We have plenty of cougars.

Last week some pictures from a perfectly legal and humane cougar hunt made the rounds on the internet. The usual urban living suspects went haywire as one would expect. Multiple reports were sent to Alberta Fish & Wildlife as many folks didn’t even realize that cougar hunting was legal. Former Prime Minister Harper’s wife even went to twitter to exclaim that the hunter probably had a small prick. People have the right to say and feel what they please of course. Let’s get real though on some facts about cougars in Alberta and why hunting them is legal.

First and foremost, cougars are abundant in Alberta. They are not endangered or even threatened. If anything, their populations have been growing.

I understand how folks in the city may think that cougars are rare. They never see them. If they ventured just outside of city limits however, they may be surprised to discover just how well predatory wildlife is thriving right next door.

I live in Priddis. It is a bedroom community of Calgary just 10 kilometers from city limits. I have a game cam in my back yard. It is 25 meters from my back door and is on a good game trail that comes up from a creek that bounds by property.

Despite being only a few minutes drive from a city of over a million people, wildlife including cougars is thriving out here.

Below is a shot of a cougar behind my place last fall along with a picture of myself in the same spot to add perspective.

The big fella below came by a couple years ago. Only saw that one once but he was huge.

Along with frequent cougars, we have all sorts of other wildlife hanging around as can be seen below.

Aside from showing off pics of the cool critters that I get to see in my back yard, I am making a point here. Game of all sorts is plentiful in Alberta, even in relatively highly populated areas. Hunting is not putting their population at risk.

I don’t hunt. It’s just not my thing. I moved to where I am because I love living in proximity with the wildlife and sharing space with it (when safe & reasonable).

All that said, I hold nothing against those who choose to responsibly hunt assuming that it is done responsibly and without cruelty. Hunting is an essential part of wildlife management and it is regulated to help ensure that waste of any animal product is kept to a minimum.

The Priddis area has always been known to have a lot of cougars and they are often a problem. Livestock and pets often fall prey to cougars and there have been some adverse cougar/human interactions over the years as well. Because of this, we are allowed to shoot a cougar if it is found to be on our property and if it is presenting a threat to people or livestock. In 2015 in just the Priddis zone alone, 23 cougars were reported as having been shot on people’s land. In knowing rural folks, I would suspect that at least that number again was shot but never reported. Remember folks, this is just outside of Calgary.

In the last couple years, we have seen cougars shot within Calgary city limits as well. People went haywire over those animal control actions as well of course. I can’t think of many things more dangerous than a cougar wandering through an urban area in full panic. There was no choice but to destroy those animals before a person was harmed. Whether animal rights folks like it or not, people come first.

The reason that we are seeing cougars wandering into populated areas more often is pretty simple. Cougar populations are not simply stable, they are growing. Hunting is an effective means of population control which helps keep these potential cougar/human conflicts to a minimum.

We saw the pitiful sight of a polar bear starving to death in a recently released video as well. Unfortunately, when alpha predators die of old age it is not kind or pretty. Cougars when left to die of old age will invariably pass on through a slow and painful process. I guess that is simply the way of nature but lets not pretend that its any less cruel than having been hunted.

Again, I am not into hunting. If a cougar were to enter my property and begin acting aggressively towards me or my family I would shoot it without hesitation. As it stands, we have been good neighbors so far and I am happy for it to stay that way.

You don’t have to like hunting. You don’t have to applaud hunting. If you condemn those who do choose to hunt without looking at the entire picture however, you are being shallow and unfair at the very least.

We have some real and pressing animal welfare issues in our society. The most cruel of acts against animals are usually done by people who own or posses domestic ones. Let’s get those nasty bastards and quit sidetracking ourselves on the non-issue of controlled cougar hunts. We have cats to spare.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

If the shoe fits…

Parasites are a part of living in our world whether we like it or not.

There are many kinds of parasites out there from the literal such as the blood sucking mosquito above to the figurative such as the tax dollar consuming civil servants below.

Civil servants unsurprisingly chafe at being labelled as parasites but they fit pretty much every definition of the term. Civil servants are 100% reliant on the resources provided to them by their host (taxpayers) who have to give without consent.

