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Monday, February 19, 2007

Acrimonious Alberta

Ontario may be promising for the Conservative Party of Canada in the next election. Quebec, while it poses challenges, may also be fruitful. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and PEI all have the possibility of Conservative gains. British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan are all fairly blue as it is, but they nonetheless have a potential upside. The territories, while not a bastion of conservatism, can only get better.

But Alberta, and only acrimonious Alberta, promises no chance of gain for the Conservative party in the next federal election. Indeed, the best that the Prime Minister can do in his own province is simply break even.

The voters of Alberta must demand an end to this injustice. The NEP was indeed unfair to Alberta, but its voracity came nowhere near the current state of affairs; one that prevents the people of Alberta from sending more Conservatives to Ottawa until the next census is taken.

Call Ottawa, Alberta. Demand a census today!

Posted by Jonathan Goldfarb on February 19, 2007 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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One would think that COMMONSENSE would prevail or are elected Parliamentarians devoid of it?

Posted by: Frico | 2007-02-19 7:55:26 AM

Your saying Albertans will lose all scruples and vote for Dion's Liberals? Or Taliban Jack's Dippers? That will really fix their problems.
Harper is maneuvering, give him time, he'll do the right thing on all fronts.

Posted by: Liz J | 2007-02-19 8:17:56 AM

To date Harper has played his cards well. Give him time and a majority before real change can take place. Everything up to now is political posturing.

Posted by: Western Canadian | 2007-02-19 8:52:52 AM

It's the Animal Farm Syndrome. What do you expect from the likes of politicians? Once they get on that wonderful, fabulous gravy train they don't ever want to get off. They'll even kill the golden goose (Alberta) for Eastern votes.

Posted by: David | 2007-02-19 8:58:02 AM

There are opportunities for Harper Conservative seats in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick - voters will
identify with the Candidates more than the Party,
but many Liberal and NDP Seats are vulnerable. PEI
voting habits are based on long term family political committments - hard to believe in AD 2007
but true nevertheless. The younger,well educated
"Islanders" may change that. Harper should do very well in Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta and the West in particular should have more representation. MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2007-02-19 8:59:44 AM

The NDP were a "threat" in my riding....Strathcona/Edmonton....after Jack Layton announced his university tuition fee plan. The university is in this riding, and every student seemed to be out voting.

I was actually surprised at how many people in this riding had anti-Conservative attitudes.

Posted by: anonymous | 2007-02-19 9:19:19 AM

Cities are natural breeding grounds for socialism, and are quite frankly the downfall of any democracy.

Calgary and Edmonton are both large enough now and not immune to following the characteristics of Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver etc.

It has shown its ugly head in the past couple of provincial elections, notably this past one when the anti-right rhetoric was ramped up to match that of any socialist city.

As more people move to Alberta, mostly from the east, they bring their politics with them. Common sense would dictate when they come to Alberta, seeing the success here they would change their views. And some do.

But as history has shown, in Canada, common sense escapes most eastern voters.

With that said there is no excuse for the unbalanced seat count as it now stands.

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-02-19 9:38:14 AM

I would hate to see the Socialist Hordes being inflicted on Alberta which is the only remaining Province in our unhappy Confederation which to me defines real and traditional Canadian values generated and earned over the decades
by those who created the old Dominion based on long
established and revered values - MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2007-02-19 10:06:38 AM

So would I, Jack. You'd think that people who move to Alberta would "get it" that there's a reason they're moving out of the east. It's not just that there are jobs here, it's "why" there are jobs here. It's not just the oil and gas reserves, it's because people actually "work" here.

People who don't want to work, don't move here....well, some do, but not most. If they're coming here for an easy hand-out, they'll be surprised.

Posted by: anonymous | 2007-02-19 10:41:52 AM

Having lived in Calgary myself,I remember meeting many Ontarians.In the 80's especially,native Calgarians were a rarity,"where you from?"being as common an icebreaker as talk of the weather.Almost everyone was from somewhere else.

