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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Alberta budget shows Tories have lost conservative agenda

Iris_evansIn its 2008 budget released yesterday, Alberta Finance Minister Iris Evans announced the government will eliminate health care premiums by 2009. Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), Scott Hennig, is applauding this decision:

"Undoubtedly, taxpayers will be pleased to see the hated health care premium eliminated ahead of schedule. The CTF has long campaigned for their elimination and it's certainly satisfying to know Albertans will be saving hundreds and thousands of dollars each year starting in 2009."

(Western Standard readers may recall the discussion with Hennig on this blog about heath care premiums titled “Are health care premiums a ‘good’ tax?”.)

The CTF was less impressed by the government’s spending announcements. Overall spending has increased by 12 percent from the last budget.

“This is now four budgets in a row where the Alberta government has had a double-digit increase in program spending," continued Hennig.  "This rate of spending increase is simply not sustainable."

Part of the spending increase included $12 million in additional funding for arts and culture.

The province also committed $100 million to create the Alberta Free Enterprise Corporation. (After releasing a $37 billion annual budget, the largest in Alberta’s history, the Tories announce $100 million in government spending for a free enterprise-focused crown corporation? The Tories may have misplaced their conservative agenda, but not their sense of irony.)

The CTF points out that provincial revenues are growing by only 2 percent.

With this lacklustre budget, Stelmach is wasting his unexpected super-majority. Is anyone surprised?

Posted by Matthew Johnston on April 23, 2008 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink

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Comments

I'm not surprised at all. The Alberta PC's, just like the BC Liberals - and, for that matter, the Ontario Liberals - all embody the new spirit of "progressive" technocracy. That is to say - they represent a spirit which is leftist, but insufficently odious to mobilize ant great force against them, either.

I expect all of them to be in government for a long time.

I'd be shocked, for example, if the Liberals were out of power in BC at any time in the next few decades. There's no energy for a challenge from the right, and they've taken too much of the left's territory.

All three of those governments - governments of large, rich, provinces, have stepped over the centre to the left - far enough to take the wind out of the sails of their opponents - but not so far as to allow for a real conservative uprising.

The only one of those governments which might be ousted in the near future is Ontario's, since the PC's and the Liberals now occupy, functionally, the same ideological space and, therefore are more or less interchangable.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-04-23 8:18:57 PM


The health care premiums are buried in general revenue. It's smoke and mirrors.

Adam: Alberta tends to conservatism. Here in BC, the Liberals would like to be more conservative -- or less liberal -- but they swim in a sea of socialists.

Posted by: dewp | 2008-04-23 8:50:33 PM


"All three of those governments - governments of large, rich, provinces, have stepped over the centre to the left - far enough to take the wind out of the sails of their opponents - but not so far as to allow for a real conservative uprising."

And why do you think that is? Isn't the general claim here on the blog / paper / site that the majority (the silent majority) is actually conservative, absolutely abhors the Liberals and their policies? Are they so silent that they don't even chose at the ballot box?

Why does the majority suffer the tyranny of the minority Adam?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-04-23 9:06:02 PM


When the right questions are asked people tend to come down as relatively conservative in their own lives, but when the government shows them the candy store at election time their inner child takes over.

Sort of like when a hot babe shows you her tits, you will consider a little infidelity.

The government always plays on the weaknesses, greed and selfishness of the masses and as you said Snowrunner the majority are those put the tyrants in office.

There is not group in our society that is more selfish, hedonistic, greedy, lazy, insecure and dull witted as the Left.

Posted by: John V | 2008-04-23 9:49:37 PM


Your Strawman is emphatically not my own position, Snowrunner. The parties I name all hold positions which, if they don't meet with the enthusiasm of anyone except for their most devoted partisans also happen not to provide any real cause for fanatical opposition to rally.

I'd point you towards two quotes I've used in the past:

"Under a democratical government, the citizens exercise the powers of sovereignty; and those powers will be first abused, and afterwards lost, if they are committed to an unwieldy multitude."
- Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-04-23 10:20:17 PM


LOL! Snowrunner sure knows how to beat these wankers into the ground! LOL!