At best, the relationship can be considered something of a symbiotic one as civil servants can provide tangible benefits to taxpayers at times. There is no doubt that civil servants provide some rather essential public services particularly in emergency service provision. One rarely feels that their tax dollars were poorly invested when they have received emergency services from an ambulance or had their property and well being protected by a police officer. Most people agree that a degree of regulation is required in society and that regulation will come with some degree of bureaucracy and enforcement in its administration. That still doesn’t change the parasitic nature of the relationship however.

What is critical in a parasitic, symbiotic relationship is balance.

If parasites overpopulate, the host can become irreparably damaged as more resources are drawn than commensurate services are provided.

The Notley government has caused a terrible imbalance between the parasites and hosts in our provincial society. In order to try to mask the effects of our recession, the NDP has been borrowing at an astounding rate in order to pad up the number of civil servants in Alberta. This helps for a short term at least in keeping the unemployment figures from truly reflecting how depressed our economy really is right now. This approach is totally unsustainable and we will be paying a very heavy price for it soon.

While the trend of mass civil servant hiring did indeed begin before the NDP took office, they expanded on it and continued the trend. The parasite sectors is growing swiftly while the host sector has dropped and remains flat lined.

The accidental Notley government will be replaced in the next general election. Unfortunately, the hard work to recover from the terrible economic management of the NDP will only be beginning at that point.

The spike in civil servant numbers and compensation will rise even more dramatically once the NDP accept that they will not be forming government again any time soon. The NDP will greatly expand the civil service and will bind the hosts to contracts that will be terribly difficult to get out of as they vacate their temporary home in government.

With out mounting public debt and our flat lined employment numbers among producers (private sector), the cuts that will come to the tax dollar consumers (civil servants) post-Notley will have to be deep and will have to come soon.

Parasites will always struggle with vigor when being removed even if it means further damaging their host and themselves. Just as a wood tick will dig in and possibly cause its own head to be torn off rather than be removed from its feeding spot on its host, civil servants will do anything in their desperate attempts to continue feeding on the taxpayers indefinitely.

The parasites will begin lashing out with threats. I already saw that last night as a union member annoyed by my parasite characterization actually implied that civil servants may purposely meddle with my health care if I keep up with my critique as can be seen below.

Strikes will be threatened and possibly held as essential spending restraint looms.

This is not unprecedented at all as we went through all of this in the 1990s when Ralph Klein made the tough decisions that had to be made to bring the province back into balance. Those choices led to a period of unprecedented Albertan prosperity for over a decade until we slipped back into the trap of excess government spending yet again.

The looming cuts are inevitable. The clashes are inevitable too unfortunately as those with a sense of entitlement to the earnings of others never let go easily.

It will take courage to stand down the protests when the time comes. Understanding the parasitic and symbiotic relationship that we have with civil servants will help us remain strong when pressure to back down on cuts comes. We can’t be afraid to call the relationship what it is and act on that basis.

The relationship between taxpayers and civil servants is way out of balance and we will all suffer until that is rectified.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Breaking down the by-election.

Jason Kenney’s win in the Calgary Lougheed by-election hardly came as a shock to anybody. The seat was a safe conservative one and Kenney’s campaign abilities are renowned.

Still, some were hoping to see some cracks and weaknesses in the Kenney steamroller which has powered through four of the five steps Jason listed in his plan to take back Alberta. Those with such hopes were bitterly disappointed last night as the results flew in (credit to Elections Alberta by the way for the speedy results with the new system).

Some of what gave the anti-Kenney folks in Alberta some hope was based on the disastrous fall legislative session. While traditionally in Alberta it is the government that is eager to end a session and go into the holidays in order to lick their wounds, this time it was the UCP scrambling for the exit. The UCP lurched from one legislative trap to another during the session and the official opposition seemed to spend more time on the defensive in question period than the government did. Icing on the cake was a pair of issues that emerged just last week with Jason Nixon and Derek Fildebrandt getting into the soup. Despite all that, hopes of cracks emerging in the Kenney armor were dashed last night as he posted a near record victory in Lougheed with 71.5% support.

With the next general election scheduled for the spring of 2019 (I think Notley will push it to 2020), any number of political happenings and changes could happen between now and then. It would be dangerous to assume that the mood among the electorate will remain as it was last night when they resoundingly rejected Phillip van der Merwe of the NDP. That said, we can still read a lot into the snapshot that the election last night provided.


 United Conservative Party

The only party that can declare last night as a win is the United Conservative Party.