The vast majority of transplanted Ontarians I met there became conservatives,and eventually grew to strongly dislike the politics of their former home.

Calgary has to be by far the most diverse city in Canada,in terms of immigration.People who have lived in virtually every city and town in Canada are represented there.Yet,it is the center of conservatism in a left-leaning country.....Go figure.

I have often wondered if their is a parallel trend for westerners moving to the GTA.Scientists have repeatedly demonstrated how people follow the crowd.Groupthink is a powerful persuader.

When you really stop and think about it...

Kudos to those conservatives surviving within the socialist state called the GTA.It must not be easy.

Posted by: Canadian Observer | 2007-02-19 11:02:23 AM

Comrade Layton is advocating a new Federal minimum
wage at $10.00 per hour, that is for companies with primary Federal Incorporation, which would if inflicted trickle down. Most small businesses cannot
afford a wage of $10.00 minimum per hour from what we have observed here in NB - Chantal Hebert calls the most accurate political forecast today. MacLeod
Moncton NB Canada 19 February 2007

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2007-02-19 11:26:25 AM

A census really doesn't do much to determine seat distribution. And didn't we just have one last year, anyway?

The process (and frequency) they use to determine distribution, is the problem. The seat distribution is determined every ten years -- The last time it was evaluated was in 2001; meaning it'll be 2011 before it gets another look. Alberta is gaining people at an average of one seat's representation worth of people, every 14 months or so.

Posted by: Rhys Courtman | 2007-02-19 1:02:34 PM

All I can see in this post is Jonathan Goldfarb's cheek poked way out.

Posted by: JR | 2007-02-19 1:54:21 PM

I would like to issue a clarification:

It appears that I have articulated my thoughts poorly in this article, and that my message did not reach my readers.

I was attempting to be facetious, and joke about the impossibility of the Conservative Party picking up seats in the next election – due the fact that the party already holds all of them. I was not actually calling on Albertans to demand a reapportionment today, and I was not attempting to analyze the politics of the next election.

Posted by: Jonathan Goldfarb | 2007-02-19 3:57:16 PM

I knew what you meant, Jonathan....I just took people's comments as "pondering", or "blogging away." :-)

Posted by: anonymous | 2007-02-19 4:22:35 PM

There are some funny bits in this piece:

Deepblue writes: "Cities are natural breeding grounds for socialism, and are quite frankly the downfall of any democracy."

That's interesting, especially given that cities create the majority of Canada's GDP. The GTA you so despise is responsible for 30% of Canada's GDP.

How'd all those socialist learn to make so much money?

Then there's Canadian Observer writing: "Scientists have repeatedly demonstrated how people follow the crowd. Groupthink is a powerful persuader."

Funny how all of you in Alberta seem to think the same way. So much for your vaunted individualism.

I know its easy to stick to the same old rhetoric, but please people playing the urban-rural/Ontario-Alberta schtick is getting tired.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-19 4:37:30 PM


Divide and conquer is a technique perfected by Chretien.

Canadians are human beings who deserve equal respect, whether they be from rural or urban areas.

Posted by: Set you free | 2007-02-19 5:45:07 PM

I stated a while back that Alberta should get more ridings based on the recent migration to the province:


Posted by: Werner Patels | 2007-02-19 6:00:07 PM

Set you free - I couldn't agree more, but many on this forum find it easier to justify their arguments with broad generalizations based on regional presumptions. My point was simply to point this out.

As a rural Ontarian with roots in the PCP, who now lives in the GTA, I can appreciate all Canadians and our collective background. We all have a role to play in the federation and every province has its fellow constitutional partners to thank for this country's prosperity.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-19 6:09:46 PM

Chris: "many on this forum find it easier to justify their arguments with broad generalizations"

Would that be a generalization like the one in your prior comment? "Funny how ALL OF YOU in Alberta seem to think the same way."

