Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday Morning Briefing

1. For a fun time, be sure to check out the Gerrymandering game.


2. Saturday's Globe profile echoes the Right Side Up hypothesis that Harper runs into trouble once he runs out of scripting.


3. The blogs are up in a roar over the news that the Conservatives will be sponsoring Pierre Bourque's (from "news" site, bourque.org) car on the Canadian NASCAR circuit. This is definitely surprising news; I wasn't even aware Canada had a NASCAR circuit. Still, it makes a certain degree of sense - if you enjoy watching cars go around and around in circles for hours, I can see how the Conservative Party would appeal to you.

My favourite quote from the story is via Diane Finley:

The minister won't say how much money the sponsorship of the race car is costing the Conservative Party: "That would be Pepsi telling Coke what its recipe is."


I'm not sure I fully understand her analogy in the first place, but given their historical dominance of the market, I for one, don't think Coke has too much to fear from Pepsi.


4. The always insightful Paul Jackson has some musings on why Albertans don't like the provincial Liberals:

Liberal Leader Kevin Taft, who is not a shark, but in an aquarium full of these preying creatures, sees victory ahead in the next provincial election.

If so, my friends, put your wallets in a safety deposit box, because a Liberal government will ransack taxpayers, and lead our province into Depression-era debt.

Why do you think Albertans have never elected a Liberal government since the First World War era?

Because we have long memories.

So lock up your daughters, as the Broadway musical proclaimed.


Yes! I can't tell you how many times I've door knocked for the ALP and heard angry voters berate me with shouts of "damn that Rutherford!" or "**** Sifton, screwed our province!".


5. I noticed an add by the government of Nova Scotia against Harper re: the Atlantic Accord in my Globe & Mail this morning...

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16 Comments:

  • Because we have long memories.

    I think at some point we have to make a distinction between Albertans and "Albertans."

    Although my father and his friends are living proof that there are Albertans out there that would never vote Liberal because of something that happened 25 years ago, I don't imagine that our new neighbors from the Maritimes are overly familiar, or terribly sympathetic, to our deeply entrenched grievances.

    And in a Calgary, where saying that you were actually born here is met with stares of disbelief, I think the Albertan identity has been diluted to the extent that the old reliable maxims no longer apply.

    By Blogger McLea, at 1:14 PM  

  • You’re right, the distinction needs to be made between an ‘Alberter’ and ‘Albertois’ – you know residents vs members of the cowboy nation. Of course I’m sure Myron Thompson would take Lawrence Cannon’s lead and not be able to clearly make the distinction...

    By Blogger Stephen, at 3:13 PM  

  • From Jackson's article:

    A sad point about Klein is that if we had term limits, he would have departed office on a high note -- balanced the budget, wiped out the debt -- and left his party and government invigorated.

    So, we need term limits in order to protect...political dynasties?

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 3:34 PM  

  • On the topic of NASCAR, you might find interest in this little piece I read a few years ago. It's the Game Theory of NASCAR

    http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue5_2/ronfeldt/

    mmm... math and cars

    By Blogger Kirk Schmidt, at 3:36 PM  

  • How many 105-year old men are there alive in Alberta? Because if I'm doing my math right, they'll be the only ones alive at the time of the next election who conceivably could have voted out the last Alberta Liberal government in 1921.

    Paul Jackson, for one, is wearing the years well.

    By Blogger Tom, at 4:16 PM  

  • Hmmmm.. long memories? Pshaw! That's nothing. I think my 'group' (French-Canadian whose family has been here since approx. 1660) still remembers stuff that happened in the 17th century.

    Put it this way, I still get ticked thinking about Le Grand Dérangement. ;-)

    By Blogger Frank Frink, at 6:05 PM  

  • As an Irish-Catholic-Canadian, I'm still enraged about the results of the Battle of the Boyne.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 6:35 PM  

  • I hear ya' islandlib. When I was a young'un in the early 60's, mom wouldn't let us play outside on 'the Twelfth' because of the parade.

    But nobody does the 'long memory' thing like the folks in the Balkans and the ME.

    By Blogger Frank Frink, at 7:54 PM  

  • calgarygrit, Coke is losing market share. Clearly, there is a need for a new coke.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 5:00 AM  

  • Clearly, there is a need for a new coke.

    They've got one; problem is, while fizzier than "Classic" Coke, it's also much too sickly sweet and doesn't quench your thirst. And the caffeine buzz wears off *fast*.

    By Blogger Tybalt, at 12:27 PM  

  • I beat the redistricting game all levels on advanced without using any political capital. I found the fifth lesson rather hard however...

    PS - I am not a crook...

    By Blogger nbpolitico, at 2:32 PM  

  • mclea: "I don't imagine that our new neighbors from the Maritimes are overly familiar, or terribly sympathetic, to our deeply entrenched grievances. "

    Well, the province has grown by 50% in the last what, 10-15 years? Apparently there is something in the water.

    islandliberal: "So, we need term limits in order to protect...political dynasties?"

    yes, please. But only if they can continuously come up with good ideas and maybe, just maybe, some planning. Otherwise, kick 'em to the curb.

    tom: "How many 105-year old men are there alive in Alberta?"

    Albertan Conservatives are likely similar in nature to Quebec Liberals. They grew up with politics being discussed at the table, and as a result, have an ingrained prejudice. Seriously. I voted Liberal federally in BC once and it was part of the reason I moved back to Alberta. It felt WRONG. I'll happily vote non-conservative provincially (in hopes of creating an actual opposition) if I'm convinced it won't flip power to a non-conservative party, but will either hold my nose or stay home if not.

    By Blogger Candace, at 3:48 AM  

  • candace

    "Well, the province has grown by 50% in the last what, 10-15 years? Apparently there is something in the water."

    Actually, it has something to do with OIL.

    These deposits were laid down millions of years ago. But, don't tell the folks at the Creation Museum.

    P.S. Does Alberta have the only Creation Museum in Canada?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 7:34 PM  

  • jimtan, you missed my point. Over the past 10-15 years, our population has increased by 50%.

    But we are STILL voting CONSERVATIVE when it comes to both provincial and federal politics.

    Pop 2 million to 3 million in 15 years, you'd think that the influx of "eastern/liberal" constituents would have changed the picture, no?

    NO.

    Ergo, there's either something in the water OR... kiss goodbye to dreams of a Liberal gov't in AB, and more than 1 or 2 non-conservative MPs.

    Not my bias speaking here, just the facts.

    By Blogger Candace, at 2:52 AM  

  • candace said

    "Pop 2 million to 3 million in 15 years, you'd think that the influx of "eastern/liberal" constituents would have changed the picture, no?"

    Actually, the population is voting its personal interests within an Alberta context. Just as migrants (often conservative) in metropolitan populations vote their personal interests. And, the people of NFL and Nova Scotia will vote for their interests.

    An interesting test will be the environment. Will Calgary etc vote green on climate change?

    Don’t you feel embarrassed about not thinking of the obvious explanation? Yeah, it must be the water! Don’t trip over the dinosaurs at the Creation SCIENCE Museum.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:03 AM  

  • Pepsi actually beats Coke in convienience stores etc when products are side to side. The reason that Coke beats Pepsi overall is that Coke has more contracts with restaurants/chains etc.

    By Blogger Justin Tetreault, at 11:53 AM  

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