This was the first electoral test for the newly merged UCP. Some had speculated (hoped) that the merger between the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose Party would not translate into an automatic combined vote. Not only did the new UCP retain the combined vote from the two parties, they increased it by nearly 9%! This is huge in what it signifies and anybody trying to dismiss this is either delusional or simply spreading BS. Kenney not only kept the traditional conservative support, he increased it.

This was a hard fought campaign and nearly 72% of the constituency voted for the UCP. The campaign of fear and smear led by the Notley NDP not only failed dismally but has been defused. The NDP are many things but stupid is typically not one of them. If they continue to try to label all supporters of the UCP as being extreme and bigoted as they have been, they will be gravely insulting upwards of 3/4 of voters in suburban Calgary constituencies and likely even a higher number of people in rural constituencies.

The NDP will have to try and up their fiscal management record rather than throwing shit like aggrieved monkeys if they are to have any hope of staying in government in the next election. That means they have to play on Kenney’s turf and it is doubtful that they are capable of it.



Governing parties traditionally have a tough time in by-elections. That said, despite throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Jason Kenney in the by-election the NDP support utterly collapsed.

The Notley NDP chose to run a strong candidate with Phillip van der Merwe who is a respected local doctor. This was a strategic choice as well since van der Merwe is openly gay. The NDP hoped to keep the campaign focused on social issues and perhaps draw out some extreme reactions against their candidate in hopes of playing victims.

It simply didn’t work.

Despite weeks of hard campaigning and constant hyperbole about Kenney and his supporters, the NDP support dropped by nearly half to finish with a sad 16.79%.

While nobody rational expected the NDP to win this race, this was still a huge blow to the party.

While this doesn’t guarantee a loss for the NDP in the next general election, when combined with two other by-election losses it makes it pretty clear that Albertans do indeed see the NDP as an accidental government in need of replacement.

The Green Party

The Greens are considered something of a moderate middle or acceptable left of center alternative in BC and many other jurisdictions. In Alberta, they don’t even register on the political radar.

Green Party leader Romy Tittel gathered a scant 60 votes in total for 0.55% support. This is nothing less than crushing for anybody who had any hope that the Greens were going to fill any kind of electoral void.

The Alberta Liberal Party

David Khan worked hard to gather what he could from the soft left. He was hoping that disenfranchised red tories from the PC party and perhaps some less than hard left supporters from the NDP would come his way. With the increase to the UCP vote, it looks unlikely that he pulled any traditional PC supporters. Khan may have drawn some from the NDP though and he did increase the Liberal vote share by 4.5% from the last election. Momentum is important and he gained some ground in trying to position his party as an alternative.

All the same, I suspect that the Liberals hoped to at least beat the NDP and score higher than 9.3%

The Alberta Party

The Alberta Party had a chance to represent themselves in the by-election but instead sat it out as they remained embroiled with internal turmoil. A loss with a good effort would still have looked better than their complete absence. The party’s lame excuse for not entering was that they needed to focus on the leadership race that they triggered when they pressured Greg Clark from the role. When it is considered that they haven’t drawn any contenders for that race to date, their excuse looks a tad hollow.

The Redford era Progressive Conservative strategists who flooded into the Alberta Party after the creation of the UCP have proven themselves to be the unprincipled, party destroyers that we all thought they were.

It will be at least another election cycle or two before the Alberta Party registers on the electoral horizon if ever.

Randy Thorsteinson’s Reform Party

Randy Thorsteinson was the leader of the Social Credit Party in Alberta in the 1990s. Randy later founded the Alberta Alliance Party which changed to the Wildrose Alliance and has evolved/merged into the UCP of today.

Thorsteinson is smart, works hard and is a very successful businessman. He puts his money where his mouth is as he backstops these political ventures with his own cash. This led to some very big problems with the Wildrose Party in the past that I will have to write about one of these days

The problem with Thorsteinson is that he is incapable of acting as a team player. He has to run the show and will invariably take his ball (money) and go home if he has anything less than total control of a party.

Randy’s latest creation is the Alberta Reform Party through which he ran his daughter Lauren Thorsteinson in the Calgary Lougheed by-election. Despite a well funded campaign with plenty of expensive signs and literature, Lauren finished with a lackluster 137 votes for a 1.26% showing.

