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wagging the dog…

wow, does this suprise anyone???

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I know you’re watching!

Today, at the risk being showed up by another wonderful blog (click here), I’ve added some new features to daveberta (consider it my centennial gift to you!).

One of the new features I’ve added is what I call ‘unresponsible polling’ (on the sidebar). I plan to change the topic every couple of weeks. If you have any good ideas for new polls, feel free to email me and let me know! Vote early and vote often!

Also, I’ve added a new ‘counter’ to my website. So, I know that you’re watching! (or not watching :P)

For those of you interested in hearing about last weekend’s Federal Liberal Policy Convention in Ottawa:
Nic at GoPolitical, and CalgaryGrit both have some great stories. Enjoy!

D 🙂

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my geek factor

okay… some of you may disagree with this…

You are 9% geek
OK, so maybe you ain’t a geek. You do, at least, show a bit of interest in the world around you. Either that, or you have enough of a sense of humor to pick some of the sillier answers on the test. Regardless, you’re probably a pretty nifty, well-rounded person who gets along fine with people and can chat with just about anyone without fear of looking stupid or foolish or overly concerned with minutiae. God, I hate you.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com

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tory rural caucus rules the roost

The first session of the 26th Alberta Legislature began last week with a showing of the deep split within the Rural and Urban MLA’s in the Tory Caucus.

March 1 – MLA’s from all parties acclaimed rural Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Ken Kowalski as the Speaker. But suprise came when the majority Tories dumped incumbent Deputy Speaker and urban Calgary McCall MLA Shiraz Shariff in favour of rural Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Richard Marz.

March 3 – The majority rural Tory Caucus denied the lone Alliance MLA, Paul Hinman, the permission to make a statment in the Assembly (All MLA’s who are not members of the governing party or the Official Opposition require the unanimous concent of the Legislature in order to make statements, which is usually agreed to). The Liberal and ND Caucuses along with some members of the Tory caucus voted in favour of allowing Mr. Hinman to speak, but the loud shouts of “nay” from the majority rural Tory drowned out any “yea” sayers. It seems they are pretty committed to keep him from speaking in the House – to the detrement of the voters of Cardston-Taber-Warner, who elected him.

The strength of the rural Tories was bolstered following last November’s provincial election, when Kevin Taft‘s Alberta Liberals routed the Urban Tories in Edmonton, Lethbridge, and 3 downtown Calgary ridings.

Tory Urban/Rural Split

Pre-2004 Election (73 Tory MLA’s)
Rural MLA’s – 36
Urban MLA’s – 37

Post-2004 Election (62 Tory MLA’s)
Rural MLA’s – 32
Urban MLA’s – 28

It seems like this could just be the begining of a nasty show-down between the ‘city tories’ and ‘country tories’ leading up to the expected leadership race to replace 13-year leader Premier Ralph Klein. Two of the rumoured front-runners in the race include the very urban former Calgary MLA and current Transalta Power Executive Jim Dinning; and the right-wing former ‘Senator-in-waiting’ and current MLA for Foothills-Rocky View Ted Morton (Morton ran on the slogan ‘More Alberta, Less Ottawa).

Final Note – I attended the first Question Period of the new Legislature last Thursday and I’d like to thank Edmonton Rutherford MLA & Liberal Finance Critic Rick Miller for the kind introduction. Thanks Rick!

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vote, stupid!

for all you U of A students out there – Student Union Elections are on Wednesday, March 9 & Thursday, March 10 – POLLING STATIONS ALL OVER CAMPUS! VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!!!!!!

Check out info on ALL the candidates and the Health Plan Referendum HERE!!!!

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3rd all nighter of the week

well, this is looking like it’s gonna be my 3rd ‘all nighter’ in a row this week…. can’t…wait…until…saturday…when….i…can….sleep….in…..

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most bizarre…

and the winner of the ‘most bizarre thing I saw this week award’ is…

Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day by the Young Conservatives of Texas….

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mapping

i had to post this – it’s from NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division website – very cool interactive map! found it during my research on eastern european security issues.

