So part 2 of my blog from last night. Where do we go from here? With Ed Stelmach retiring at the next election, we face a leadership election in the PC party. We know many names will be thrust about, one name I talked about last night was Fred Morton, you all know him as Ted. I have already stated my disdain for him and his pompous arrogance. It now appears he was Brutus to Stelmach's Caesar. Leading a revolt from within, Morton seems to have essentially pushed Stelmach from Politics. As the saying goes "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" or "nice guys finish last" seems apropos.
I was however delighted to see that Dave Hancock (@DaveHancockMLA) has THOUGHT about running. I hope he reads my blog and my tweets, I have stated that he would be a perfect choice for leader. Calm, cool, collected and a veteran of politics. He has been a very good Education Minister. With teachers in his family, he understands teachers. He understands the importance of teachers in developing future doctors, lawyers, nurses, tradespeople. He, like Stelmach, in my mind anyways is a people person. I remember when he came to the ATA Annual Representative Assembly to speak to teachers. He told teachers how important he felt they were, how education cannot be simply pushed to the side if our province was to have a bright future. He has more often than not, put the interests of teachers, students and parents all at the forefront. He seeks to find common ground amongst all stakeholders and make what he feels is the best choice.
Now of course, people will point to Bill 44, the controversial bill that states a parent can opt their child out of certain parts of curriculum that the parent deems inappropriate. Really, parents have had this power all along. My parents used to have to sign a form saying I could take sex ed in health. I don't think Bill 44 allows a parent to pull their child out of Math because the parent feels a teacher should not be teaching triangles or fractions. (I could be wrong)
So I say go for it Minister Hancock. Throw your hat in the ring. I will vote for you as leader. Just one request. Don't make deals with the others who run, I think Stelmach giving Morton a deal cost him in the end.
While on the subject of Minister Hancock, as of today, the ATA, the ASBA and the Government of Alberta have signed a memorandum stating there will be NO change to the current contract. As such, teachers will get the 4.3% raise.
With the fall of the king in Alberta, many princes and princesses have stepped forward deeming themselves worthy of the Premiership. One such person is Danielle Smith of the Wildrose Alliance. Now let us first look at the name. Wildrose (provincial flower) Alliance (Hey let's throw that word on the end, it worked when the Canadian Alliance formed up their party.) Why not simply call yourselves the Wildrose Reform Alliance Party. We all know that's what you're gunning for anyways. This is simply a more right than the PC's party, that will simply say anything to get elected. They will tell you they want to hire more nurses, more teachers, more everything, but they don't give a cost analysis of their promises. Re-open hospitals, hospital beds, better health care, better everything. But Danielle, where is the cost analysis. They say they want to keep Alberta deficit free, PST free and Rat free. Well I think everyone wants to have all those things for Alberta, but to keep deficit free, where would the cuts come? You simply cannot give everything and take nothing(taxes). So clearly they can only work on 2 of the 3 issues and even then, there will always be rats in Alberta. (Morton).
The Wildrose Alliance Party has their education policy up as well. Their policy has a few odd things to it.
1) All money follows your child. This is the US Voucher system. Your child has money earmarked to them, then you pick the school you want your child to go to. So Suzy's family picks her school and all goes well until one day something goes awry and Suzy's family has her go to a new school. Does the money get prorated? Sounds like Ms. Smith also closely follows Fraser Institute reports, which rank schools on "how great" they are.
2) Schools should be built where there is need, and not based on politics. Ok Ms. Smith so you think Airdrie needs a new school because one of YOUR MLA's says so, but then maybe my MLA who may not be in your party also deems my city needs a new school, are you going to give money to build both? All things being equal, I will bet dollars to donuts, YOUR MLA will get their school before mine. How would you even determine that the need was true. Honesty? This is politics, honesty is as rare as a double rainbow....all the way. So what does it all mean?
Well to sum up I think it means, in the next few weeks, Ministers will resign to run for leader, as they should, they will all then distance themselves from Stelmach(because we all know this was ALL his fault)*sarcasm*, then you will see Wildrose state how the PC party is dead and that their party is saviour of Alberta, and that if we vote for them, the world will be a much better place. The Liberals will be stunned as to what to do and the Alberta party will simply...exist.
Who you ally with is up to you. Remember, it is easy to be the quarterback from the armchair. Smoke and mirrors eventually will be seen through and until I see actual numbers on policies, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.