Who is the silent majority? LOL! What a devastating admission for these wankers to have to admit that the silent majority are leftwing socialists! LOL! Of course they are wrong! To the idiots here, everyone who disagrees with them is a socialist! LOL! They would not know a socialist if they tripped over one! They are too over exposed to American garbage to be able to think for themselves.

Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-24 12:36:00 AM


Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 23-Apr-08 10:20:17 PM

I see one quote, what's the other one?

And you still haven't answered my question: If this is such an outrage, if Canada at it's core is utterly conservative and really really really does want nothing more than the world you envision: Where ARE they?

Come on now, I see the same, maybe ten people on here rehash the same things over and over again, all the while trying to give the impression they speak for the silent majority. Where is this majority you speak off? Seriously, in my travels through Canada I have met maybe three or four people that partially hold the views that you do, but the overwhelming majority of people I've met wouldn't even come close to any of your "ideals".

Are you sure you're in the right country?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-04-24 11:45:51 AM


ebt:

The people of Alberta spoke in the last election.

They gave Stelmach a plurality in the Alberta legislature that matched those given Peter Lougheed and Ralph Klein.

BTW, Stelmach is a third-generation Ukrainian, whose family has been primary food producers for about a century.

It's always best to stick to the facts.

And, in our wonderful province wher individual freedom is still a valued principle, to accept the verdict of the voters.

Anyway, thanks for asking and ave a nice day.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-04-24 11:50:22 AM


Whoops - the second quote got cut-off, Snowrunner. Though, I'm sure you've heard it before:

"The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money."

Beyond that, as I've made repeatedly clear, I'm quite sure that I am in the wrong country. Pierre Trudeau and decades of the public school system being used as a factory for leftist indoctrination have thoroughly wrecked this country and sundered any hope of its salvation in the near-term.

That Trudeau was allowed to live to a ripe old age - and even bring another child into the world as an old man - is living proof that, if there is a God he is surely not a just God.

Indeed, with what's happened to Canada - and with Europe on the verge of being conquered by Islam, and with Britain just gone, gone, gone - the last, best hope for the world - indeed the last best hope of that part of the human race that is worth of survival and salvation - is that the United States shall endure and, most importantly in the short term, reject the evil that has mainfested itself in the form of Barack Hussein Obama.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-04-24 2:44:55 PM


LOL! ADAM YOSHIDA ADMITS TO BEING A TRAITOR WITH NO ALLEGIANCE TO CANADA! LOL!

Posted by: ROGER | 2008-04-24 2:55:14 PM


The Canada that my Grandfather fought and was wounded for died a long time ago. It died, I think we can say now, with the flag that he fought under - the flag that I still proudly fly on Dominion Day.

But that Canada is gone. And it's not coming back. Look at Harper - he's the best Prime Minister that this country's had in decades, and he's still done painfully little except for stop the worst of the bleeding. This country, or at least those things in this country worth saving, are terminal.

My highest loyalty is to Western Civilization. I didn't abandon Canada - Canada abandoned me when it allowed itself to be transformed into a land of soft-totalitarian socialism.

Does anyone here really think that the trend can or will be reversed? With the generation coming up now having spend decades being indoctrined?

Do you really think, for example, that the fight against the Human Rights Commissions are anything but a rear-guard stand? Steyn and the bloggers might even win. But it will only be a tactical victory. The crushing force of the human rights bureaucracy and the rest will not be resisted by any legal force. The banality of evil will simply press on - unmoved, unresponsive.

The only real way to save this country would be some sort of revolution. But I don't see that in the offing. If I thought one was possible, that would be one thing - but Canada is the prototype of the Brave New World. Most of its citizens are happy being oppressed.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-04-24 3:41:51 PM


"I didn't abandon Canada - Canada abandoned me when it allowed itself to be transformed into a land of soft-totalitarian socialism."

You took the words right out of my mouth Adam. We've been betrayed.

Posted by: dp | 2008-04-24 4:00:20 PM


And, I should add, that doesn't come from someone on the outside.

I joined the Reform Party when I was sixteen years old. I've been active in every local, provincial, and Federal election since I was a teenager. I made my first political donation before I was old enough to drink in the United States.

I've shaken hands with two Prime Ministers and met numerous Cabinet Ministers. Believe me - I tried.

