Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stelmach Plans a Live Webcast Thursday Afternoon on His Government's Response to the Royalty Review Report

Looks like my armchair quarterbacking post last week on what would transpire this week on the "Our Fair Share" Royalty Review process was pretty accurate. I said the Stelmach government would do their final government policy decision making today, as I predicted. In the TV presentation tomorrow the Premier will only deal with “principles” around the royalty changes, as I predicted.

On Thursday there will be the big event. That will have live streaming video coming out of Calgary (the belly of the beast?) of the Premier and the Energy Minister outlining the government’s response to the “Our Fair Share” Royalty Review Report.

That live web cast is scheduled for 3 pm with phone calls able to come into the event from all over North America. For 2 hours prior there will be a media lock up (just like in a Budget) so they can go over the documents and get briefings on the response details. I called that too but not the live streaming video – that is cool.

Friday will be media frenzy feeding reaction time and on Saturday the Premier faces his party in a Policy Conference to explain the whats, wherefores and the whys (wise?) of the response.

I see five possible outcomes on Thursday’s event and I will blog on them and some possible political implications for each on Wednesday morning.

I have no idea what the Premier is going to say except there will be higher royalties since "the status quo is not an option." What else is included is being closely held - as it should be. In Ralph's day something like this would have had trial balloons floating for weeks before. They like to set the expectation levels "properly" (meaning low) and then actual announcement was pretty pro forma.

Stelmach is a very different politician. He is not manipulating the media message, nor is he preprogamming the expectation levels. His challenge will be to bring clarity out of the complexity. His personal challenge is to communicate the plan effectively. He sees all the nuances and implications of a policy issue and he is comfortable exploring all of them - in public, usually orally and rambling...kind of like this blog - on occasion.

This is going to be interesting. I smell open and transparent and accountable democracy in the air...and it is about time.