, renewal must start now, from the premise that the Liberal Party is a vehicle for setting before the electorate policies that will lead to a better country, instead of a vehicle for the lust of power. When we are privileged to be the governing party, we must always keep in mind that Canadians expect the party to implement its policies in a way that is accountable to and respectful of the Canadian citizen, voter and taxpayer.

There are many Young Liberals like us who hold, in the words of the late GeorgesP. Vanier, “An active desire to right, as far as it was in my power, the heinous wrong done.” The Liberal Party of Canada can dobetter, and it simply must do better.

David ******** and Howard ***** are long-time members of the Alberta Young Liberals.

it’s election time…

…by-election, that is.

The PMO has dropped the writ for a By-Election to be held in the Federal Riding of Labrador on May 24, 2005.


what day is it?

It’s April 17… where did the month go!?!

Two final exams done last week, only two final exams left this week. More daveberta original political commentary to come after that.

What do you think? Election or no election? I’ve bet $20 on it being this year and $5 on it being in the fall. So, either I win $25 or $15. I’m set. 🙂

I added some new links to the sidebar for your blogging pleasure. Check them out when you get the chance.


D 🙂


budgetary observations 2005

Well, as promised, here is my recap of what went on at the Budget 2005 announcement at the Alberta Legislature this afternoon – a BIG THANKS to my favorite MLA for getting me a pass for the afternoon. : )

Well, this budget was labeled by the Tories as an investment budget, the first budget of the new debt-free Alberta. The air of excitement never caught on. These guys have been in power for 34 years and it shows. No new ideas…

So, instead of giving you budget details which you can easily find here, here, and here, I decided to give you a recap of my exciting adventure at Budget Day 2005 in Edmonton.

Enter scene: Cloudy spring day in Edmonton, Alberta. No sun, just clouds (it had rained the night before).

2:10pm – Left work, hopped on the LRT at University Station and waited 5 minutes for the LRT to show up…

2:20pm – Finally arrive at Grandin LRT Station, get off and run over to the Legislature Annex to pick up my pass for the Public Gallery. Got it! Yeah! Talk to some people I know and shoot the breeze for 5 minutes.

2:40pm – I run over to the main Legislature building with a friend of mine who works over there, get in (pretty lax security). On the elevator ride up to the fourth floor.

2:45pm – I join some people I know, in the Public Gallery overlooking the MLA’s in the Assembly. The MLA’s below are debating about snowmobiles or something… Tory MLA Wayne Cao says something about restaurants…?

2:50pm – Talk about an upcoming Federal Election begins amoungst us. Someone said they thought the Tories could win up to 5 seats in Quebec, someone else said they thought the election would be in mid-May. I still think it’ll be in the fall.

2:55pm – Speaker of the House, Ken Kowalski calls for a 5 minutes recess before the Budget announcement by the Finance Minister.

3:00pm – MLA’s start filling back in to their seats. ND MLA Ray Martin is in a wheelchair (I think someone said that he broke his leg – that sucks). More people begin filling into the Members and Public Galleries. I notice the disproportionately large amount of white haired men presumably over the age of 60 in the Galleries.

3:05pm – Finance Minister Shirley McClellan begins her speech. I notice that a rep from the Alberta Federation of Labour is sitting next to me and some folks from the good ol’ Parkland Institute are sitting in the row in front of me.

3:10pm – Promises, promises, promises…

3:25pm – Shirley McClellan is still talking. Tories cheer. Man, she’s boring. I think the next time the Tories pick a Finance Minister, they need to pick someone with a little more ‘ompf’ than Mrs. McClellan. I think the perfect person would be…

3:30pm – Shirley McClellan is still talking and I think one of the old guys in the Members Gallery across from me has fallen asleep. I try to count the amount of grey haired MLA’s in the Assembly. I lose count.

3:35pm – Shirley McClellan is still talking. I notice that one of my favorite Tory MLA’s has been conspicuously missing from his seat the entire time… hmmmm, very very very interesting.

3:40pm – It’s finally rapping up… Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft responds to the speech, says he looks forward to the debate beginning tomorrow morning.

3:44pm – We all file out, I say hi to Dan McLellan from the AUPE. He doesn’t remember me.

3:48pm – I take the stairs down to the Rotunda to check out all the media scrums going on. There are probably a few hundred reporters, MLA’s and staffers, spies and Tory goons, and political hacks like me wandering around. I listen to some of the scrums – Education Minister Gene Zwozdesky, Health Minister Iris Evans, the Finance Minister, and the gang. ND MLA David Eggen has a nice tie (yellow and blue), I like it.

4:00pm – I’m really thirsty, need a drink. I go and find a water fountain. Come back and the orgy of scrumming is still going on. I bump into Edmonton Gold Bar MLA Hugh MacDonald. We say hi and he asks me if I’ve seen some reporter from the CBC, I say no, he continues his hunt.

4:07pm – I go and check out what Advanced Ed Minister Dave Hancock is saying (He’s organizing for a bid at the Tory Leadership). I get semi-accosted by one of Mr. Hancock’s goons; he wants to know who I am, who I work for, and why I want to listen. What a nice man. 😛 After my beating, I got to meet Mr. Hancock. He seems like an interesting person. I think he must have dyed his hair at least 7 different times and colours since being elected in 1997. Out of all the Tories here in Alberta, he is the only one which I (grudgingly) *like*… I move on…

4:12pm- I run into Liberal MLA’s David Swann and Weslyn Mather, the critics for Environment and Childrens’ Services. Nothing for their departments in the budget… I guess clean air and cute kids (see the picture in my previous post) aren’t good enough for this budget… I have a nice little chat with the two of them…

4:22pm – I continue to mull around and check out the scrums. Things are starting to wind down, still no Ted Morton. To bad, I wanted to say hi.