Hell, I even briefly joined the Liberals during the collapse of the Alliance, trying to follow Conrad Black's advice and press reform from the inside, like Boris Yeltsin in the USSR.

But, we have to face the reality of the thing - most Canadians like leftism. They don't like parts of it, to be sure - but they like it enough that we'll never be rid of it.

As I've said elsewhere, leftism is like AIDS. The policies it advocates are hard to resist because they are not harmful, in and of themselves, but instead they destroy the ability of civilization to defend and sustain itself. And, of course, like HIV/AIDS liberalism can be suppressed temporarily through intensive treatment, but it cannot be cured.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-04-24 4:08:21 PM


Snowy- you see a few people who hold these views. I would suggest that few people will tell you what they really think or how they will really vote. When I was a young fellow, I rarely met anyone who admitted to liking the Social Credit Party or their policies. Time after time they were re-elected. In the end they were beaten by another right wing appearing party. Now we have taken a step to the profligate side with a "Conservative" government that goes on a "drunken sailor's" spree.

Posted by: DML | 2008-04-24 8:59:20 PM


DML- That's sort of the same as trying to find a Michael Jackson fan. Nobody wants to own up, but somebody bought all those albums.

Posted by: dp | 2008-04-24 9:22:07 PM


Beyond that, as I've made repeatedly clear, I'm quite sure that I am in the wrong country.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 24-Apr-08 2:44:55 PM

So why stay? The border is so close and with NAFTA you can easly finda job in the promised land. If you want you could be down there in no time, living the dream and not needing to be so utterly bitter on a daily basis. Heck, marry an american lass and get citizenship, then you can even vote!

-----------------------
Pierre Trudeau and decades of the public school system being used as a factory for leftist indoctrination have thoroughly wrecked this country and sundered any hope of its salvation in the near-term.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 24-Apr-08 2:44:55 PM

Why all the hate? I cannot remember you ever having to have anything POSITIVE to say about either Canada or anybody else.

Try to find something good in the people you disagree with, maybe then you're less bitter and more to the point with your criticism instead of swinging wildly been somewhat factly criticism and outright personal hate.

----------------

Indeed, with what's happened to Canada - and with Europe on the verge of being conquered by Islam, and with Britain just gone, gone, gone - the last, best hope for the world - indeed the last best hope of that part of the human race that is worth of survival and salvation - is that the United States shall endure and, most importantly in the short term, reject the evil that has mainfested itself in the form of Barack Hussein Obama.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 24-Apr-08 2:44:55 PM

Bitter much? Ever been to Europe or does your assessment about the situation in continental Europe soley depend on information from sites that think like you do?

Europe is far from being run over, most people there don't feel the fear that you seem to have internalized.

Britain is a different story, but their problem is mostly that they are as unyielding to change as the fundamental muslims. Their empire is gone, it won't come back, so they can now either decide to build a wall and ignore Europe or take part in it, right now they try to do both and are off worse for it.

And Adam, Europe's big, lot's of people, lot's of countries, lot's of history. Only a fool would try to summarize Europe's situation / problems with a sentence.

Oh, and as for hate on for Obama, I almost want to see him win just to see you go off in another teenage hissifit. Yeah, I am a bad person.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-04-25 1:01:01 AM


you see a few people who hold these views. I would suggest that few people will tell you what they really think or how they will really vote.

Posted by: DML | 24-Apr-08 8:59:20 PM

If that's the case, Democracy is dead, because if people cannot openly discuss their positions then there is no democracy.

----------------------

When I was a young fellow, I rarely met anyone who admitted to liking the Social Credit Party or their policies. Time after time they were re-elected. In the end they were beaten by another right wing appearing party. Now we have taken a step to the profligate side with a "Conservative" government that goes on a "drunken sailor's" spree.

Posted by: DML | 24-Apr-08 8:59:20 PM

Point being? I do know a few people who vote conservative, both of them for different reasons.

The first guy, an Albertan, votes Conservative because "that's how it was always done", pretty much like my Dad, he had always voted CDU, he voted CDU until his death. Is that "good"? Or is it just a sign that Democracy is dead? You decide.

