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Happy Debate Day. I’m Meatball. Ian raced out of here yesterday to drive to Brooks for an all-candidates forum. I was snoring on the couch when he shook me and offered me a box of milkbones if I would write something for him while he was away. What discerning bulldog could refuse?
He’s asked me to write for him before in the Wild Lands Advocate. I’m particularly proud of my take on last year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and my endorsement of the “No More Grizzlies” campaign (nomoregrizzlies.com).
Ian likes ideas and he asked me to check out what the Wildrose Senate nominee candidates think about important national political issues. Thought that he was on the right track there. A Senator’s base salary is over $132,000 per year and taxpaying dog owners should know what they’re going to get for their money. Like Wildrose, Ian thinks accountability matters, and it seems hard to be able to hold someone accountable if you don’t know what their policy positions are.
Any English bulldog can see the merit in that.
So I waddled over to the iMac, went to Elections Alberta, found the list of Senate nominee candidates, and slapped my paw down on Vitor Marciano’s link. Took me to the Wildrose Senators page (I wondered if Ian would think it’s a little presumptuous to be calling themselves Senators already). Funny to see a picture of the Alberta Legislature there since Ian told me the Canadian Senate was still in Ottawa and that Alberta still had some work to do to get it moved to Edmonton.
Anyways, Mr. Marciano’s message there is all about what a provincial government should do. But what about national legislation? What contributions can we expect from them (other than singing Alberta’s anthem about Senate reform)?
Slapped the other paw down on the “Vitor’s Policy” link. Surely that would tell me something about where he stands on national political issues. Nope. All you get there again is province, province, province.
Maybe, I thought, I’d find some national policy statements on either Rob Gregory’s link or Raymond Germain’s link. Nope. In fact, their sites are identical to Mr. Marciano’s. They’re clones! Rob’s Policy, Raymond’s Policy, Vitor’s Policy – they’re identical and they’re all empty.
Ian’s told me that Wildrose’s campaign manager is a bright political scientist by the name of Tom Flanagan. Dr. Flanagan knows national politics and his Macchiavelli well. If Dr. Flanagan takes the Senate nominee election seriously perhaps he could urge the Wildrose candidates to say something, anything, about specific policies they would support.
If I was asked to pay someone $132,000 a year (that’s a lot of dog treats) I would want to know what they stand for. Don’t you?
Ian had the chance to meet Rob Gregory last night at the Brooks forum. He told me that Mr. Gregory, like the other candidates there, seemed to be a very decent fellow and Ian respects him for running in this “other Alberta election.”
But, if Dr. Flanagan actually talks to his Senate nominee candidates about national policies, he might want to offer them a basic lesson on Canadian constitutional responsibilities. Mr. Gregory noted that he felt the provincial legislation regarding property rights was bad legislation and that he would like to be watching for that sort of Alberta legislation if he was appointed to the Senate.
Under your constitution, the federal government has no business interfering in the sort of provincial legislation Mr. Gregory is concerned about. In fact, his position sounded like he was advocating the type of federal interference in provincial affairs that Albertans are so opposed to.
So, save yourself some time if you’re going to look for what the Wildrose Senate candidates stand for. They’re clones. Just check out one of the three candidates. What you find behind Door number one is exactly what you’ll find behind Doors number two and three.
Ian wanted me to find out these candidates’ ideas on national political issues. I’ve come up as empty as their messages are on that front. I hope he’s not going to take back that box of milkbones when he gets home.