Thursday, September 29, 2011

Alberta's PC Leadership Debate - Global News

The three contenders for the leadership race duke it out live on Global TV. Again, in case you've forgotten, they are Doug Horner, Allison Redford, and Gary Mar.

So the format is similar to the last one; one minute opening statements, 20 second question, one minute to answer, 30  seconds to rebut, then open to full debate and closing. Typical stuff. I always find it is a shame that they never address the issues that really matter such as how long one should be permitted to cry after a devastating question. I do like the subtle hint from the host that he will suplex anyone who goes over their allotted time.

Opening volleys
Doug Horner: Guys, this is about leadership. I've already put up with Ralph Klein, I can totally wrangle this province into shape.

Gary Mar: Thanks for coming out folks. We're here to pick the province's leader, and that's me. We need to support kids, seniors, jobs and all that other crap. I'll be totally good with money, I promise. Vote for me.

Allison Redford: Our healthcare rocks, but I'm going to make it better. We're going to be smart about spending money for education and healthcare. I'm tough. Come with me if you want to live.

First Question: Gary Mar you support rich people buying better healthcare, why don't you just support a better healthcare system overall?
GM: We can improve our system, and I'm committed to that. In other parts of Canada, others have a better system and we could too. It's legitimate.

AR: If we want to commercialize healthcare, it will no longer be a private system. We need to improve the system without undermining it from within.

DH: This public/private debate is overshadowing the real issues. We need to start paying for the complexity of patients rather than the number thereof.

GM: Primary healthcare has worked really well; Doctors working with teams of people for better access, but the funding hasn't changed and we've been bleeding the system dry. We need to deal better with diverse issues.

DH: If we don't change the 'gatekeeper' mentality, it will always suffer. it shouldn't be just about doctors.

AR: If others were as good as Doctors, this would be enacted, rather than being constantly debated. We need family care clinics.

GM: family doctors already cover the majority, let's just add more doctors.

AR: The primary care networks suck. No one knows about them.

Question two: Mr. Horner, there are unanswered questions about how you've botched our current healthcare so badly, why are you not ordering an inquest about this?

DH: The system is good to those within it, the problem is getting in. It's outdated. The clinics are still private businesses. It's based on volume rather than quality. There is a fundamental problem.

GM: The quality council is great, they ensure transparency. Their mandate could be extended to deal with individual issues.

AR: I called for an inquiry. The council also had an option to be independent but it isn't.

DH: That's true. We should give them more power. We need to publicize the results of the RCMP investigation into queue jumping.

AR: An independent quality council would allow us to have an objective discussion about healthcare.

GM: If people wanted that, they had the opportunity to bring it up while they were in cabinet...

Third Question: Ms. Redford, after the education cuts, you promised more money, but the teachers want even more, would you give them that?

AR: Absolutely. Money is no object. If we just give teachers everything they want, everything will be better.

DH: Not this crap again. if we deal with the labor issues, then we just need more equipment and we're set. Our plan for success should dictate the budget.

GM: We're so awesome I would also give them money, and also plan budgets for the future.

AR: This needs to be urgent because our system is suffering and we could fix it immediately since we can't squander a whole year.

DH: We make decisions based on the percentage, we should be making them on our goals.

GM: Hey, you guys were there, why did you squander the opportunity to stop these cuts?

DH: So were you, eh?

GM: The point is that any money we give them would come from somewhere else. We just don't have it right now.

AR: We want change, however we have to do it.

DH: If you don't rearrange the money, it's just business as usual and that sucks.

AR: People want to know who they can trust. It's me, by the way.

DH: I wont change. I'm committed to that.

Fourth Question: Mr. Mar, A lot of people waffle on commitments. Didn't you say you'd reject the severance allowance, then take it?

GM: I just did what everyone does. I only said I would defer it, I never said I didn't want it. At least I told everyone when I took it.

AR: If I  said I wouldn't, I wouldn't.

DH: You said you would do something then did not follow through.

