Friday, January 05, 2007

Oh Please!

Crap like this article used to drive me wild when I lived out west:
Stephen Harper described it as a "fine tuning" - a couple of minor tweaks to make sure "the best ministers are in the best portfolio."

Edmonton's Rona Ambrose may think a little differently. She just got "fine-tuned" out of the environment minister's job, and into the ultra-important post of minister of bringing down interprovincial trade barriers and doling out the pork in the Western Diversification Fund.

The Edmonton member of Parliament was in Ottawa to watch Albertans' backs. As such, she became Public Enemy No. 1 for the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois and the Parliament Hill press pack that feeds off them..

Ambrose became their first victim yesterday when the prime minister - who also is a token Albertan but is acting less and less like it these days - rearranged the chairs around his cabinet table.

Rona was the highest-profile casualty. But our man in the south, Monte Solberg, was also basically relegated to Harper's national babysitter as the new minister of Human Resources and Social Development...

Clearly Stephen Harper has parked his principles and went chasing polls.
And Alberta's Rona Ambrose paid the price.

The sad part, people believe this divisive nonsense. Yes, yes, Ambrose was vilified because she is an Albertan, not because she was a complete incompetent that was clearly out of her league. The idiot who wrote this piece is so consumed with a persecution complex he failed to realize that Monte actually got a promotion with his new portfolio- but don't let that get in the way of the delusions.

We have a government that is heavily tilted towards Alberta, yet we still hear this tripe. It sells papers, rallies the troops, but it's rubbish. I can't wait to listen to this guy when the Liberals win the next election. Good grief.


bigcitylib said...

If it makes fewer Albertans vote Tory, who gives a shit?

Steve V said...

That's the spirit!

Olaf said...


I'm as brainwashed into conservatism as the next Albertan, but even I stay away from the Sun media chain altogether.

bigcitylib said...


What else have they got out there, other than...what's that one called...the Alberta Report?

Steve V said...


The sad part, it's a right-wing rag. The only thing I could stomach was the Herald, barely :)

Anonymous said...

There's Alberta Views magazine, more centre-leftish, and good writing.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Wormtongue Levant have a hole in the wall in Calgary? He's been known to pen the odd word if I recall. Odd being the operative word.

ottlib said...

I find the article divisive and stupid but I also find it interesting considering the source.

The fact that the newspaper representing the CPC's core constituency has panned the cabinet shuffle is intriguing.

Steve V said...


That is interesting for sure.

Lept said...

Having spent too long in Alberta - I landed there - I know all too well the attitudes. But are they any worse than the smug Upper Canadian responses your post has attracted?
Alberta and Québec are the two poles in our political system: certainly the West has tended to have almost as much to complain about as our New Nation québecoise does!
If it was Mulroney's 'playing' to Québec that seeded Reform, now that Harper has found that he needs those same voters, is it not a bit disingenuous to be surprised at the resultant Western anger?
As long as we have leaders who have such a crudely Machiavellian understanding of the federal dynamic, decisions and policies will continue to pit the one region against the other.
Unfortunately both Dion and Harper present the old rigid mentalities of the ruling elites of their particular regional fiefdoms: I don't see much hope for dynamic rapprochements under either. Dion offers a variation of the Chrétien/Trudeau harshness, while Harper hankers for the New Canada - a country in name only.

Steve V said...

"But are they any worse than the smug Upper Canadian responses your post has attracted?"

Hi lept. The only reason I mentioned residency was to avoid the appearance of the typical easterner wagging a finger at westerner opinion. I believe there are genuine criticisms, but I also believe that Ottawa bashing is required sport, that demands little intellectual energy and is sectarian in nature.

So you won't be voting for Dion then? ;)

Lept said...

Like a surprising number of people I know around here, yes, I will hold my nose and vote Liberal for the first time in my life!
(If his handlers can keep him off the subject of Québec).

Steve V said...

Lept, I'm curious as to motivations. Are people tired of the Bloc, or is because of Harper?

Lept said...

Because of Harper,
but the Bloc has been less than stellar...
but also a touch of not wanting to be 'always outside' - and again: 'they'll never be the government, BUT I might vote for them again'.

Steve V said...



ottlib said...


One of the reasons why the West is always on the outside looking in is because they are so damned predictable with regard to their voting intentions.

They are going to vote Conservative or some variation if it. Period, end of story.

So that gives a huge disincentive to both the Conservatives and Liberals to fight for your votes. The Conservatives don't need to because they believe it is in the bag and the Liberals won't because they do not think there is a point.

This certainly is not an ideal situation but it is just the nature of how our parliamentary system works. Political parties focus their energies where they need to and where they believe there will be a payoff.

Contrast that with Quebec. You never know how they are going to vote. In the last election the BQ believed they would win over 60 seats because God knows Quebecers were not going to choose the Conservatives as an alternative to the Liberals. They fooled us and the result is Stephen Harper thinks he can increase his seat count there so he will make the effort, ignoring the West in the process.

The West could learn from Quebec. Imagine if Albertans were to elect 10 Liberals to the H of C. Suddenly there is an incentive for both the Conservatives and the Liberal to pay attention to the needs of Alberta and the West and they would begin to find themselves "in".

lept, I am a Liberal and an Easterner but I also do not like seeing a vast and important part of our country being left out. That is the reason why I agree that the Senate should be reformed. (for real not the faux reform Stephen Harper is peddling) However, I also believe that Westerners need to begin competing for political attention by using the only really effective method of doing so in a democracy: making the political parties really compete for your votes.

Lept said...

The 'West' is always on the outside because it has always been under-valued by Central Canadian politicians: going back to the depression (which is still remembered) when the 'West' was left to literally blow in the wind ... if that Western cliché holds up to historical examination.
I find it difficult to tell a province (region) to vote in a certain number of people I like so that they can be heard.
That eastern finger?
I do get your point though.