4:29pm – Things are really winding down. I’m hungry, time to go home and get something to eat. (I exit stage left)



alberta budget 2005

Alberta’s Future?

“Mr. Speaker, Alberta and Albertans enter our second century with nothing to stand in our way. And the single, over-riding purpose of this year’s budget is to invest in Alberta’s second century – a century that promises even more opportunity for future generations of Albertans.”
Alberta Finance Minister Shirley McClellan (2 hours and 46 minutes ago)


I took the test…

What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by

join the revolution! vote mp3!

Why can’t our elections be fun like the one’s in the UK?

From the Desk of the Temporary Leader of the MP3 Party


This is not a discussion club for like-minded intellectuals!This is a very beginning of a proactive and practical organization that is seriously planning to take power in the United Kingdom.

Some of us are not very liberal, many are not very green. Generally, we are not especially nice and several are outright dangerous. We all have different ideas and beliefs. This is OK (for now). We will sort what is right and what is wrong on the way, but first let get things rolling, pots boiling, sausages sizzling….Let us became a Power, after that we would have plenty of time for intellectual discussions, arguments and bonding.

If you feel being a part of “mp3-generation”, “mp3-community”, join us now !!!

Let kick some shit together!!!

Ruslan G. Fedorovsky (temporary Leader)”

Check out the rest of them here


a look around the political block…

Well, what an interesting week in Alberta politics.

1) It looks like David Kilgour, MP for Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont, is interested in rejoining the Tories. How many “cross-the-floor” monopoly cards does Mr. Kilgour have?

This contridicts rumours I have been hearing for a couple of months that he was planning on retiring before the next election. Maybe this is his way of distancing himself from the Feds and then retiring with somewhat of a good name? Though he’s a Liberal MP, I have never really considered him to be a liberal, his right leaning views tend to clash with some of the basic principles of Canadian liberalism (he was a PC MP from 1979 to 1993, then crossed to the Libs). This aside, he has served the constituents of southeast Edmonton for 25 years and has obviously gained their respect (and votes!).

2) According to the latest EKOS poll (which has been covered in about 99% of Canadian blogs minus this one) was released recently, here are the numbers.

Conservative – 36.2%
Liberal – 25%
NDP – 20.5%
Bloc – 12.6%
Green – 5%

The breakdowns has the NDP leading in BC, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, the Tories leading in Alberta (no suprise), Ontario, and the Maritimes, with the Bloc taking a massive lead in Quebec.

This doesn’t look good for the Federal Liberals no matter which way they spin it. Interesting times ahead.

3) The Alberta PC convention rapped up last weekend with internal infighting and political divisions displayed front and centre. Premier Klein told leadership candidates to “cool their jets.” But, I guess if by “cool[ing] their jets” he meant:

-set up campaign websites (such as this one and this one),

-host networking parties (ie: free booze and food),

-take out newspaper Ad’s (a la Mark Norris),

-and print up some buttons,

then the Alberta Tories are one big happy family. Let the entertainment begin! : )

4) The Provincial budget is being released on Wednesday (13 days after the fiscal year began) – as noted earlier, I will be there and will bring you all the good gossip – apparently the government will finally be raising the AISH subsidy (still not even close to living wage though), present the already promised money for education, and won’t be dealing out any tax-cuts. So, it looks pretty lackluster so far.

This is all for now.

D 🙂


good morning mr. president…

wait a minute… when and how did that happen?

damn. I swear, God just does this to see my reaction…


any money for me, mr. klein?

I didn’t think so…

I’m going to the Budget announcement at the Legislature on Wednesday.

See you there?


gossip from the alberta pc convention

Check out Daveberta’s thoughts on the First-Ballot of the Alberta PC leadership race…

(Make sure to check out the updated list of MLA endorsements in the Alberta PC leadership race.)

Well, I promised it, and here it is – some gossip from my ‘source-on-the-floor’ of the Alberta PC Convention at Northlands in Edmonton this weekend.

Apparently, other than the disturbingly large amount of delegates wearing ‘Lyle Oberg for Leader’ buttons, the Tories made some interesting decisions related to their ‘youth’ wing.

In order to address the lack of youth involvement in their party, Alberta PC delegates came up with a truly Alberta Tory solution. They have voted to change the definition of ‘youth’ from 14-25 to 14-35. So, that means, if you were a 35 year old Regular PC member yesterday – today you are now a member of the Progressive Conservative Youth Association…

Oh oh! but it gets even more bizarre – under the new category, ‘youth’ members who are +26 are not voting members of the ‘youth’ association even though they are technically members…. does this seem really weird to anyone else?

And just when you thought there couldn’t be anymore juice!!

The big ‘renewal initiative’ that the Tories undertook after being slapped around in the last election recommended that they hire a staff member to support the youth-wing with organizing, etc. Well, apparently the President of the PC ‘youth’ association got up to the mike and spoke vehemently against this motion – to the chagrin of the ‘youth’ membership which he supposedly represents… the motion was defeated…

Wow, these guys are better than pay-per view TV!


quick linkage


Shannon the Futon Revolutionary has some great posts about the Tory Leadership contenders. It’s a good laugh to start out your day!


D : )

PS. I noticed that since I put the site metre up a month ago – over 830 people have visited. Wow. Thanks!


shameless plug

For those of you interested:

The Edmonton Centre Liberal Constituency Association
A Fabulous Fundraiser from the Friends of Laurie Blakeman
By David Belke
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Doors @ 7:15pm
Curtain @ 7:30pm
Shadow Theatre
10329-83 Avenue
Reception following the performance.
(Send me an email if you’d like to buy a ticket –