Resignation Bingo!


I was planning to put this game together sometime near the beginning of the legislative session. Alas, the Wildrose Party jumped the gun on me with their demanding the firing/resignation of Fred Horne in mid-summer so I decided I had better get on this as who knows how many stamps may be gained before the legislature even manages to sit for a full session.

There are few opposition tactics that are as shallow, abused, over-used and lazy as that of demanding the resignation of a government minister or member over an issue. Perhaps Horne’s firing is warranted but I tell you what; now that Smith has demanded he be fired there is practically no way that Horne will be shuffled or fired anytime soon. All the same, this is the first demand for a resignation/firing by the Wildrose since the election so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt in that this is just something of a one-off or that Horne really needs to go that badly.

It can be argued that one of Canada’s most fiscally conservative governments in recent memory was under Jean Chretien with a Reform Party opposition. A strong and responsible opposition can have a great influence upon a sitting government. The only way an opposition party can wield power though is to truly threaten the sitting government’s position in power. That position will not be attained if the opposition simply consists of demanding the resignation of ministers every time something happens under their watch.

Once an opposition party demands the resignation/firing of a government member, unless that member has done something huge, possibly criminal and totally unforgivable, that member will become even more deeply entrenched in government. Pride and political points come into play once a resignation is demanded. If a member is performing terribly and the opposition keeps hammering on and exposing those actions, that member may indeed eventually step down or be shuffled soon. Once a resignation/firing is demanded however, the chance of getting rid of that member goes from being simply unlikely to that of an icecube’s hope in hell.

Public cynicism with politics  in general is growing. The indignant howlings by parties on all sides in legislatures both federally and provincially are adding to that growing disconnection between citizens and elected officials. Few actions can aid in that better than a frivolous call for a resignation/firing of a member. I am not suggesting that the legislature try to emulate the rainbow and lollipop approach to debate that the Alberta Party proposed (leading to their utter electoral slaughter). A heated and emotional debate in the legislature can be engaging and productive. That debate needs to be carefully crafted though and opposition will have to work carefully to guide that.

In coming to this legislative session the Wildrose Party can choose between two potential roles; it can accept that it has replaced the Alberta Liberals in a position of permanent opposition, or it can act as a true government in waiting that is currently serving in opposition. The second option will not be achieved if frivolous calls for the resignation of government members remain common.

I am looking forward to what I hope is one of the best legislative sessions that we have seen in a decade.

The card I modelled has the current cabinet along with a few backbench wildcards. I will continue to update and mark it as calls for firings/resignations from opposition members add up. The color of the stamp will represent which opposition party demanded the firing/resignation.

Lets hope that the card does not fill up with stamps quickly. I don’t really want this bingo card to be a blackout winner.

Walla walla bing bang.

Yes folks our Alberta’s provincial government has moved beyond being simply inept and arrogant into the world of the bizzare.

Heathcare consistently ranks as a prime issue with Albertans. With waiting lists hitting critical levels despite massive annual increases in government spending, our brilliant Health Minister Fred Horne has taken it upon himself to give naturopaths full status as “medical professionals”.  

For those wisely not familiar with naturopaths, these cranks tend to practice such brilliant therapies as homeopathy and touch therapy among other forms of quackery. They tend towards conspiracy theories and generally are against medical advancements such as, drugs, vaccines and effective treatment of ailments.

I won’t go into too much detail as to why naturopathy is quackery as it has been so thoroughly covered by many others. I will put a couple links below to save some googling.

A Close Look at Naturopathy Stephen Barrett, M.D.

More naturopathic nonsense in Ontario

Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake

Below I will add a link to a bit by my my favorite libertarians (Penn and Teller).

Their shows are laden with expletives but they do such an excellent job of debunking the “alternative” medicine movement that they are well worth watching.

People can go waste whatever money, time and health they like with whatever crackpot treatment they like. It is their money and their bodies.

When we are talking about the sanctioning of practices by our government though, we must stick to EVIDENCE BASED MEDICINE. 

Yes, there has been a process set about to determine what falls under evidence based medicine. Double blind studies, peer review and proven results are the sort of hurdles that treatments are expected to pass before being considered evidence based.

Naturopaths of course reject the concept of evidence based medicine. That is not surprising considering pretty much no naturopathic treatments can withstand proper medical scrutiny.

Don’t listen to crap people spit out about how the treatments have been around for hundreds of years. People used to drill holes in the skulls of patients to let the demons out hundreds of years ago, that does not make it a valid treatment. The average life expectancy a couple hundred years ago was 36 years. Is that something to aspire to?

There are claims that now that naturopathy has a college, they will be able to self-govern. Oh good, quacks governing quacks. That should ensure effective treatment.

Don’t let them snow you pointing out how long naturopathic quacks have gone to school. A person could spend decades in school studying astrology, that person still will not be able to predict the future and will be as well trained to treat ailments as your typical naturopath.

