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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Harper's "Drive By Smearing" of Alberta Does Not Sit Well

Neil Waugh of the Edmonton Sun has trouble understanding that I can support the Alberta PC Party and vote Liberal federally. He once said I stood out in the Alberta PC Party “like a mustard stain on a tie.” I liked that, especially coming from Neil. I also like what Waugh has to say about Harper’s “drive by smearing” of Alberta last week.

Last week Harper, in Trudeau- like arrogance, once again decided to unilaterally imposed Ottawa into Alberta’s Constitutional rights over our natural resources. Is a new Ottawa politically inspired NEP being imposed on Alberta and this time from a Prime Minister ELECTED from Alberta? What breathtaking political overconfidence. This is just another example of how consistently Harper takes Albertans for granted.

Without any prior notice to the Alberta government, never mind some polite, if not required, intergovernmental consultation on such critical issues, Stephen Harper, the man who would be "President of Canada", waltzed into Calgary last week and kicked Alberta in the economic groin. He stood up and said he as Prime Minister would be the “Decider” about what countries would be eligible to buy our Alberta bitumen - and on what terms.

Harper has proven through his betrayal on Income Trusts that we can't trust his word. He has proven that he has no respect for the Rule of Law in how be broke even his own law on fixed elections. Now we know he has no respect for Federalism, Alberta and keeping government from interfering in the free market system. How UnConservative can you get?

Harper has been taking Alberta and Albertans for granted for over a decade. Alberta needs to send him a message on October 14 and show him we are not his lap dogs. Nor are we Albertans going to continue to act like sheep that he can depend upon to be herded into the voting booth with our ballots already mentally marked for his party and his "leadership."

Change in conservative politics in Alberta has happened before. Albertans sent the Ralph Klein leadership a strong message in the 2004 provincial election when 210,000 supporters stayed home or voted Alliance. The PC Party deposed Ralph a few months later, much to his surprise. Presumptive front runners, Dinning and Morton were found to be wanting in the last PC leadership contest and were denied power by the voters. Stelmach won! Significant political changes do happen - even in Alberta!

It is time for Alberta to send President Harper an equally strong message about change. Not showing up to vote is not the best way to send the message. Low turnout allows the politically powerful presume you are content with them and the status quo since you could not be bothered to show up at the polls. They conveniently fail to recognize the protest in low voter participation.

Showing up and voting strategically works much better. If you want to simply park your vote, vote Green. They will not elect anyone but it encourages them and they get $1.75 for each vote. That helps them get organized and get their message out for next time. Disgruntled conservatives can vote swap and support independent conservative candidates in Edmonton Sherwood Park (Jim Ford), as well as in Calgary and Medicine Hat.

If you want a wise, informed, strong contrarian ecological voice, you can arrange to help Linda Duncan, a Dipper, in Edmonton Strathcona. Imagine how the national media would react if Alberta sent a Dipper to Ottawa. The overzealous Conservative Party War Room would have to do some serious soul searching if that were to happen in Alberta.

If you want to drive Harper to distraction then help out Liberal Jim Wachowich in Edmonton Centre. Last election the Cons threw everything they had at Anne McLellan and finally beat her. Anne McLellan won this seat many times against all odds, with slight margins because of a strong campaign organization, exemplary personal qualities and by tapping into the contrarian Edmonton political spirit. Jim Wachowich has inherited that mantle from Anne is ready, willing and able to represent that contrarian Edmonton Centre spirit again.

It is your country and your province and the election results decide YOUR government. In a democracy you always get the government you deserve, whether you voted or not. Tired of Harper taking you for granted? Let him know that in no uncertain terms with a smart choice and a strategic vote on October 14.