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taking a break…

taking a break from paper writing… almost done the one on regional and domestic security issues in Eastern Europe… another one due next week on John Locke and property rights… can’t wait until they are done….

going to the first QP of the new Legislative session tomorrow afternoon. looking forward to it, should be fun to watch… I can’t wait until Ted Morton says something crazy! it’s only a matter of time and when he does – it will be posted on daveberta!

Cheers.

D : )

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Opposition 21 / Gov’t 62

Well, the new session of the Alberta Legislature began today with the election of a new Speaker. I haven’t heard, but it was expected that long long long long time Tory MLA Ken Kowalski would be acclaimed as Speaker. Kowalski, who was elected the same year dirt was invented, is the current MLA for the riding of Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock.

This session will see a new beefed up opposition ready to take on the Tories! Kevin Taft and the Liberal Official Opposition have 16 members (3 incumbents & 13 rookie MLA’s), Brian Mason’s perpetual third place New Democrats will be bringing 4 MLA’s (2 incumbents, 1 rookie, & a former MLA). Also joining the Legislature for the first time will be the Alberta Alliance, represented by Cardston-Taber-Warner MLA Paul Hinman.

Let’s hope the opposition gets under the Tories skin!

This new Legislature has 21 Opposition members (out of 83 seats – the Tories hold 62 seats).

Alberta’s new opposition MLA’s are:

Liberal Caucus
Bharat Agnihotri – Edmonton Ellerslie
Dan Backs – Edmonton Manning
Laurie Blakeman – Edmonton Centre*
Bill Bonko – Edmonton Decore
Harry Chase – Calgary Varsity
Mo Elsalhy- Edmonton McClung
Jack Flaherty – St. Albert
Hugh MacDonald – Edmonton Gold Bar*
Weslyn Mather – Edmonton Mill Woods
Bruce Miller – Edmonton Glenora
Rick Miller – Edmonton Rutherford
Bridget Pastoor – Lethbridge East
David Swann – Calgary Mountain View
Kevin Taft – Edmonton Riverview*
Dave Taylor – Calgary Currie
Maurice Tougas – Edmonton Meadowlark

ND Caucus
David Eggen – Edmonton Calder
Ray Martin – Edmonton Beverly Clareview
Brian Mason – Edmonton Highlands-Norwood*
Raj Pannu – Edmonton Strathcona*

Alberta Alliance Caucus (of one)
Paul Hinman – Cardston-Taber-Warner

*Incumbent MLA’s.

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Rocky Mountain House and back in 10 hours

Went on a last minute road trip yesterday with some great people to the great little town of Rocky Mountain House. Was a 2 hour ride there and 2 back from Edmonton. Had never been to RMH before…

I love going to these small towns, they’re fun! Ended up in the “Saddle Sore Saloon” at 4 in the afternoon (yes, it’s as classy as it sounds…). interesting crowd…. my buddy and I stuck out like sore thumbs… didn’t sell any Liberal Party memberships there… ; )

Had dinner at the Chef’s Cafe – a really nice little resturant – if you are ever in RMH you have to go!

Just an interesting RMH fact – in the 2004 Provincial Election, Liberal Candidate Susan Scott (who is an awesome lady!) placed second. This was the first time a Liberal placed second in RMH in 49 years!!! The results looked like….

Rocky Mountain House Constituency 2004 Provincial Election
(47.7% Voter Turnout)

Ty Lund, PC – 5,773 (57%)
Susan Scott, Liberal – 1,266 (12%)
Lavern J. Ahlstrom, Social Credit – 1,265 (12%)
Ed Wilhite, Alliance – 807 (8%)
Bruce Hutton, Seperatist – 503 (5%)
Jennifer Issac, Green – 335 (3%)
Anthony Jones, NDP – 300 (3%)

to put this into perspective, here are the results from the 2001 election (55.5% Voter Turnout):

Ty Lund, PC – 7,820 (70%)
Lavern J. Ahlstrom, SC – 1,705 (15%)
Winjand Horemans, Liberal – 1,171 (11%)
Doug MacAngus, NDP -408 (4%)

so… all the power to those right-wing fringe/spilt the PC vote parties!

