Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Final Four

UPDATE: The final is set. Oliver Mowat crushed Rene Levesque 602-97, while Lougheed outdid his felow Albertan 1620-1543. So it will be Lougheed versus Mowat in the final.

We've reached the final four in the Best Premier contest. Voting remains open until 10 pm Mountain Wednesday night. Thursday I'll post the final battle which will be voted on until next Sunday evening when a champion will be crowned.

Eastern Semi-Final

Rene Levesque (16) vs. Oliver Mowat (12)

Game Story: Rene Levesque continues his surprising run, after knocking off Jean Lesage in the quarter-finals. As for Mowat, he's already booted a pair of 60s premiers, Jon Robarts and Louis Robichaud. Will it be a night of the long knives with the man with the mutton chops coming out on top, or can Levesque make it to the finals?

Rene Levesque career highlights (Quebec 1976-1985): Drew headlines around the world with the PQ's victory in 1976 and is best remember for going uno-a-uno with Trudeau during the 1980 referendum. Despite this, he does have a strong domestic accomplishment record with campaign finance reform, Hydro-Quebec expansion, and increased social service delivery. Oh, and he killed a homeless man while driving drunk.

Oliver Mowat career highlights (Ontario 1872-96): As Premier, Mowat fought the federal government over jurisdiction of provincial issues, such as liquor, timber, and mineral rights and won, greatly decentralizing Canada. He introduced the secret ballot and extended suffrage beyond property owners. He also created the municipal level of government in Ontario and the Children's Aid Society. Oh, and he's Farley Mowat's great uncle.

Western Semi-Final

Ernest Manning (11) vs. Peter Lougheed (2)

Game Story: After taking out a pair of prairie dippers, Lougheed sets his sights on a fellow Albertan, Ernest Manning. While Manning beat Lougheed's party in the 1967 election, Lougheed offed Manning's successor in '71, ending 36 years of Social Credit rule in Alberta. With two conservative titans from Alberta going head to head, this should make for a good battle.

Ernest Manning career highlights (Alberta 1943-1968): During Ernest C. Manning's period of service as Premier, Alberta became Canada's major oil-producing province following the discovery of the Leduc field in 1947 and the Redwater field in 1948. Education, health, and highways were priorities of Premier Manning's Government. In 1947, it legislated free hospital and medical care for senior citizens and, in 1965, provincial civil servants were given the right to engage in collective bargaining.

Peter Lougheed career highlights (Alberta 1971-85): Ended the Social Credit's one-party rule of Alberta, replacing it with Progressive Conservative one-party rule. During his tenure as Premier, the Alberta Government's major priorities were the control of Alberta's natural resources and their development for future generations of Albertans; participation of Albertans in the mainstream of Canadian life; economic diversification; and the improvement of health, research, and recreational facilities in the Province. In 1976, the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund was established, and a portion of these royalties was deposited as long-term investments to be used to meet unanticipated future needs. Is most famous for his fights with the federal government during the energy wars.



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