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A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.
It was an electrically charged week at the Alberta Legislature, with the NDP finally having its chance to poke a stick at Ralph Klein’s de-regulated power system. In an incremental series of announcements Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the Dippers nudged poor old De-Reg an inch or two closer to the abyss. Once it’s dead and gone, what might be next? The German Model; The Swedish model; The Danish model? All sound enchanting to us… Sorry, mind was wandering. Electrical regulation has that effect.
To continue:When we heard about the Notley govt’s pokes and nudges to the power system, our thoughts naturally turned to his rumpled majesty Brian Mason. Brian’s portfolios are Transportation and Infrastructure. One wonders, however, what part he is playing in the electricity adjustments, and whether he resents what lately looks like it will be rather slow trudge back to regulation. For one recalls Brian’s salad days in opposition when he and his lone NDP brother, leader Raj Pannu, were embarked a two-man jihad against the Tories’ scheme to deregulate electricity. Their basic argument: the old, regulated system provided cheap, reliable power, why fuck with it?
Deregulation promised lower consumer prices through competition. There was competition among companies, which is good for jobs and the economy. But consumer prices didn’t decline. In fact at first they rose so much the gov’t had to provide subsidies to consumers. Then they sort of settled down to a Canadian average.
Greg Clark (Calgary-Elbow) has been the little engine that could ever since he became leader of the rumpish Alberta Party three years ago. Marching alone to a beat of I-think-I-can-I-think-I-think-I-can, Greg beat the odds in May of 2015 and won the first (and so far only) elected seat for AP—the once-conservative party infiltrated by disaffected Liberals like MLA Dave Taylor, who was beaten in the Libs’ leadership contest by David Swann in 2010 and stomped off with his ball (later losing in the general election).