Posted by: JR | 2007-02-19 7:05:02 PM

"We all have a role to play in the federation and every province has its fellow constitutional partners to thank for this country's prosperity."
Posted by: Chris Rickett | 19-Feb-07 6:09:46 PM

Funny how many Ontarians think Canada is a Federation.
It is NOT.
I don't see what any other province has ever contributed to Alberta's prosperity.
Quite the contrary.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-02-19 11:00:45 PM

JR - it's called irony with a touch of sarcasm.

Speller - are you trying to say that Alberta has always been a have province? Because you should know that isn't true.

Remember that Alberta has not always had oil wealth and the development of the oil sands was aided by money from the federal government.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-20 5:36:21 AM

I know the history of Alberta. I know that in the late 50s and early 60s Alberta received a grand total of $92 million over 7 years.
That's it. $92 million over 7 years.

Prosperity? No. The question is why did Alberta exist for over fifty years and THEN needed that small cash injection?
The answer is that Canada(read Ontario) made Alberta a have-not province for those seven years with the Crow rate and other aspects of Ontario's mercantilist policies.

Ottawa has been taking 10-12 $BILLION with a "B" since the early 80s. That is from Alberta's NON-renewable resources.

Alberta never needed a penny of Federal money.
Alberta's resources have a history of Alberta and American investment development. If there are Canadian Federal $s in heavy oil development today you can bet your dumb misinformed Eastern ass those dollars originated in Alberta.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-02-20 6:38:03 AM

And Ottawa has been taking from Ontario and giving away since the entire Federal show began. It's nice to see Alberta joining us in helping keep the federation healthy.

Alberta, as you may remember, was a have-not province up until around the 1950s. Nevermind that the oil and gas industries still continue to get nice cash infusions from Ottawa.

My point was simple Speller - the entire country benefits from the federation and nobody would be successful without the help of their fellow provinces once and a while.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-20 10:07:18 AM

Alberta was a HAVE province until 1956 and became a have-not province for only 7 years ending in 1964. During that time Alberta received a paltry $92 Million(with an 'M') over SEVEN years.

Since 1980 Ottawa(read Ontario) has stolen from Alberta $220+ Billion(with a 'B')And continues to take 10-12 $BILLION annually for a political agenda Alberta votes against.

Canada is a Confederation not a federation dumbass.
Alberta became a have-not province ONLY because of Ontario's rapacity and has NEVER benefited from being part of Canada.

Alberta has always been opposed to Ontario's socialist wealth redistribution programs.

Ontario has always ruled Ottawa and equalization is an Ontario program. If Ontarian's want to give the Liberals a licence to rape the hard working people in Canada then that is what Ontarians deserve.

Albertan's don't want equalization. Albertan's deserve better.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-02-20 11:21:44 AM

Good try Speller, Alberta was a have-not province up until 1947.


But that isn't even my point - the point is every province has benefited from being part of Canada (even Ontario who has always been sharing its wealth with the other provinces).

Funny how all those socialists in Ontario seem to make so much money though don't you think?

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-20 11:50:41 AM

Keep posting Rickett's, your a laugh a minute!

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-02-20 11:57:02 AM

Anything to keep you and me laughing deepblue.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-21 3:51:49 AM


"Good try Speller, Alberta was a have-not province up until 1947."

I understand that the article you reference does state that Alberta was a "have-not" province until 1947. The writer of the article is wrong. It may have been more correct to state that Alberta was a poor province until 1947.

The concept of "have" and "have-not" is a concept tied to the Federal Equalization program. This program did not begin until 1957.

My numbers are a little different than Speller's are but they lead to the same conclusion. Since 1957, Alberta has contributed a net amount of about $285 billion to other provinces. This is a significantly larger per capita share than any other province (Ontario is a distant second) and Alberta has not received the same political control that Ontario has. I am not suggesting that Alberta should be given more control for its Equalization contributions; I simply mean to state that Ontario has had a vested interest in keeping the game going - Alberta never has.

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-02-22 5:58:15 AM

The only reason Harper can at best break even in Alberta is because every single riding is currently held by a Conservative. And this is bad...how?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-06-03 9:03:38 AM

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