GM: I only said I would defer it, and I did defer it. Besides, I was entitled to it.

Announcer: Do you respect taxpayers money?

DH: Of course, I respect money too much to waste it.

AR: It's also about respecting the money. And Albertans.

GM: I agree. No one does not respect tax money, but the only money the government has is taxpayer's money.

Fifth question: The Oilers and the Flames; if they needed new arenas would you support that?

DH: That's municipal stuff. They can deal with that. We do support sports teams but we don't want to step on city toes. We trust them.

AR: That's true. They're important, but the municipalities need to stand on their own and make their own choices.

GM: I think Edmonton's arena is pretty cool. It'd be good for Calgary to have one too. We shouldn't give them money for it though.

AR: Seriously, that's municipal stuff. We can't go there. We just sling money at them and ignore them.

DH: The sustainability fund should filter out stupid requests, but we should loosen it's requirements so the cities can have more money. The arena is pretty good, isn't it? But, yah, that's city stuff.

GM: Totally city stuff.

Announcer lady: So what if the MSI is not big enough to cover something, would you add more to cover the loss?

DH: We've already said we would. We need to start re-evaluating the fund, maybe even sorting out the big cities for special treatment.

GM: I'm different. The current system is weird; we should just not take the education fund from the cities; we could just let them keep it.

AR: That's going to encourage inequality, and ignores the bigger discussion about goals for the province and cities.

GM: That's true some people would get less. They could just tax more.

DH: That's a terrible plan. The current funds work fine.

GM: The locally elected governments should just tax and use that money for stuff. It'll cut down on the bureaucratic expense.

Sixth question: Ms. Redford, have you dropped the ball regarding our international image with the Oilsands?

AR: It's the premier's job to get ahead of these issues. It started over three years ago. We have great standards and research but we need to tell people about these things.

DH: We make our living off the land. We need to be transparent and tell the world about our behaviour.

GM: Lots of the oil in the U.S is from Alberta, so they must like us. People actually DO support the oilsands, they just won't act like it. 

DH: It's not just the states. It's also about the rest of the world's market.

AR: Doug's right. Europe doesn't like us right now. Alberta needs to be proactive like the west.

GM: That's true. Even though we don't sell that much to Europe (Ahem.) but they might influence China.

Question seven: Mr. Mar, if you had to cut taxes, what would you cut to balance the budget?

GM: We want to be leaders; we should be fiscally responsible. We need plans. We don't need to cut anything, but nothing can require more money than it is getting right now.

AR: We've been too free with money. We need to follow our commitments. That will help us balance.

DH: We need to plan and be transparent. We need a bigger tax base.

GM: Few countries, except us, are truly self-sufficient. We have the world by the short and curlies because we produce food, we should abuse that.

AR: We should talk about what we 'want' and what we 'need'.

Announcer: Ms. Redford, who is number two on your ballot? (The answers to this question actually demonstrate everything I hate about political debate answers.)

AR: Why would I put a number two? I'm going to win. But I guess Mr. Horner because he sounds just like me.

GM: All six original candidates were so good; everyone is really cool. I'm not going to say who I'd pick for number two.

DH: Allison, you're really awesome, but I promised I wouldn't show favor. It SHOULD BE OBVIOUS who is my pick.

Closing statements.

AR: How we make decisions matters. We need trust to make change. We should be better; use our money to be better. Please vote.

GM: We'll listen and be a champion.

Here is where my connection died and reset the debate for the 14th time. I was not going to sit through the inane 15 second commercial they had at the start of the debate even one more time so I finally gave up. I am sorry, Mr. Horner, but your closing statement gets no air time.
Good luck everyone and don't forget to vote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow; were you in a bad mood listening to this? I sat through the whole thing and it, mostly, didn't sound as bad as you're protraying it!
Anyhow, get out and vote! For $5, it's well worth getting your two cents in on who is going to represent you.
My favourite political motto: Decisions are made by those who SHOW UP!!
lol, mapa