Alberta Politics

someone i know told me they are interested in the wildrose party. at the time they mentioned this new alberta based political party, i thought perhaps i should look into it. alas eating weight watchers chocolate toffee candies (only one point) and reading gofugyourself.com has kept me pretty busy for the last, oh, month or so.

so then the other night when i was in the tub listening to a cbc podcast and they announced they were going to be interviewing the leader of the wildrose party, i was like:"oh goody." ok actually, i remember thinking: "i am totally not in the mood for this." but then getting out of the tub means risking hypotherima and at the time death didn't sound that appealing. so there i was, a captive audience.

i'm not going to lie, i was less than impressed.

ms. smith spent the entire time talking about: how climate change is, in fact, not true; how we should not let american policy on carbon affect how we do business in alberta (because america is not the center of the universe); and how evidence that does not support climate change is suppressed by scientific journals in a conspiracy to support al gore (slightly overstated on my part).

wow. honestly you have ten minutes to talk to a NATIONAL audience about what your party stands for and you choose to talk about how climate change isn't real? no wonder the rest of canada thinks people from alberta are nut jobs. if i didn't know better i would say ms. smith is also the "genius" behind the sign that was once prominently displayed on the #2 highway going north from calgary; the one that said, "alberta separation, isn't it about time."

but i digress....

ms. smith may not like to admit it, but alberta oil companies are and will be greatly affected by american policies on the environment. the united states may not be the center of the universe, but they are a huge customer. a carbon tax there would devastate the economy here.

so what i want to know is where does denying climate change get us? how does it promote the interests of alberta oil companies to their international customers? if a country is concerned about the environment and is considering a carbon tax, we aren't going to get anywhere trying to convince them that climate change doesn't exist. that ship has sailed.

what we need is to lobby our client's governments (and our own) to ensure that SMART environmental policies are implemented. we need to invest time and money into making sophisticated economic arguments about the cost effectiveness of policies designed to reduce those carbon footprints. when people learn that a carbon tax, for example, comes at a huge economic expense so that 100 years from now it will not be 1 degree warmer, people are going to stop and think. people are not going to even consider your ideas if you start by making the politically suicidal move of denying climate change.

there is a part of me that wants to support ms. smith. i like newcomers. i like mavericks. i like people who are trying to shake things up. the thing is, her talking points on the carbon issue show how totally out of touch she is. do we want another out of touch government? um. no.

so does anyone have anything to say in her defense?


Anonymous said...

Um, she was hilarious on the Rick Mercer Report!


That's all i've got. But I will be doing some more research come closer to election time. Change would be nice...

Mercedes said...

i have a crush on rick mercer. i will check it out! thanks!

Bonnie Tonita White said...

I went to a planning meeting tonight with the WA. It's maybe a good thing to volunteer first and see the wickety whacks first hand before you plunge right in there and run. Don't allow this comment on your blog - I just wanted you to know I read it, that I am wanting change - not for change sake but because we desperately need some forward thinkers. In the Herald today they talked about how immigrants are changing Canadian society - it was quite sobering really - the political landscape will change too. I don't know where I sit with climate change really - there seems to be clear evidence that change is happening but is it all man produced?

Lauren and Steve said...

I love talking politics. And I have a few things to say about all of this.

A) There have been new studies done saying that there has been NO warming in the earth since 1997. When my parents were growing up they were talking about an Ice age...Now it's global warming, and just watch....It will be an Ice Age again. Notice how they changed the wording from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change" they are just trying to cover their own backs.

B) Click here.....Each Day Americans are forming doubt about Climate Change.... http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100311/us_nm/us_climate_usa_poll

C) When you say that it makes her "Out of Touch" that sounds like a fad....And if your argument is that she should go with Global Warming because everyone else is.... whether it is true or not....then that's one thing...But governments shouldn't just support or not support issues because they are in or out of date. Let's face it....there is fact and fiction.

Obviously you know my opinion...I think Climate change is the biggest crap ever. And although I know that the earth does change temperature, I do NOT think it is man made.

Hope this wasn't offensive....because I didn't mean it to be....I just love a good debate!

Mercedes said...

lauren: thanks for your comment. i think it is wonderful that you are so willing to share your ideas, so no offense taken. we love a good debate in this house.


i don't think ms smith is out of touch because she denies climate change. she is out of touch because she doesn't seem to realize that denying climate change isn't really going to get her anywhere. she isn't being politically savvy.

her comments are polarizing. when you start by denying the possibility of climate change you aren't going to make inroads or build consensus with people who believe it is a real problem.

it is hard to get anywhere when you refuse to admit that the other side has any merit. ms smith could be a more effective politician and better advocate for the province if she were to make arguments about how carbon taxes aren't economically efficient. this kind of argument is less polarizing because you don't have to deny that climate change exists to make it.

i personally believe in climate change. i also suspect that many environmentalists seriously overstate their claims and concerns about it. i do not support present policies to reduce carbon emissions because the outcomes don't warrant the expense.


Bonnie Tonita White said...

It's going to get interesting to see how the WA cathers support now that the PCs have lowered royalty rates and made some other positive changes for the oilpatch.

Sarah said...

I approach Danielle Smith with a LOT of caution. I supported the Wild Rose Alliance in the last election only because I didn't want to see the PC get another huge majority and because they have way too much power. Needless to say, I was right, even though some people hated me for not supporting the PC's. Now that the Wildrose Alliance is garnering all kinds of support, I am backing away. They are another political party. I agree with many of their policies, but I see them as a good, strong opposition party and not a governing party right now. I'm not a huge believer in man-made climate change and I think it's a distraction from real issues, personally. But I have to agree with you that her approach was polarizing and if she won the election and the party started implimenting some of their policies full force it would be a disaster. I'm going to wait and see what happens in the next election because for me it's more about having a strong opposition than who actually governs. My 2 cents.