Monday, September 29, 2008

Splitting the vote is not an issue

Splitting The Vote Is Not An Issue

Our campaign has heard from a number of people concerned about the conservative vote being split by my running in Edmonton Sherwood Park. I will answer this concern with some simple math.

In the 2006 federal election, for example, the successful Conservative candidate drew 64 per cent of the vote, with the Liberals and New Democrats each taking 14.5 per cent and the Greens coming in at 7.2 per cent.

Conservative voters are unlikely to be attracted away to one of the other major parties in any kind of significant numbers and it is reasonable to expect that the voter turn out will be roughly the same as it was in 2006.

All things being equal, even if the previous conservative vote was divided almost equally between me and the Conservative party’s new candidate, both of us would have 32 per cent. If Liberals, New Democrats and Greens maintain the same level of support, none of the three remaining parties would have enough to “sneak up the middle” and take the seat from a conservative candidate.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Stephen Harper’s plan threatens Alberta’s control of its natural resources

During an announcement in Calgary yesterday, Stephen Harper announced his party’s intention to limit the export of bitumen, a product which makes up a significant amount of petroleum-based exports for Alberta.
It is Mr. Harper’s intention to place unprecedented restrictions on a natural resource, the control of which is guaranteed to provinces under the Canadian Constitution. The restriction of bitumen exports would also lead to a violation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), placing our trade relationship with the United States in jeopardy at a time of great economic instability.
It seems clear that Mr. Harper, without consultation with the Alberta government or other key stakeholders, is preparing to set policy that will have a significant impact on the ability of Albertans to maximize benefit from one of their own natural resources. From the short-sighted, arbitrary nature of his decision, it would appear that Mr. Harper is so confident of success in this province that he can disregard the best interests of the very people he was elected to represent.
The proposed change would effectively remove the ability of Alberta companies to market bitumen to any country that either does not meet or exceed Canadian government environmental limits on carbon emissions. At the present time, 30 per cent of the bitumen generated is sent to the United States, the only market for the unprocessed product. Given the current economic state of that country, it is critical that Alberta oil companies are able to expand their base and look to new markets for what will become an increasingly higher demand product.
If Albertans want a say in how their resources are managed – as is our right under the constitution – then they must speak up so that Mr. Harper can hear. And the best way of doing so is to elect a Member of Parliament who can ensure that they have a voice in Ottawa, and not someone who is there simply as Ottawa’s voice in their community.
I am committed to providing grassroots representation in Parliament that reflects the priorities and concerns of my constituents throughout Edmonton-Sherwood Park.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Crossing the floor

There is lot of confusion regarding the question of my crossing the floor to the Conservative Party after my election. I have received some very good press coverage from the Sherwood Park News, which I really appreciate, however the headline in last week’s paper has just added to this confusion. It seems some people read just the headline without reading the article.

To clarify my position I have outlined three key points on this issue:

1) An offer would have to come from the Conservative Party. I would not initiate any dialogue in this regard.

2) The offer would have to include something of significant benefit to my riding. I believe I can be a stronger voice for my riding as an independent than I could as a back bencher.

3) If I did receive an offer from the Conservative Party I would not make the decision without consulting my constituents. As I stated in the newspaper article last week, I would seek a vote by my constituents to determine your wishes and act accordingly. With the opportunities that exist on the internet it would be easy and cost effective to determine the consensus of my voters.

So, no I would not automatically be crossing the floor. I hope this clarifies my answer and if anyone would like to discuss this further I would welcome the opportunity to talk to you at my campaign office.


Thursday, September 18, 2008


I am really excited about initiating my blog. This is such a great communication tool. It allows me to express my views, keep people up to date with my activities as well as getting your feedback.

Please do give me your feedback! In case you have stumbled upon my blog without knowing who I am or what's going on in my life, let me set the record straight. I am an independent candidate in the Canadian federal election in Edmonton-Sherwood Park. As many of you will no doubt be aware, there is a whole issue around my being an "independent" candidate but that's a topic for another day. For today what I want you all to know is that I do want to know what you are thinking. What are your key issues? What do you think of me as a candidate? What do you want me to do for you when I am in Ottawa? You can start giving me information by completing the pole included in today's blog. I also invite you to post comments to stimulate discussion from other readers.

Thanks for reading my blog on day one and I hope you check back often.