It has come to my attention that I have added some new links to the "Sports" section of the sidebar. Hooray me.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
...The Wildrose Party of Alberta. This being the latest attempt to overthrow the Conservatives from the right, it follows in the footsteps of trillions of predecessors. It's also Link Byfield's latest attempt to get people to entrust him and his bile duct with actual power, his attempt to force his way into the Canadian Senate having gone sadly awry. The Wildrose Party isn't quite as rabid as the Alberta Alliance, and they may steal a vote or two from Ed Stelmach's mob, but they're not likely to have much impact, at least not this time out.
This did not stop them, however, from getting together not long ago and forcing out a big steaming pile of policy. Let's review the highlights, shall we!
1. Provincial savings must benefit all Albertans
Also, water wet.
4. Provincial Transportation Strategy
Be it resolved, that a Wildrose Party of Alberta government will develop a provincial transportation strategy, including the construction of a twinned highway to Fort McMurray.
For "including", read "namely".
14. An Arterial Freeway for Alberta
Be it resolved, that the Wildrose Party will support a central arterial “freeway” to be created utilizing existing infrastructure.
In other words, they're not going to tear up Highway 2.
17. Alberta Provincial Police
Be it resolved, that Alberta maintain its own provincial police force.
The annoying thing about this policy, which is proudly spewed out by every right-wing party in the province, is that it is not based on any notion of improving policing in the province (nor is there any evidence that it would do so). It's just a sort of limp "fuck you" to the rest of Canada.
22. Temporary Speed Reduction Zones
Be it resolved, that the Wildrose Party supports an amendment to all temporary speed reductions throughout Alberta to be in effect, only when people are present.
Grammar alert!! Grammar alert!! Anyhoo, as far as I can tell, the Wildrose party wants you to be able to drive as fast as you want, provided that you're not actually in your vehicle.
24. Legal Resident’s Registry
Be it resolved, that the Wildrose Party supports the creation of a Legal Residents Registry, which would include the name of every legal Alberta resident, and that no individual would be entitled to any services of the Government of Alberta unless they are registered, which would include but not be limited to, drivers licenses, health care, financial assistance, “prosperity bonuses”, education, child care, etc.
Ok, I take back what I said about them not being as rabid as the Albert Alliance. These folks are batshit insane fascists.
25. Police Officers on the Street
Be it resolved, that the Wildrose Party supports the hiring of more police officers to enforce the existing laws, while reviewing and setting limits on the amount of management and overhead in the law enforcement community.
Great! More policemen, fewer ways of keeping them from running amok, and fewer ways of getting them whatever help they might need!
27. Embrace subsidiarity
Be it resolved, that the Wildrose Party is committed to the principle of subsidiarity: that no level of government should make decisions regarding any matter which can be dealt with as well or better by a subsidiary level, including informal levels.
Swell! Government by informal agreement! Sounds awesome!
38. Primacy of Speech, Religion, and Association
Be it resolved, that the Wildrose Party, in all matters affecting civil rights, will affirm the primacy of the traditional freedoms of speech, religion and association.
Including the freedom of a religion to solemnize marriage between two people of the same gender? I'm kinda doubtin' it...
41. Same-sex marriage
Be it resolved, that Wildrose Party of Alberta government would amend the Alberta Marriage Act as follows:
(1) No person shall
(a) issue a marriage licence for, or
(b) solemnize the marriage of a union other than that of a man and a woman, and
(2) This section operates notwithstanding
(a) the provisions of sections 2 and 7 to 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; and
(b) the Alberta Bill of Rights.
Point for me!!
45 a. Provincial Review of Climate cience
Be it resolved, that the Wildrose Party of Alberta establish a Provincial Royal Commission to study the science of global warming.
45b. Provincial Review of Climate Science
Be it resolved, that the Wildrose Party support a provincial government review, informed by scientists of accepted credentials, to examine how to mitigate the anticipated effects of climate change in Alberta.
Hmmm, I wonder what conclusions the Wildrose Party's handpicked Royal Commission would come to... * ponders *
46. Liability for Malicious Environmental Lawsuits
Be it resolved, that the Wildrose Party supports legislation that would allow claimants to seek compensation from members of environmental groups where it has been proven harm was caused malicious or deliberate misstatements, or physical harm.
I heartily approve of this measure, since it raises the real possibility of events akin to this occurring.
47. Climate science balance in Alberta schools
Be it resolved, that the Wild Rose Party will ensure a balanced approach if the climate change debate is to be taught in Alberta schools.
What about evolution? Huh? Huh?
54. Alberta identity
Be it resolved, that the Wildrose Party will recognize that Canadians in the province of Alberta are first and foremost Albertans, with combined ethnic backgrounds that form a uniquely distinct Alberta culture.
