Thursday, January 21, 2010

Calgarians Against Proroguing Parliament

The Calgarians Against Proroguing Parliament, a non-partisan outgrowth of the 208,000 member Facebook group, is hold a rally outside Mr. Harper's office on Saturday. I'll be attending, and hope some of the other Calgarians that read this blog will too.

Date: Saturday January 23rd
Time: 1 pm
Location: Outside Mr. Harper's office at 1600 - 90th Avenue SW, Calgary

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Letter to the Herald

I wrote a letter to the Calgary Herald this week, which appeared in the Sunday edition.

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper claims that this extended break is to allow the government to consult with Canadians over the economy. If that is the case, I will expect my MP, Rob Anders, to be in his office every day between now and March 3. In addition, I expect to see consultation meetings within the constituency scheduled immediately. I'll be checking, and I encourage others to do the same.

Thomas Muir, Calgary"

Monday, January 4, 2010

PC MLAs defect to Wild Rose

The news this morning that Rob Anderson and Heather Forsyth were leaving the Alberta PC party and joining the Wild Rose Alliance party and caucus has, predictably, generated a lot of commentary. In light of that commentary I think a couple of points need to be reiterated.

First of all during the last election the Premier, his staff and advisers were hoping to win somewhere in the area of 55-65 seats - a massive majority of the 83 total. They wound up with the unwieldy total of 72, a majority of exotic magnitude. At this point the PC government still commands more seats than they had hoped to win in the past election. It is also over two years to the next election - we're still in the first period of this game so let's not jump to conclusions.

Secondly the defections hardly constitute major losses to the PCs, or game-changing additions to the Wild Rose. Given the changing dynamics of Alberta politics and the inflated size of the PC caucus some defections to the Wild Rose were almost inevitable. If the government is able to keep the losses to such minor figures and Mr. Anderson and Ms. Forsyth then they will have done well. Neither of them has the stature to constitute a significant threat to the PC's standing.

Finally I think it is worth noting that the Wild Rose and the two defectors have certainly not gained the maximum political traction from the opportunity this move created. Had they paired the news of the defections with a major policy platform announcement they would have had the opportunity to fix both the event and Mr Anderson/Ms. Forsyth in the public mind. Instead they are likely to be forgotten or simply remembered as 'the defectors'. Another idea would have been to pair the announcement of the defection with the news of the cabinet shuffle or a major news story negative to the PCs. Whether this opportunity has gone begging due to a lack of vision or simply lack of discipline I certainly cannot say, but the fact is that done in this way the defections will have less impact than they could have had.

Mr. Anderson's Statement:

Calgary Herald Article: