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Jason Kenney and the UCP Performance - first year of power

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  • Originally posted by gwill211 View Post
    LOL. You want to call other posters childish?? hahahaha.
    Right.? So amusing, until it isn't
    Animals are my passion.

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    • Originally posted by noodle View Post
      Originally posted by kcantor View Post
      it's as if they don't seem to consider being in opposition as being a necessary and valuable role within government whether they are facing it or fulfilling it.
      At least they're providing an actual Opposition. The UCP provided no shadow budgets, walked out of votes & continue to act like impetuous, entitled children who knew they'd get what they wanted eventually, so why bother? Given the huge cultural conservative bias in Alberta, continued education & informing of the electorate is essential, though I can see how that can look "campaign-y" to some. It's an uphill struggle & the messaging is pretty consistent with what they used in their campaigns.

      I'd not think that consistent messaging & holding to your platform even as you have to reiterate it for the umpteenth time to be a negative, but hey, everyone's got an opinion.
      it's the across the board 24/7 continual campaigning that i'm referring to even when the event is - or should be - non-partisan...

      as one example, it's being at a ribbon cutting or ground-breaking event to which the local mla has been invited because you always invite the local mla and then have the greetings delivered "on behalf of rachel notley and the ndp caucus" instead of "on behalf of the government of alberta" or "on behalf of the province of alberta".

      they may be members of the opposition but they are still a part of the government whose role is to represent all of their constituents in one direction and to represent all of the government in the other. at some point, the partisanship needs to be left at the door.

      ps. it bothers me just as much when the mla is a member of the governing party and says the same kind of thing. it also galls me to no end when there are cheques to be presented and credit is taken for things that many in the audience know would not have been approved if the presenter had had enough other mla's vote the way he or she did and i've seen that both when the presenter is in opposition and when the presenter is in government or in cabinet. it's been quite humourous sometimes to see an opposition mla and a cabinet minister both try and take credit for something that they have both opposed in one form or another - one of those hypocrisies upon which politicians earn their reputations i suppose.
      "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

      Comment


      • Originally posted by kcantor View Post
        after seem soul-searching and self-analysis, i thought i would leave the Liberals and Trudeau - Performance Review thread alone for a short time and spend it on some threads with fewer biases, more objective posts and less childish behavior...

        little did i know.

        now i don't know where to turn to next.

        although before i leave another thread for a short time, i think i'll leave a biased opinion post here first:

        good government requires a constant balancing (over the medium to long term, not necessarily the short term) of income and expenses along with the needs and the expectations of the electorate, not all of which align even some of the time, never mind all of the time.

        the province of alberta's expenses under the ndp were by most measures higher than they could/should be in some areas but (a) they inherited most of that and (b) that's not the real issue that they faced or that the current government also needs to face.

        the real issue that the ndp inherited a structural deficit estimated before they were ever elected to be at least $8 billion a year. the province of alberta was clearly looking at an income deficit, not a spending deficit, regardless of who would have been elected. that income deficit was compounded by an infrastructure deficit that took decades to accumulate and which would, again, have to have been dealt with regardless of who would have been elected.

        the ndp did not have a perfect record in their four years as the governing party but - particularly when it comes to economics - they drastically outperformed my expectations given that not even they expected to get elected and doing so gave them a caucus with little if any real experience or depth which actually says a great deal about notley and her cabinet with more of it good than bad.

        the ndp's biggest failing - from my perspective - is that even in government they never stopped campaigning, a failing that is even more apparent now that they are once again in opposition. it's as if they don't seem to consider being in opposition as being a necessary and valuable role within government whether they are facing it or fulfilling it.

        as far as expectations go, i am probably more concerned about the choices kenney seems predisposed to make and their likely negative long-term impact on the province economically as well as socially than i would have been under a second ndp term. hopefully i will be wrong this time (as i was last time) but i'm not yet optimistic.
        Good post.

        I found Notley to be refreshingly level headed, unemotional, and in many ways very Lougheed-like. She and her NDP team accomplished many positive things.

        Economically and even at the personal level, the hated carbon tax wasn’t as big a deal as it was made out to be. The utility legality fiasco was a huge slip up but something we could recover from. The minimum wage increase impacted very few people but sure got a lot of press. On most of these issues I don’t think people really notice the changes. Even aggregated the impacts weren’t all that great. (It’s still global oil prices, oil sector construction and oil, gas, agricultural access to foreign markets that change lives of the average voter.)