The run did bring back memories of the 2007 Calgary by-election where Jane Greydanus (now Jane Morgan & yes she is my wife), ran under the Alberta Alliance banner. Randy Thorsteinson was the party president at that time and he pumped a lot of resources into the campaign. Jane finished with 456 votes for 4% which hardly threatened the powers that be but it was an important step (among so many) in our building of that movement that led to the UCP of today.

Randy has his personal, unabashedly social conservative party to play with and it will never become anything more than that.

The independents

Marilyn Burns has always specialized in representing the sour grapes in the conservative movement. She has jumped in and out of multiple provincial political parties only to organize bitter campaigns against them from the outside looking in. A common syndrome in alternative parties.

Since the UCP merger, Burns and a few other chronic malcontents have been trying to form the “Alberta Advantage Party”. By most accounts they won’t manage to get registered as a party and will likely fade away soon.

The “Alberta Advantage” bunch did combine their brainpower and resources to field a candidate as an independent. His name was Wayne Leslie and he gathered a whopping 42 votes for .39% of the vote. Truly insignificant.

Last and definitely least was Crazy Larry Heather who has run in countless elections on his platform of intolerant religious fervor and general insanity.

While clearly being touched by the gods, Larry doesn’t appear to have their support. Heather garnered a whopping 22 votes for 0.2% of the vote. That number was likely people who made errors with the voting machine.

This by-election was an excellent way to cap off a year for the UCP. After a chain of victories followed by a weak legislative session, the party is off to a bright and strong start for 2018.

Jason Kenney has been in campaign mode for over 18 months with one race after another. Kenney can now finally focus on leading and managing the UCP so that it truly can be turned into the government in waiting that Albertans want. With Kenney’s formidable work ethic and organizational skills focused on the party rather than outside campaigns, I expect that we will see a much stronger and better prepared UCP going into the next legislative session.

Another factor that made things difficult for the UCP in the fall session was a lack of legislative budget due to the last leader of the opposition having pissed it away in hopes of retaining his position. The clock is reset and this fiscal handicap will not be in play for the unified UCP in 2018. With a full research and support team in the legislature I expect we will see a stronger presence as bills are properly vetted and amendments created. Committee work should improve too.

2018 is looking like a good year for the UCP and Alberta.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Alberta Party. They’re just not ready.

It is hardly news to any that Jacob the Hurricane Huffman is miles ahead of the pack in the race to lead the Alberta Party. Jacob exploded on to the scene and has finally generated that buzz and excitement that Alberta Party claims to have wanted to generate.

New memberships have been sold and people are committing to signing Huffman’s nomination papers to ensure he is all set to go.

Fundraising has been brisk as people scramble to support this young visionary on his quest to make the Alberta Party great again. 

Alas, despite all of this hard work and preparation by Huffman it appears that the powers that be still are not actually ready to hold a leadership race as can be seen in the email below.

How is it that a party that won’t even run a candidate in a by-election can’t seem to find the time in putting together an application form with nearly a month to work on it?

With a veteran Redford organizer such as Susan Elliott at the helm, it is astounding that they can’t somehow accomplish even this simple little task.

What is keeping the Alberta Party so busy? No campaign in the by-election and no rush of candidates aside from Hurricane Huffman’s fantastic run. Can they not cobble together a basic application form? Apparently not.

Just tossing a guess out there that perhaps Team Redford should have thought a little harder before pressuring Greg Clark out of the leadership.

Thankfully, Jacob Huffman is undeterred and is marching right along with his campaign.

Get behind Jacob today! With him at the helm of the Alberta Party, there is no limit on what can be done! 


Technorati Tags: , , ,

Meet Alberta’s next Premier!

There is just no doubt about it. Jacob Huffman has taken the Alberta Party leadership race by storm and so far looks utterly unstoppable.

Huffman, also known as “The Hurricane” or “The Lemmy Kilmister” of Alberta politics has taken a commanding lead over all other candidates with the bold release of his platform today.

Huffman pays homage to the mushy middle nature of the Alberta Party with his brilliant insertion of the term “possible” right in the title of his platform release.

While playing to the roots of the party about nothing, Huffman also brilliantly dedicates his unabashed support for bringing about the return to power for past supporters of Alison Redford thus leaving his competitors who have beaten around this bush in the political dust.

Along with some fantastic plans for economic stimulus while still recognizing that math is indeed hard, Huffman has fleshed out a fantastic, possible plan for the Alberta Party.