I will never be "first and foremost" an Albertan.
Be it resolved, that a Wildrose Party of Alberta government would petition the federal government to grant Alberta the ability to determine the demographical composition of all immigrants entering Alberta.
I.e., brown people need not apply, particularly if they're, you know, Muslim-y.
58. Expand the “Family Class”
Be it resolved, that a Wildrose Party of Alberta government would expand the “Family Class” of immigrants allowed into Alberta to include all immediate family, including parents, children of any age, and siblings of Canadian citizens.
This is actually a good idea! * golf clap *
60. Teach basic knowledge of law in high school
Be it resolved, that the high school curricula in Alberta be required to include as mandatory subjects, basic criminal law, family law, and contract law.
* golf clap *
61. Reducing educational overhead
Be it resolved that the Province develop a plan to reduce class sizes by getting teachers out of central office and back in the classroom.
The teachers are in the fucking classrooms, working their asses off, you shitheads. Try supporting them instead of stepping all over them.
63. Objectivity in teaching
Be it resolved that Alberta Education policy include rigorous observance of the principle of pedagogical objectivity in all academic disciplines and at all grade levels.
"Objectivity," of course, to be determined by the Wildrose Party.
And so on and so forth. For some reason, I'm now rather glad that the Wildrose Party is unlikely to amount to much...
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Well, That Was A Stupid Thing To Say...
From a Mr. Craig Chandler, aspiring Conservative MLA for Calgary something-or-other:
"Alberta is growing in a way that was never expected and many of the people coming here do not truly appreciate Alberta or even understand the history of this province or the relationship with the Alberta Progressive Conservative party. To those of you who have come to our great land from out of province, you need to remember that you came to our home and we vote conservative. You came here to enjoy our economy, our natural beauty and more. This is our home and ... If you wish to live here, you must adapt to our rules and our voting patterns or leave. Conservatism is our culture. Do not destroy what we have created."
Much has been written on this piece of anti-democratic drivel already, and by clicking on the text itself, you can peruse a pretty good column by Rick Bell of the Calgary Sun(!) on the subject. However, I did feel the need to investigate a bit further to find out precisely who this Craig Chandler person is. Therefore, I donned my trusty pith helmet and monocle, I set off to the homepage of the Committee to Elect Craig Chandler, where I encountered a video of Craig Chandler announcing his candidacy, with a sterling endorsement from Paul Jackson, all set to bizarre synth-pop. The video goes on from there, but I don't know what happens, since I had ripped my headphones off and was jumping up and down on them.
Next stop: Chandler's policy page, jauntily titled "Putting Alberta First." That in itself should tell you all you need to know here. And yes, it turns out to be fairly boilerplate stuff; the usual blend of miserliness, xeno- and homophobia, and union-busting that characterizes the modern Alberta conservative. It's probably a little to the right of where the provincial Progressive Conservatives are at this moment, but that's ok; there'll be plenty of time for Chandler to roll over and let Ed Stelmach rub his belly should he get nominated.
And so we must, in the end, Judge Craig Chandler By The Company He Keeps. By which I mean his endorsement page. And whadda we find there? Well, I've already mentioned Paul Jackson. However, Chandler also receives glowing tributes from Rob "Nelson Mandela is a terrorist" Anders, and, best of all, Link Byfield. Why "best of all?" Well, Link has recently set himself up as the Executive Director of the Wildrose Party of Alberta, the latest collection of folks seeking to rid Alberta of the PCs from the right. I'm sure it comes as a great comfort to the Wildrose Party's backers to see their ED endorsing somebody who's running for a different fucking party (oops, this blog's even more R-rated now...). Anyway, more on Link's new bunch tomorrow.
So, conclusions? Well, the only one I can come up with right now is that Craig Chandler's quote on newcomers' voting rights is entirely indicative of his personality and political beliefs, and ought to be used to beat him and the rest of the PCs over the heads come next provincial election.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Lame Moments in Sports #16
So long, farewell
Final Lynx game means end of Triple-A ball in Canada
Posted: Monday September 3, 2007 4:42PM;
OTTAWA (AP) -- The Ottawa Lynx played their final game Monday, joining in the funereal footsteps of ballclubs that once played in Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Edmonton.
The Triple-A affiliate for the Philadelphia Phillies finished up with an 8-5 loss to the Syracuse Chiefs at nearly filled Lynx Stadium. Next year the team will move to a new home in Allentown, Pa., leaving the Toronto Blue Jays as the sole Canadian baseball team above Single-A ball.
This has been inevitable for the better part of five years now, but it's still rather sad. One hopes someday to see the trend reversed, but it ain't gonna be soon (and it's going to be never if the Canadian clubs in the Northern League don't start pulling in bigger numbers - Edmonton Crackercats, I'm looking at you).