        Where I found Notley lacking was in
        1) her failure to come out and defend her government’s actions including the high/higher level of debt spending. (Preventing an economic collapse by increasing debt levels to create a soft landing is a very reasonable approach)
        2) not playing hardball with the private sector and using the savings to help bail out the private sector and those losing their jobs in the private sector
        3) not altering her carbon tax when it became clear that it bought us nothing (it should have been kept but she could have said cut it in half saying that we the Feds weren’t stepping up to help.)
        4) not shifting to highly visible austerity stance in her last year in order to reflect the new reality fact that our incredible oil sand sector has turned to **** in the face of record shale US production and pipeline blockades.
        Last edited by KC; 15-08-2019, 06:21 PM.

        Comment


        • But #4 is diametrically opposed to #1. Just look at Saskatchewan for an example of how and austerity approach turned out as opposed to Notley's. A case can be made that a downturn, especially one with low interest rates, is exactly the time for the province to increase spending. All too often we see the big ticket government projects being announced during the boom times when the prices for material and labour are at a peak.

          This is the corner that the Conservatives have painted us into. By moving royalty revenue from the Heritage Fund into general revenues, they've not only made us more vulnerable to the volatility of world oil prices, it also means that for a party to advocate reversing that stance would be campaigning on raising taxes in order to replace the royalties to fund the government. Regardless of how much better off we'd be with a larger rainy day fund to see us through the bust cycles, The conservatives (the philosophy, not the party necissarily) would simply scream "They want to raise your taxes" and Albertans would follow along like sheep.

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          • ^

            this will now be at least the third consecutive government who - because of silly election promises - who won't have the fortitude to bring in a harmonized sales tax for alberta, something that would have almost balanced the provincial budget on its own, would have gone a long way to preventing the accumulated debt to rise the way it has and enabled the province to start to correct that imbalance. this is one tradition where the ndp is just as guilty as the pc's and the upc.
            "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

            Comment


            • Originally posted by kcantor View Post
              ^

              this will now be at least the third consecutive government who - because of silly election promises - who won't have the fortitude to bring in a harmonized sales tax for alberta, something that would have almost balanced the provincial budget on its own, would have gone a long way to preventing the accumulated debt to rise the way it has and enabled the province to start to correct that imbalance. this is one tradition where the ndp is just as guilty as the pc's and the upc.
              A sales tax would initially depress spending and kill jobs to some extent. However, it would allow the government to make more intelligent decisions as in when to strategically take on debt vs having to take on debt when it’s the very opposite time that you’d want to be taking on debt - as in a recession. (We aren’t a global power where our recessions bring down interest rates. We can go into recession like that of the 1980s at very high interest rates. Think of the immense amount of wealth that bad luck timing stripped from Alberta!)

              Unfortunately the key to adding alternative stabilizing taxes is the need for a reward for the voters or a desperate voter base that sees the status quo as bringing plague and the black death. Maybe Kenney can spin it as paying down NDP debt and then - forget to remove it.

              I do think that our reliance on oil royalties means that a better system should be built to somehow reflect and adjust to the inherent volatility and eventual demise of the sector. When the sources of revenue fall, something eventually had to be cut back and hiding it through debt is a path to permanent loss of provincial wealth.

              Public sector services should be ranked and stratified. Eg you are a class 1 core service so 90% of your budget is protected. Plan around losing 10% overnight! Those guys up the hall though are a class 3 service and only 40% of their budget is protected. Contracts should have declining as well as escalating scales. Wages have to be able to be cut when depressions hit.

              Comment


              • Because your average Albertan has been brainwashed to believe that a sales tax is simply evil. It's the whole "Alberta Advantage" fiction of low taxes. We sell our oil for the lowest price because we're selling bitumen instead of a product that most refineries can use. That limits our market to those refineries, mostly on the Gulf coast that can upgrade it. If it was the forestry sector, we'd be selling the logs instead of lumber or finished products.

                How do we get out of this? You've got me. We're locked in the "Taxes are eeevvviiilll!!!!" mindset with no obvious way out of it.

                If the NDP had proposed a sales tax to replace the royalty diversion, they would have lost even more seats than they did. So we're locked into the boom-bust cycle of spending like drunken sailors when the times are good and demanding that the government cut spending while not cutting services during the bad. Lather, rinse, repeat.

                But sure, let's call for independence like Kenney is doing and blame it all on everyone but ourselves.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by kkozoriz View Post
                  But #4 is diametrically opposed to #1. Just look at Saskatchewan for an example of how and austerity approach turned out as opposed to Notley's. A case can be made that a downturn, especially one with low interest rates, is exactly the time for the province to increase spending. All too often we see the big ticket government projects being announced during the boom times when the prices for material and labour are at a peak.

