Monday, May 21, 2007

This Time, Go Deep

I was up in Edmonton for the long weekend, which gave me an opportunity to drop by the nomination meeting for a good friend of mine, Sandeep Dhir, who was being acclaimed as the Alberta Liberal Party candidate in Edmonton Manning (Manning may be a conservative name, but it's a fairly left-wing riding). There were over 75 people in attendance - certainly the most for an uncontested nomination meeting I've seen since getting involved in politics.


Rather than extolling Sandeep's virtues here, I thought I'd include some excerpts from his outstanding nomination speech. I'll also toss up a few pictures from the nomination meeting - pay close attention to the posters featuring what Kevin Taft called "GQ pictures".


The recent rent debacle is just the latest example of the price we all pay for a government that refuses to plan beyond winning the next election. And even when it gets a plan, in this case a Committee Report, it sacrifices the plan on the Darwinian alter of survival of the fittest and a vague notion of the market adjusting itself.

[...]

With foresight, Peter Lougheed anticipated that famous bumper sticker we all saw in the 80’s: “Lord, please give me another boom, I promise not to waste it away again.” Or something close to that – “waste” might not be quite be the word that was used.

Today, the famous “rainy day” fund has only $15 billion dollars in it. It has wasted away and been abandoned by successive Tory governments.

[...]

Every time our children come home from school with another chocolate bar fundraising drive or magazine sales drive, we are reminded that something isn’t working.

Every time an Alberta family sits around the kitchen table and tries to figure out how they are going to pay the rising tuition costs at our universities, colleges and technical institutes we are reminded that something isn’t working.

Every time we wait for hours for emergency services at our hospitals; or read that most family doctors in Edmonton won’t take new patients, even as our city grows. Or drive through towns with signs advertising for a doctor, we know that something isn’t working.

Or recently, when we learned that there is a critical shortage of experienced Crown Prosecutors, which is compromising the safety and security of all Albertans, we know that something isn’t working.

Every time we drive on our roads and feel the failing infrastructure under our tires, we know that something isn’t working.

[...]

What all of these examples highlight is that the Tory regime has become so arrogant in power, so complacent in their right to govern, that they no longer consider themselves responsible to any of us.

[...]

36 years ago, Peter Lougheed went to Albertans with a simple proposition. He argued that Albertans should receive a fair royalty return for our oil and gas.

He said that Albertans deserved a competent government which could manage the complexities of the economy of that time and plan for the future.

The Social Credit government had been power for 36 years and was complacent and out of touch.

Lougheed’s slogan then was simply “Now.”

36 years later we find ourselves at a similar juncture in Alberta’s history. Peter Lougheed’s criticisms of the Socred government can be applied with equal justice to the Tory government.

The parallels between 1971 and now are striking. The choice between the Parties is clear and the stakes could not be higher.

Over the next few months I plan to door knock in Edmonton Manning. For the first time, in a long time, there is a real opportunity for change. The riding of Edmonton Manning will be closely contested in the next election, and I need your help.

Albertans want a responsible and competent government. After 36 years its time for a change and I’m ready. NOW.

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6 Comments:

  • That *is* a good speech. Not the kind of stuff you'd usually hear hanging around nomination meetings.

    By Blogger Matt Bondy, at 5:18 PM  

  • I wish him the very best. It is a great speech and sounds genuine.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 10:13 PM  

  • i cant believe taft still wont release the EXACT reasons for booting out backs. what was the disagreement about, and who was it with?
    sandeep is a great guy, but if taft doesnt clear the record, he hurts sandeep's chances.

    By Blogger ktr, at 12:46 AM  

  • Perhaps Dan Backs isn't always a team player.

    Does the party support the leader or second guess his decisions?

    Does Dan Backs support Sandeep?

    The answers to those two questions should be all that matters.

    Washing our dirty laundry in public and rehashing past issues will only create divisions within the party and that won't build public support and confidence.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 8:02 AM  

  • Sooooo... Sandeep talks about the "rent debacle".

    What exactly does that mean? Or is it just good enough to throw an issue out there, but offer no solid, concrete solution for it?

    I get so tired of opposition parties at both the federal and provincial level of identifying an issue, but other than saying "something should be done", they will never give concrete and workable solutions.

    I don't know what the answer to rising rents are, just as I don't know what the answer is to what ails our medical system, but surely if one brings up a "problem", then one should, as an honest politician, suggest a workable solution.

    The answer to rising rents is that there is no answer. Rent controls will just further eliminate any new development. It is estimated that it would take rents upwards of $1500 per month for it to make sense for developers to build new rental units. And that is for a one bedroom. I do know that no one screaming for rent controls now would had suggested a subsidy to owners some years ago when they had trouble filling their buildings and meeting mortgage payments. (BTW, I would oppose that too).

    Perhaps the answer is to move to Saskatchewan before they start booming like we do. At the moment you can still buy a decent home in Regina or Saskatoon for 150-160,000. Heck, if your adventurous, you can buy one for less than 40,000. And they have jobs there too.

    By Blogger Andy, at 4:55 PM  

  • down &,
    backs, myself, and many others are not welcome in the party and there is already division. just, some of us arent trying to join the cons now, which makes dan look bad, but the point is...
    if he doesnt give any reason to that riding, and makes people like you and i guess, he is hurting sandeep.
    i like sandeep, good guy.
    although harper never told us what turner did, we had a better suspicion and knew he was on thin ice. and taft shouldnt be emulating harper.

    By Blogger ktr, at 8:52 PM  

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