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Budgeting Wine Gums…

Well, as this is the first post in my ‘new flat in the city’ (as opposed to my ‘old flat in the city’), I must let you in on what i’m thinking…

1) It’s just after 10pm and I just ate an entire bag of Maynards Wine Gums…yum… I am sooo wired for the night.

Maybe I’ll start writing one of my term papers – for one of them, I’m writing on domestic and regional security issues in Eastern Europe since the dissolusion of the Warsaw Pact in the early 1990’s. I actually have a real facination with Eastern Europe (cultural, political, historical). I’m not sure where this comes from – It may be because i’m just a radical communist revolutionary at heart 😉

I don’t come from an Eastern European family (I’m an 11th generation Canadian – ‘My people’ settled in New France around 1665).

I think I want to go to Eastern Europe. I’ve been to Western Europe twice (both times before I was 18 years old). Warsaw, Prague, Minsk, Moscow, Budapest, and company just sound so cool. Maybe one day…

2) Finance Minister Ralph Goodale will be delivering the first budget of the Martin Minority Government tomorrow at 4pm Ottawa time. The Parliamentary website has an interesting fact sheet of how the budgetary process works. It should be interesting to see what kind of budget it’ll be. Stay tooned!

You can watch the budget presentation live on your computer or on television on CPAC.

3) I watched the movie ‘Troy‘ last night… and its joined ‘The Village‘ as one of the worst movies I’ve seen so far this year… Right now, the bad movies are winning. Haven’t seen too many good movies this year… I did see Garden State – one of my 2005 fav-o-rites!

I have Shrek 2 sitting on my shelf, hopefully the big green ogre will break my losing streak of bad, bad, bad movies!

G’nite.

D : )

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back in the saddle again

well, i’ve moved and my internet hookup was back up faster than I thought it would be.

I will post soon. Oh yes, post soon I will.

D : )

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my new favorite band…

this is going to be a slightly less political posting than the last one. I’ve discovered one of my new favorite bands – the coral – the’re a British band and pretty good. Check ’em out!

this will probably be my last post for a bit, I am moving this weekend and won’t have internet access at my new place until the END OF NEXT WEEK!!

For those of you in Alberta – Happy Family Day long weekend!

D 🙂

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alberta by the "numb"ers

lightening round!

-Revenue from VLTs when Klein was elected in 1993: $40.3 Million

-Revenue from VLTs in 2003: $577 Million

-Increase in calls to ‘ Gamblers Anonymous’ since 1992: 2,600%

-Amount of non-renewable resource revenue the Tories have spent while in office: $135 Billion

-Amount required for Alberta to catch up with its infrastructure backlog, such as roads, schools
and hospitals: $7 – 9 Billion

-Amount government spent to defend Stockwell Day in defamation lawsuit: $792,000

-Amount government wanted to charge taxpayers just to find out Day’s legal fees: $59,571

-Increase in post-secondary tuition since 1993: 273.4%

-Number of municipal districts in Alberta: 68

-Number of municipal districts that have declared themselves economic disaster zones because of the mad cow crisis: 33

-Amount two American companies received from Klein’s BSE Bailout Package: $42 Billion

-Average amount individual producers received from Klein’s BSE Bailout Package: $1,800

-Amount Albertans have paid extra on their power bills because of deregulation: $5.38 Billion

-Total cost to taxpayers because of deregulation: $8 Billion

-Increase in government spending on travel and communications since 1998: 53%

-Number of government ministries in 1993: 17

-Number of government ministries in 2004: 24

-Cost in 2003-04 of maintaining and operating the government’s air force: $4.35 Million

-Number of staff required for the government’s air force: 13

-Number of taxpayer-funded flights made by government ’02-’03: 3,100+

-Amount government spent on the horse-racing industry (last four years): $132.9 Million

-Increase in health care premiums since 1993: 63%

-Increase in health care premiums since 2002, the year Klein swore the only way taxes were
going in Alberta was ‘down’: 30%

“Ralph listens, Ralph cares”. – 1997 PC Campaign Slogan…