The second gjy was originally from NFLD but then had moved to Toronto and was also loudly and proudly voting for the Conservatives in Ontario before the "merger". After the merger he was... Well, let's just say he was utterly pissed that HIS party was taken over by some idiots (his words). We sort of lost contact when I moved out West, but last we spoke politics (and there was a lot of politics talking) he was about to not vote because he couldn't vote for the Conservatives and he couldn't bring himself to vote LIberal or NDP either.

Point is: Most people WILL talk with you about politics if you don't outright attack them with an opinion, and for most people the Conservatives are an "odd thing" these days it seems in Ontario at least.

As for the rest of the people, they range from idealists in their early 20s who really like some of the things that the Communists have to say to "Anything but Harper" folks, the latter ones dislike for Harper is mainly his buddy buddy with Bush, which in a way is ironic, it's basically death by association.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-04-25 1:06:49 AM


But, we have to face the reality of the thing - most Canadians like leftism. They don't like parts of it, to be sure - but they like it enough that we'll never be rid of it.

As I've said elsewhere, leftism is like AIDS. The policies it advocates are hard to resist because they are not harmful, in and of themselves, but instead they destroy the ability of civilization to defend and sustain itself. And, of course, like HIV/AIDS liberalism can be suppressed temporarily through intensive treatment, but it cannot be cured.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 24-Apr-08 4:08:21 PM

I am curious: Define your version of Conservatism please.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-04-25 1:08:55 AM


Whoooweee!!! I am an American living in London for the last eight years. My wife is Romanian and I have spent lots and lots of time in Eastern Europe. I have enjoyed being in these places because I get to meet lots of people who are explicit and unapologetic Marxists (the Fascists hide) and have the opportunity to have discussions of comparative politics. Usually the people are somewhat reasonable and start to yield when facts and history get in the way of their blind faith that the world sucks, nothing is in their personal control, the west is evil, and that only they and their miniscule group of friends recognize the "truth" and can rectify it. There are a few, however, who stick to their guns and are convinced, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that they are the enlightened geniuses swimming amongst the masses of grotesquely selfish and ignorant people, like me!! If you push the question of why the world continues on this awful trajectory, eventually they will recognize the need for the dictatorship of the proletariat in order to, Rouseau-like, prevent society from being happy.

It is unusual for me to find these people in North America but I stumbled upon this website a week ago and noticed Roger, Factchecker and Snowrunner. Indeed, they are hard to miss because WS highlights their recent comments on the shotgun blog page. This is probably because they incite more interest from other outraged readers. Congrats to the other commentors on the threads for “Is “Obama a Marxist?”, “Audacity of Hype”, this thread, and many others who have both correctly and from my viewpoint, restrainedly, responded to the mindless, leftist rants.

Now, everyone must encounter Marxist thought at least once in their life. From the Marxist perspective, everything is a simplistic morality play. The powerful exploit the powerless, etc, etc. However, most people eventually come to realise that the various Marxists morality plays are bullshit. This is often referred to as experience and maturity. Real experience tends to destroy simplistic viewpoints and create the understanding both of the complexity of the current situation and the brilliance of those who came before us and created the world around us. (We are all standing on the shoulders of giants!) However, prior to such experience, it is common for people to suffer from self-delusion and immaturity, to think that everyone who came before us is evil and stupid, and to harbour Marxist opinions.

Now when the self-deluded are young, they are usually referred to as “Rebels-Without-a-Clue.” When they are older and are still self-deluded, having missed the maturation process that adjusts the viewpoint of normal people, they are referred to as the “Whinge-Fringe.” Which brings us back to R, F, and S.

R, F, and S all seem utterly devoid of analytical ability. Further, it is clear that they have never either been in a decision-making position (which requires that you take responsibility for your decisions) or a leadership position (which requires that you convince others that your view and plan for action are optimal). Given the outspoken views of each of you (R, F, and S), and the intense personal nature of the exchanges you have had on various threads, I am desperately curious to understand more about each of you.

Given that true identities on this site are anonymous, could you please tell me what your primary education and professional achievements are? Also, what do you do for a living? I am not joking or being sarcastic. What is your background please?

Posted by: Kevin | 2008-04-25 6:34:34 AM



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