                  This is the corner that the Conservatives have painted us into. By moving royalty revenue from the Heritage Fund into general revenues, they've not only made us more vulnerable to the volatility of world oil prices, it also means that for a party to advocate reversing that stance would be campaigning on raising taxes in order to replace the royalties to fund the government. Regardless of how much better off we'd be with a larger rainy day fund to see us through the bust cycles, The conservatives (the philosophy, not the party necissarily) would simply scream "They want to raise your taxes" and Albertans would follow along like sheep.
                  It’s the timing and the assessment that matters. The province had billions in its stabilization fund but jumped at the chance go burn through that during the 2008/09 panic. Then in 2015 or 2016 savings disappeared overnight. A few billion is chump change for our now large population.

                  The NDP pretty much had to do what they did do - borrow and spend. That recession ended though and action was needed to prepare to fight the next battle. They however kept fighting the last war - maybe waiting for $110/bbl oil and hundreds of billions in investment capital infusions to start flowing back into Alberta’s economy in a new bubble.

                  Austerity budgets are insane during declines but debt-spending budgets are insane when your key exports may be sliding towards permanent obsolescence. Worse when they are commodities that are naturally volatile and where the lowest cost producer wins. It’s simple simple simple yet our political leaders can’t grasp that reality. They simply count on, and worse, assume that, inflation will erase the debt.

                  So continued debt buildup just increases the risk that what might otherwise be stabilized through modest tax increases and spending cuts instead leads to massive cuts and maybe massive tax increases. (Think - same logic in a failure to act on risk of global warming. The problem compounds. Magical solutions may not present themselves. ...)
                  Last edited by KC; 15-08-2019, 10:44 PM.

                  Comment


                  • The timing was years ago when the Conservatives decided royalties were general revenue instead of an investment in the future.

                    Good luck convincing Albertans to change that now. They're content with their artificially low taxes and Ralph Bucks.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by kcantor View Post
                      it's the across the board 24/7 continual campaigning that i'm referring to even when the event is - or should be - non-partisan...

                      as one example, it's being at a ribbon cutting or ground-breaking event to which the local mla has been invited because you always invite the local mla and then have the greetings delivered "on behalf of rachel notley and the ndp caucus" instead of "on behalf of the government of alberta" or "on behalf of the province of alberta".
                      Wonder where they learned that trick from: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...article569222/

                      Originally posted by kcantor View Post
                      they may be members of the opposition but they are still a part of the government whose role is to represent all of their constituents in one direction and to represent all of the government in the other. at some point, the partisanship needs to be left at the door.
                      That's richer than gold-leaf-encrusted lava cake coming from a blue-blooded conservative.
                      Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

                      Comment


                      • I wonder when they’ll bring in slavery:
                        https://calgaryherald.com/news/polit...lcohol-servers
                        "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by KC View Post
                          A sales tax would initially depress spending and kill jobs to some extent.
                          So people are going to go without toilet paper?

                          It is not like Albertans will suddenly go cross border shopping to BC and Sask. to get a car full of sales tax free goods. The only reason why a sales tax has not been imposed is because the politicians want to preserve their jobs and power.


                          Originally posted by kkozoriz View Post
                          The timing was years ago when the Conservatives decided royalties were general revenue instead of an investment in the future.

                          Good luck convincing Albertans to change that now. They're content with their artificially low taxes and Ralph Bucks.
                          The politicians are not leaders. Leaders propose a good idea that would benefit all Albertans and then educate, discuss, debate and convince the public of the benefits of their idea.

                          Instead politicians just play games with taxpayer money and run up a debt for another generation after the politicians get their golden pensions and move to BC.
                          Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by noodle View Post
                            ...

                            That's richer than gold-leaf-encrusted lava cake coming from a blue-blooded conservative.
                            sorry to disappoint you... i suppose there's not enough of your self-projected anticipation of bias to make you happy?

                            at least you used a small c in conservative.
                            "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

                            Comment


                            • I just don't really remember you holding conservative parties to the same standards when the tables were turned. One standard for "us", one standard for "them". I'll happily retract if that's not the case.
                              Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by noodle View Post
                                I just don't really remember you holding conservative parties to the same standards when the tables were turned. One standard for "us", one standard for "them". I'll happily retract if that's not the case.
                                so now you need to be party to my actual conversations with government and opposition and political party members of all parties before you can accept my opinion and thoughts on something as being my own?

                                my opinions and thoughts are openly accepted by you as mine as long as you can demonstrate bias but my opinions and thoughts are challengeable by you as not really mine when you don't detect enough preconceived bias?
                                "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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