Government sanction of naturopathy adds to the facade of legitimacy for these quacks. You can rest assured that naturopaths will soon be demanding public funding for their pap and considering government is sanctioning them, it very well could happen.

Our healthcare system is under pressure and is crit

A cousin with a cause.

In many ways 2011 was simply not a good year in my family particularly when it came to cancer. Jane and I lost a sister-in-law to lung cancer (she never smoked a day in her life), a niece lost an eye to cancer and my cousin Shawn went through a gruelling ordeal and treatment for oropharynegeal cancer from which he is still recovering. Cancer is such a horrible disease and it effects everybody and every family eventually.

In 2009 I was found to have a tumour on my submandibular salivary gland. While it turned out the be benign, the waiting through multiple tests and the fear was life changing. I wrote on it here.   I still have that mass under my jaw but it still is not causing problems thankfully so we can continue to defer it’s removal.

 I still am not a health nut but I still don’t smoke. While cancer can be unavoidable, there are many life practices and other things that can be changed or done to reduce our chances of getting hit. There is no sense inviting this terrible disease into our lives.

 This brings us back to my cousin Shawn. HPV is a virus that we really are only beginning to learn about as a modern society. It has been known for some time that it can cause cervical cancer in girls and a vaccine has been developed. Currently only girls are covered for vaccination though as proven by Shawn’s battle the virus can cause horrific damage to men as well. Shawn and his family are recovering. Shawn’s wife Susan however is not stopping at simply their own recovery. She is now working to help fight preventable cancers through increasing the scope of HPV vaccination.

 Below is the story and plea from Susan. Please take it under serious consideration:


My husband Shawn Morgan was diagnosed with Oropharynegeal Cancer August 17, 2011. Stage IV. His cancer is the result HPV. They found a tumour at the base of his tongue (also common with HPV cancer) and the cancer cells metastasized to his lymph nodes. He is 43 years old and has never been sick. He actually was the picture of health – worked out daily – coached our boys’ sports teams – ate well – social drinker.

Now our lives have been completely changed by this cancer. Shawn endured 7.5 weeks of treatment chemo and radiation. For this type of cancer the radiation is all in your mouth. For 35 days your mouth is essentially burned. These patients have open sores in their mouth, on their tongues; some lose the ability to properly swallow. Most end up on a feeding tube because they cannot endure the pain of eating. Most patients lose 20 – 50 lbs. Once done treatment they slowly have to try and eat again – however they now have thick mucus in their mouth that they constantly gag on when they try to swallow food and they have no saliva.

Currently my husband is slowly recovering – what are his side effects: no taste buds, no saliva, no appetite, a constant sore throat and thick mucus in his mouth. He forces himself to eat and one meal can take up to 90 minutes. Without saliva you have to chew your food very fine before you can swallow it. They cannot tell Shawn how much better he will get so at 43 he is left to wonder is this as good as it gets… eating is a form of torture.  

When I realized Shawn’s cancer was the result of HPV– I could be a carrier – can be transmitted skin to skin – or touch not just sexual activity I was ASTOUNDED!! Then when I was told girls get the vaccination in grade 5 but not boys I was angry……. I want to make a difference I want to put a face – a family to HPV so the general public understands what it can cause and why vaccinating boys is so important.

This year I want to spread the news about HPV vaccinations and why the provincial government needs to vaccinate boys. The cost factor does not make sense… if you think about how much money the Tom Baker Centre spent treating Shawn and several others in his group who had HPV– the cost of their treatment has to be harder on the health care system then direct the cost of vaccination program. Then there is the basic truth you will save young men from suffering a horrific cancer – seems very straight forward to me!

I know over the next several years we are going to see more cancers related to this virus and I do not want any families to go thru what we have. I WILL NOT STOP until my story is heard, told many times over and MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

I know the Alberta Advisory Committee on Immunization will be meeting shortly to review the HPV vaccination program for boys and I want to make sure Dr. Corriveau remembers my story. I want to make sure Dr. Corriveau our Chief Medical Officer for Alberta does what is right and supports the public interest. 70 % of the population are carriers of HPVthe majority of us fight off the virus and nothing happens. Those whose immune system cannot fight the virus get cancer. My Husband, Shawn Morgan was one of those unlucky few and I will not stop telling our story until someone listens.

Susan and Shawn Morgan


Please email Dr. Corriveau directly:


CC: our Health Minister Fred Horne:


In the subject line put: It’s okay for boys to get cancer. THE HPV VACCINATION PROGRAM DISCRIMINATES


In the content put:


The HPV vaccination program should not discriminate. Both boys and girls are HPV carriers and both can get cancer. Do what is right!


We want the HPV vaccination program provincially funded for boys. Shawn and Susan and their boys have suffered and still continue to suffer as many others do as a result of HPV cancer. I do not want that to happen to my family. The Provincial government should stop discriminating and support a HPV vaccination program for boys.