Friday, 29 May 2015

Orange Crush or Bitter Lemon?

After 44 years of conservative governments, the province is now under the rule of a socialist party – the NDP.
The historical demise of the Progressive Conservatives must not be ignored..
The choice of Jim Prentice as a replacement for Allison Redford, was the first mistake, because the party never change its progressive approach. Moreover, the arrogance of the Prentice Clan who presented a budget with no real cuts but instead instituted the wrong new taxes and fees, provided enough fuel for Albertans’ discontent. Then came the worse strategic mistake of recent years - an early election call when one was never needed for at least a year.
Alberta will quickly understand the consequences of the May 5th 2015 Provincial elections. Make no mistake, with several former union activists and a former communist elected; we shall see many socialist policies being implemented, and the loss of the Alberta Advantage.

With thoughts of higher taxes, and new environmental regulations, Alberta will join the other Canadian provinces under leftist rule. Alberta can expect higher unemployment in an already maligned oil industry coupled with fewer jobs due to a higher minimum wage of $15. Municipalities who have long wished for more taxation powers may get their wishes with new charters, and property and other taxes will go up.
Albertans will have to endure the results of their ballot decision for at least four years. Despite negative polls, it would be wise for conservatives to start thinking about a merger of the Wildrose and PC. However any attempt to merge will have to wait a while due to the antagonism between the two parties. It will need a Harper/Mackay coalition rather than the stupid  party establishment/Prentice/Manning/Smith debacle which resulted in the demise of the Prentice Clan and the Progressive Conservative party.
Any merger should focus on conservative principles rather than social issues that have divided Alberta’s conservatives. Despite the constant media rhetoric, homophobia is not the sole domain of conservatives, as demonstrated by Deborah Drever, the NDP’s latest elected member, who now will have to sit as an independent.

As I wrote in my book Conservatives: Dead or Alive? (,”conservative values are about freedoms - the freedom to choose, the freedom of speech, the freedom of association and most of all economic freedom. True social values are about education, healthcare, respect for seniors and the rule of law. Conservatives should leave their egos at the door and avoid being trapped by social wedge issues set up by politically correct liberal zealots of convenience. I am optimistic about the future of conservatism, but cautious about candidates who will compromise conservative principles to gain and stay in power.” Remember ‘unity is strength’.

The elections results were a protest vote against a tired party, arrogant leader, and unprincipled progressive caucus. . Just as we cannot make lemonade without lemons, there will not be an orange crush in Alberta for too long, because there are no oranges, but bitter lemon in this scenario.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Upcoming Class Warfare

Although, late this year, we finally have a Federal Budget for 2015, which was immediately labelled a political document. As if budgets were not a fiscal and political document when presented by the left. The highlights are pretty good as the government forecasted a balanced budget all the while giving tax breaks to small businesses, seniors and families. The government says: "Two-thirds of the benefits will go to low- and middle-income families," 