The addition of a puppy picture has ensured that this will indeed be one of the strongest and most popular political platforms that Albertans have ever seen.

All polls conducted since Huffman’s meteoric arrival in the hotly contested race for the leadership of the Alberta Party have clearly indicated that his lead is so strong that his competitors can’t even been seen (or heard or named for that matter).

With scant months remaining in this race, Huffman has set the bar high for all aspiring for that coveted throne enjoyed by the Leader of the Alberta Party (though that throne was recently something of an ejection seat).

Huffman has told me: “I plan on running a fair, and solid campaign, that I’m in it to win it, and will hold people accountable to democratic principals.”

I am quite excited to have purchased a membership in the Alberta Party in anticipation of voting for this visionary young man.

Memberships can be purchased here. 

We are seeing history in the making today.

A top politician indeed.


Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes, smaller is better.

I live in the community of Priddis Alberta. It is a small bedroom community about 10 km West of the Calgary city limits just south of the Tsuu T’ina native reserve.

We are a region more than a town. Over about 20 square kilometers there are about 2000 people in various small subdivisions, acreages and farms. There is a hamlet in the middle of it all where we have a community center, a small mall with a gas station, and a number of small businesses such as the pub and business center.

Pictured below is the Priddis curling team playing a game on Fish Creek in 1895. The rink was soon built nearby along with the community center. Winter activity has long been important here.

Aside from the community center, the true hub of the community is the modest but popular outdoor skating rink. It has been there in one form or another for well over one hundred years now.

Multiple generations have learned to skate here as it is very popular with families during the day and hockey players at night. It is a gathering place where community members can meet and establish a relationship as a true community rather than simply being a loose collection of residences.

At night after closing the pub, I often walk past the rink on the way home and see a number of young folks from the Tsuu T’ina reserve out playing informal shinny with other locals. Our communities unfortunately rarely interact directly but the rink does provide a place (aside from my pub) where people from both communities can interact and have a good time.

As a growing community we have many young families here. Our local “Priddis Panthers” hockey needed to be divided into nine teams.

The rink is funded by donors and maintained by volunteers. Whenever weather permits, volunteers are out in the wee hours flooding the ice and in summer they are repairing and painting the boards. It is a fun community activity just keeping the rink up to shape.

All that said, resources are always tight and the weather is our biggest enemy. Below I have taken a picture of the rink just today. Two weeks of warm weather have melted the ice down to the pavement and until we get some cold nights to re-flood, we will go without a functional rink.

A small Zamboni would add many many precious weeks of rink time to our community as a much thicker layer of ice can be built and maintained in much less time. Refrigeration systems can aid as well. A small used Zamboni can be found for anywhere from $20,000-$40,000. I don’t know what refrigeration costs but I suspect it is dear. We are always fundraising and may get these things eventually.

OK. I know you are thinking: “So what? Canada has hundreds of communities in the same boat.”

Well, that is my point. Outdoor rinks are a true Canadian tradition from coast to coast and there are hundreds of them. Most if all of them are always in need of more funding to keep as functional as possible. They provide healthy activity that bonds communities. What better place could there be for funding from our Canada 150 celebrations?

The Trudeau Liberals decided to spend $5.6 million dollars for a temporary rink on Parliament Hill that will last perhaps 8 weeks at tops. The public will have to book in advance to use the rink and will be barraged with a pile of rules for time and allowed activity. It should be noted that the Rideau Canal is right there and has provided public skating for over a century as well.

The reason to ignore Canadian communities while spending millions on this temporary rink is obvious. It is pure political vanity.

Justin Trudeau can never get enough opportunities to take selfies, show off his socks and do publicity stunts (as opposed to trying to run our nation).

We can rest assured that Pierre Jr. will do a grand ribbon cutting with his hair styled perfectly along with an entourage of photographers to ensure that every angle is covered. They can’t have the grimy backdrop of some small town! They must have the Parliament buildings in the background as they worship Canada’s child-king.

Ohh the “impulsive” follies will be beautiful to behold as Canada’s tax funded personal paparazzi catch Justin helping children learn to skate just after kissing their mom’s cheeks with just the right angle from the sun. Justin will surely take a gleeful tumble or two on the ice which will just happen to be perfectly photographed just as his little faux-kayak turnover was.

The cameras will make love to Justin and he will surely climax for them in return. Let’s hope it is discrete but who knows what lengths Trudeau will go to to try and distract from Morneau’s mess?

