Thursday, February 28, 2008

When You Woke Up This Morning Alberta - What Was On Your Mind?

Great Debate is a Week Old - Do You Remember Anything That Was Said?
It is one week since the Leader’s Debate. Does anyone have a strong memory of anything that was said by any of the leaders? Waht was the "take-away" message for you from the debate? Did it make a difference in the minds of Alberta voters and will impact the end results? Nope and Nope!

Well here are some of the issues I think we Albertans ought to be insisting our government start attending to and getting in front of immediately after this election.

Another Poll Shows the Political Sweet Spot in Alberta is the Environment:
Another poll from Leger for CanWest covered in the Herald and Journal for the past two days shows Albertans are way ahead of the politicians about concerns over the consequences of overheated oil sands development. They are calling for a greater pubic policy commitment and an active government response to GHG controls. Our oil sands survey showed the same results last November. NDs and Libs are on the case but with no credibility of being able to deliver. The issue seems to be a blind spot for the PCs…we better get up to speed on this issue and into the game if we want to continue to have the respect and confidence of the Alberta voter.

Stats Can Says Alberta Energy Investment is Bigger that Manufacturing Investment in ALL of Canada!
Oil sands investment in 2004 was $6.3B and zoomed to $16Bin 2007 and a 23% surge expected this year. Total investment in Alberta for 2008 is pegged at $83.8B, way ahead of Quebec at $60B and closing in on Ontario at $106.B. In fact Alberta is likely to catch Ontario in 2009 if current trends continue. Stats Can says “…in one more year at current rates of growth the oilsands will be bigger than everything: Utilities, transportation and conventional oil and gas.” Is Alberta ready to handle this rate of growth and can our political leadership get out in front of this and deal with the consequences? The environment and the economy are not a zero-sum game - they are the same game. And yes Ed Stelmach - you are right - the environment has to trump the economy and leadership trumps issues.

NAFTA and the Next American President:
Every viable candidate for the next US President is anti-NAFTA because they are either protectionist Democrats or a fear mongering Republican as they fall into recession. The environmental standards in a Democratic House, Senate and White House will compel Alberta to get smarter, greener and more strategic in diversifying our energy upgrading and other markets to reduce US dependency. Alberta needs to get in front of the NAFTA renegotiation – if it happens, the eco-integrity and standards issues and enhancing our capacity to maximize the long term value added benefits of our special position as a reliable, stable assured energy supplier.

Change, Change, Change – Fine, I Get it BUT Will it Happen?
I want political leadership with courage and wisdom and the personal capacity to think things through quickly and comprehensively and then to have the wit and wisdom to execute any plan that emerges effectively and efficiently. Albertans know there are sacrifices to be made to change the consciousness to a more holistic and integrated approach that modern governance demands in a globalized and interdependent world-wide reality. We Albertan are already making the wrong kind of “sacrifices” because of the poor planning and a passive policy culture of the past 7-8 years before the PC Party forced a leadership change.

Apathy is Boring - AND Dangerous!
Time to get focused Alberta and to figure out why you are voting, what you are voting for and then who is the closest to you concerns. The world is run by those who show up and Alberta is no different. Don’t vote – Don’t bitch. Get out and vote and not only can you bitch but you can also stay engaged as a duty of citizenship to get the changes you want. The option to stay passive as the proverbial frog in the boiling water and you only get to self-justify the obvious dire consequences but they will be as much your fault as much as anybody elses.