Already the opposition parties are promising to curtail or abolish some of the proposed tax reliefs. They lament that there is not enough expenditures to combat climate change or provide more services. Public sector Unions are fighting against changes in their lucrative sick-days benefits. They also protest against the proposed increase of the TFSA contribution to $10,000 per year. Their premise is that this program only benefits the rich. The fact is that under this program some 11 million Canadians had TFSAs with total assets nears $ 120 billion at the end of 2013
The PBO forecast that the popularity of the program may deprive future government of revenues $39.3 billion by 2080, and therefore maybe we should have a lifetime cap of $100,000. We lament the fact that Canadians do not save enough, yet when a government provides the opportunity to do so, the left opposes it. Remember that unlike the RRSP, any TFSA contribution is made with after tax money. You have already paid taxes, why should your savings be taxed again, this in effect is double taxation.. In reality what they do not like is that this program which is tax free will deprives them of revenues that they would use to continue their spending ways. The question is who should spend your money?  The government or you?
Beware; the next election will see an increase in class warfare. The Liberals and NDP, who by the way are being advised by Obama operatives, will portray themselves as the champions of the middle class. But who is the middle-class? The middle class is defined by Statistics Canada as a two person family earning $82,100 before tax. Trudeau defines middle-class as ($$44,701 and $89,401). So presumably any family making anything above the defined amounts would be considered rich and therefore would come under the hammer of more taxation by the left.
Furthermore, the left believes in a higher minimum wage of $15 – (NDP Alberta $17) What they always forget is the impact on small businesses and the job losses that will result in such a move. In effect a higher minimum wage always results in a negative impact on the low wage earner. Just like, Obama who believes that he was the first to address income inequality, the Liberals and  NDP in Canada ignore history. Marxism and other socialist policies have destroyed the economy of many countries. Many European countries are still reeling under the consequences of their entitlement polices. Income inequality, if it exists, should be addressed by policies which provide opportunities, not through hand-outs which never succeed to lift the poor from a life of dependence.
The redistribution of wealth is a disincentive for citizens to climb up the ladder; it continuously promotes dependence rather than independence. The proponents of class warfare and the politics of envy include Hillary Clinton the self-proclaimed ‘dirt poor’ who makes millions from book advances and speaking engagements, and of course Justin Trudeau who has access to a trust fund,.

It is always a good thing when a government puts more money in the pockets of taxpayers.. If a program deprives the government from additional revenues that may be squandered by political spending - so be it.  Average Canadians should feel good about the 2015 budget; unless they believe that the government is the best manager of their hard earned money. Beware of politicians baring gifts; they never pay for them – you do.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Searching for Progressives

The Progressive Conservative (PC) party of Alberta governed the province for 44 years. It seems that on Tuesday the 5th of May 2015, this reign may be cut short. Either they may form a minority government or be relegated to being the opposition. This state of affairs should not be a surprise to anybody who follows politics.

The slow disappearance of conservatism in Alberta started when Ralph Klein retired. In a series of leadership races, first they elected Ed Stelmach, the man who gave us the ‘royalty review’, which devastated the oil patch. Not having learned their lesson, Alberta PCs used the same electoral system to elect Allison Redford, who many believed was strongly supported by the Teachers’ Union to achieve her ascent from third place to become the leader. In a series of bad judgement and extravagant provincial and personal expenditures, Redford found herself in no position to lead the party as the Wildrose Party made inroads across Alberta..

Disgraced, Redford had to resign. Unfortunately the establishment decided to reach for a saviour in Jim Prentice.. Once again Alberta conservatives showed how they did not understand the difference between a progressive and a conservative. There is no such thing as a progressive conservative, this label is an oxymoron. In effect a Progressive Conservative is a liberal in disguise. Forgetting that Prentice was more a progressive than a conservative, the party chose Prentice instead of Ric McIver a proven true conservative.

But the most egregious event was yet to happen. Danielle Smith the leader of the Wildrose Party and her acolytes, in one of the greatest betrayal in political history, decided to jump ship and join the PCs - a decision even worse than the betrayal at the Federal level by Belinda Stronach and Scot Brison..

Smith had been riding high in the polls. Yet impatient, and ill-advised by members of the PC establishment, she decided to navigate into the trouble waters of disloyalty. She paid the price and was not chosen by her former constituents to represent the PC.

Prentice, the saviour then produced one of the most leftist budgets seen in recent years. Reminiscent of the Getty years, he chose to amend the flat tax policy, charge a new health premium that did not go to Healthcare but rather to general revenues. He refused to make necessary cuts to the budget and caved to the unions, for at least after the elections; an election that was not supposed to be called until 2016. In effect he broke every single promise he made to become the PC leader and move the party further to the left.
Remember a move to the centre by a conservative, is always a move to the left. While I remain skeptical about polls, the latest ones show an NDP lead, with Wildrose in second place and PCs in third. The only winners in this scenario are the closet liberals of the media, who have for years been touting a progressive government and policies for Alberta.
Before you vote make sure you understand the policies presented by each Party. Consider that a minority government lead by any party will result in progressive policies based on compromise. The Alberta Advantage is now truly dead thanks to the Prentice Clan (PC).