A rink that will only last a few weeks is well worth $5.6 million for such a public relations bliss as our Prime Minister is determined to be our most vain leader in history (following daddy’s footsteps closely).

If the Liberals really wanted to leave a Canada 150 legacy that was appreciated, they could have given grants of $50,000 to 112 small town rinks in Canada. They could have randomly drawn from applicants. Hell, I am sure that the rinks would all be happy to put up a plaque with a picture of and thanking Trudeau for the grant. A small price to pay and we know damn well that volunteers would make that $50,000 stretch infinitely farther than the fools in Ottawa did. The benefits would be felt for generations.

Alas, Trudeau will always think bigger is better.

If that was not the case, then why not stop giving Bombardier billions and instead give out thousands of $100,000 business startup grants? Hell, if only 10% of the startups survived we would still see more benefit and employment than we get in pissing it into Bombardier only to have them come back begging for more every year.

Yes, smaller is better indeed. Unless you are of old stock money and vanity such as those members of Canadian aristocracy such as Morneau and Trudeau. In that case, the spending can never be big enough.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

What if you held a race and nobody showed up?

The bizarre saga of the hapless Alberta Party continues.

It has been eighteen days since Greg Clark was pushed out as leader of the Alberta Party due to a sudden influx of ambitious but unprincipled Progressive Conservative party members from the Redford era. Having gotten their hands on a fresh new party to play with, one would have thought that the tall foreheads behind this putsch would have had the foresight to ensure that their prospective leadership candidates for the upcoming race were solid. Alas, it appears that common sense was lost in their zeal.

Now the odd little party is finishing a legislative session leaderless, can’t even find the means to run a candidate in the Calgary Lougheed by-election and is losing what little credibility it had remaining as the days in what is going to be a very short leadership race tick by with not even a sign of a candidate vying for the position.

Surely the Redford Refugees had a person or persons in mind for the role when they kicked Greg Clark to the curb so ignominiously not so long ago. Party insiders have described the internal workings of the Alberta Party since the takeover as “a train wreck”.

I am guessing that the prospective candidates took a look at the moribund little party with no money in the bank that & now wracked with internal discord due to the weaselry involved in punting Greg Clark and they wisely headed the hell to the hills.

In any real leadership contest, prospective candidates begin voicing their public interest as soon as a vacancy presents itself. One can’t start too early in order to raise funds, build a team and sell memberships in order to win the race. Even tire kickers will at least air some interest into the public to gauge potential support for a run.

The silence regarding the leadership vacancy with the Alberta Party is truly deafening. They haven’t even drawn fringe crackpots to the race yet. This is truly a singular situation in politics.

The Christmas season is looming. That is a campaign dead zone from about December 15 until into the new year. That leaves about seven viable campaign weeks remaining if a candidate should throw their hat into the ring today.

I expect that they will scrape together a candidate or two by the time a deadline is reached. Hardly a position of strength when they have to work so hard to find one or two people who even want the job.

While the Alberta Party is clearly no threat on the electoral scene, this unique situation still makes it an interesting and unfolding story to behold. The machinations of the remnants of the once mighty Redford machine while as unprincipled as ever clearly don’t maintain the strategic wisdom of the past nor any real fiscal backing. The Alberta Party had just doubled its caucus and was actually gaining a bit of momentum. They then let their legs get cut out from under them by some homeless Progressive Conservatives who clearly knew so much better than the stalwarts running the party.

Perhaps the old Alberta Party guard will rally under Greg Clark and he can win back the role that he was pushed from. That looks like the best hope for the party right now. Then maybe they will have a hope of retaining a single seat in the next general election. Otherwise they are looking pretty dead.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

A must listen audio recording.

To begin with, I must thank Lindsay Shepard for not only refusing to be a victim of this sick culture in our post-secondary institutions. She not only didn’t cower to their intimidating crap, but had the foresight and presence of mind to record the entire repugnant interrogation that she had to endure from officials at Wilfrid Laurier University.

This has been in the news for some time but I feel that it is important to post this in as many places as possible as this issue is so critical and in need of broad exposure.

Lindsay Shepard is a teaching assistant who dared to show her class a simple video debate that had been aired on Ontario public television that had a University of Toronto professor representing a side that social justice warriors disagree with.

For this crime, Shepard was dragged before a kangaroo court where she was essentially accused of hate crimes and (they really did falsely say she had broken a law). She has since been sanctioned.

This audio truly has to be listened to in order to believe it. These interrogators should be fired and public funding for this university should be reconsidered. True critical and free thought is utterly impossible in the environment created by these fascist “academics” and the gravity of this situation can’t be understated.

Shepard was accused of creating a toxic environment, supporting “alt-right”, Hitler came up (of course), white nationalism came up and she was of course accused of breaking school policy. ALL SHE DID WAS SHOW A FUCKING VIDEO THAT HAD RECENTLY BEEN AIRED ON PUBLIC TELEVISION!

This sickness is happening in our post-secondary institutions across the nation and it takes listening to this audio in order to understand just how disturbed and disconnected from reality these “academics” are. Nobody can come from such guidance with any realistic concept of critical thought.

Find some time and give this horrifying audio a full listen.

We need some heavy duty educational reform and need to take control from these insane social justice warriors or we will be educating an entire generation of dysfunctional snowflakes such as we could never imagine.


Truly mad. The names of two of these interrogators are Herbert Pimlott and Nathan Rambukkana.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Rejuvenated Alberta Party already dead in the water.

The first strategically questionable move made by the Redford era management who have taken over the Alberta Party was to push out the personable leader Greg Clark and to trigger a sudden leadership race. The next move was the choice to refuse to run a candidate in the Calgary Lougheed by-election.

The flaccid rationale for forcing a leadership race was that they needed it to create buzz and sell memberships. Isn’t that exactly what running a candidate in a high profile by-election would do too? The reality is that those who took over simply want Clark out. While leadership races do indeed create buzz and sell memberships, they are terribly expensive for the party to run and party donations dry up for months while leadership candidates tap traditional party donors for their own campaigns. Somebody like Stephen Carter already knows this of course.

By-elections tend to be good for the party. Running a campaign means regular media opportunities and ongoing activity while galvanizing volunteers and members as they participate on the ground. Profile is raised and memberships are sold as people knock on doors throughout the community. Valuable campaign experience for party members is gained in these events. Even without a win there is a clear net-benefit for a party in running in by-elections.

In an absurd release, the Alberta Party has said that they will not run in the Calgary Lougheed by-election because it is “a foregone conclusion”. 

With the logic demonstrated in this choice to deny voters a chance to vote for them in Calgary Lougheed, it only stands to reason that the Alberta Party will only run a candidate in Calgary Elbow in the general election. The party has difficulty passing the 5% support range in pretty much every other constituency in Alberta.

It is somewhat ironic that while the Alberta Party has been pushing the theme of being “A party for everyone” when that everyone apparently does not include the electors in Calgary Lougheed.

In what universe does a party only run candidates when they know they will have 100% chance of winning? The only parties that could possibly take such a bizarre stance are those that already enjoy some pretty broad popular support throughout the province. The Alberta Party certainly doesn’t enjoy that status at this time (nor will they as long as they are too callow to contest elections).

For political wonks like myself, it will be interesting to watch the strange actions of this party that is now built on a mound of sour grapes. The whole raison d’être of a political party is to run candidates in an election. I guess until the Alberta Party finds it in itself to do so, it will simply be a social club where they will reminisce about the good old days under the Redford Regime before she fell in disgrace.

So far no leadership candidates have burst on to the scene vying for the leadership of the Alberta Party. Not too shocking I guess when they so openly display electoral impotence right out of the gate.  I expect that Team Redford already has somebody they intend to anoint in the role that they forced Greg Clark to vacate last week. One has to wonder if the race will have more than one candidate running.

While the party constantly demands to be taken seriously, they seem to go out of their way to ensure that people can’t take it seriously. Greg Clark just said last weekend that he anticipates the Alberta Party will win the 2019 general election. Rather bold statement to make when they are too weak to even run a single candidate in a by-election.

It is sort of sad to watch. While never managing to set the electoral world on fire, the Alberta Party held a somewhat unique niche in our provincial list of parties. Now they seem to be determined to become little more than a footnote.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

The Alberta Party coup.

If you really believe the spin that Greg Clark willingly stepped aside from the leadership of the Alberta Party in order to help create buzz for the party, I have a bridge to sell you.

Let’s look at the facts in the matter.

With the polarization of provincial politics in Alberta, the Alberta Party may very well have found their opportunity to cut a niche for themselves on the provincial scene. Despite years of hard work, they have languished in the realm of 5% support and have never been able to quite catch the eye of Albertans. With the NDP using all of the fiscal acumen of Venezuela and with the UCP jumping head first into a social issue quagmire in Bill 24, the timing is perfect for the Alberta Party to jump into the scene and round up the people who find themselves frustrated with both the NDP and UCP. In light of this Clark decides now is a good time to resign and leave the Alberta Party leaderless for months? Bullshit.

The Alberta Party is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting in Red Deer on November 18. In something of an irony, the theme of the AGM is “A party for all of us”. I am saying this is ironic because the AGM has apparently sold out and will not accept any new attendees. Word is that the number is 396 and that was after expanding their venue once. With people paying $99 each and with such demand, it is very well possible though admittedly challenging to seek a larger venue even if a deposit is lost. If the true goal is grassroots democracy even a gymnasium will do. While VP policy of the Wildrose Party I organized an AGM at the Bearspaw Community center. It was a nightmare but with a lot of volunteer help we pulled it off. Somehow though, it is impossible to hold an AGM for the Alberta Party with more than a few hundred people.

This AGM will be important as a very important change is being proposed to the constitution of the party. 

There is a proposal to empower the provincial board with a 75% majority of attendees in a meeting to unilaterally force a leadership vote. This is a huge amount of power to bestow on a provincial board where they could bypass caucus and the membership at large in order to toss out a leader. Why the sudden need to bring about this change?

Another interesting part with this AGM is that half of the provincial board positions are up for election. These are 12 spots and there are 35 people vying for them.

With this sudden need to change the constitution coupled with this unprecedented surge of members who registered for an AGM, it simply reeks of an organized takeover.

Less than a year ago, the Alberta Party had less than 400 members in total according to their financials. Now they have more than 400 who want to pay $99 and go to Red Deer to attend an AGM? Astounding indeed.

The tiny membership base made the Alberta Party ripe for a takeover. While it still is no small task to gather a few hundred dedicated folks, it certainly is doable. Hell, Jason Kenney can pull that many to a simple town hall meeting. With the combined effort of politically homeless Redford era PCs working under a PAC such as Alberta Together, such a coup isn’t all that tough to pull off.

The influx of new and experienced faces must have looked great to the original Alberta Party organizers initially. Alas, the Alberta Party has always been the party of nice guys and they really weren’t prepared to handle the way the old PC organizers do things. They don’t pull punches and they don’t play nice. It wasn’t long before the party was dominated.

While bright and personable, Greg Clark was spinning his wheels provincially. The Mr. Rogers approach while appreciated, tends to leave one sitting on the sidelines as pressing issues come and go. The Redford refugees could not abide by that approach any longer. One of the most immediately evident signs of the new blood has been in the attitude of party communications as can be seen below.

While I am not all opposed to rough play in political communications, it sure is a change in tone from the party.

As a side note, I am not sure if the Alberta Party really wants to get into labeling other parties based on the actions of lone candidates. We would be forced to keep bringing up how the Alberta Party had not one but two different fellows who were charged as pedophiles run for them. One of them even ran in their last leadership race. They were Troy Millington and Terry Lo . 

Despite his best efforts, Greg Clark simply did not fit the mold for what the old Redford gang wanted to see. Clark is a nice guy, but he is no fool. Clark resigned rather than being forced out when he could see the writing on the wall. Being nice, he took one for the team and continues to do so.

Anybody in politics knows that when you want to release something bad, you do it on a Friday afternoon in hopes that it gets forgotten and lost from the news cycle over the weekend. If it is something really bad, you do it on the Friday before a long weekend. You can rest assured, if Clark was pumped and happy about his resignation and looked at it as a great rejuvenating move for his party he would not have meekly put it out there on a Facebook post on the Friday afternoon before Remembrance Day.

Clearly the new team taking the reins of the Alberta Party has a person or two in mind for the coming leadership. We likely will see hints at the AGM next week if not open campaigning already. The proposed campaign period is not terribly long by leadership standards. If they really wanted to build the party through a leadership race, they would have a long campaign period where they would solicit a large number of candidates. This is rushed as they don’t want to actually compete something.

Its too bad that the AGM is so full to the rafters. I would have been happy to spend the fee just to attend and watch the fireworks from the floor.

A sad end for a party that tried to do things the nice way.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,