Terrorist Attacks In Belgium

Albertans by now have heard of the terrible, coordinated, and murderous terrorist attacks in Belgium. I know that we are all outraged by such a vicious and cowardly act against unarmed civilians.

It isn’t a time to be afraid. Fear won’t help us at all. Reason will. We must use our powers of reason to see what we can do to ensure both our safety, and our continuing freedoms. These two considerations are not at odds. We can have both, and we should choose to have both.

We need to have a strong stance against terrorism, and intelligent and effective methods to combat this threat, to which we are not immune.

This is a horrible event. Think of your own loved ones, and cherish them. Think of strangers that you will never meet, but need your help. Think about their loved ones as well.

All over the world, there are attacks by Islamist supremacists against unarmed people who pose no threat to anyone.

We need to support every free nation against this world wide threat. If we ignore it, or if we fail to unite against it, one by one each of these democracies will fall to tyrannies.

We need a policy that protects us and defends – not removes – our freedoms.

I know the thoughts, condolences, and hopes of Albertans are with the people of Belgium now.

Alberta Energy Industry

The Alberta energy industry has the most stringent environment laws in the world. We are world leaders in the safety and protection of the environment.

But it is both environmentally and economically prudent to diversify our energy sector with green energy.

The solution isn’t to sabotage our existing industry. This will not accomplish any green energy diversification, in fact it will decrease it. If we are destroying our existing industry, we are also damaging our economy and means of production. How can we afford to diversify when we are struggling economically? The answer of course, is that we can’t.

The solution is to have a low cost, efficient, and effective, systematic increase in green energy production. We need the Alberta Freedom Party’s PACE initiative. PACE means Property-Assessed Clean Energy. It will provide the financing for Alberta home owners to install solar panels on their property.

This isn’t a grant, or a subsidy. It is a loan, that will be paid back via an assessment added to the recipient’s property tax. The person who is benefiting from the reduced power cost with the solar panels will be the one paying for it, not their neighbours.

The funds for the grant can be provided by Alberta financial institutions, such as ATB Financial, Servus Credit Union or others. The government has no need to go into debt for this program. Like CMHC, the government will create a crown corporation that will back the loan for the financial institution for a one time premium of 3.15% (Exact same structure as CMHC). Unlike CMHC, the loan to value ratio will not be a factor for this loan.

The loan can be amortized over 30 years.

  • This will increase the amount of energy in Alberta which is green. It will also decrease our dependency on non-green energy. Eventually, it is possible that EVERY home could have this.
  • The Alberta Freedom Party PACE Initiative will create jobs. Only Alberta companies using Albertan Employees will be eligible for this program.
  • It isn’t mandatory. It is voluntary. Only people that want to participate will.
  • It isn’t paid for by tax payers. It is not a grant or a subsidy. It is a loan. The recipient who benefits from the lower power will, will be the one that is paying it back.
  • Each recipient will save money.
  • Unlike a mortgage, the loan is paid back via an assessment on the property taxes. So if the owner wants to sell the property before the cost is paid back, the new buyer does not need to assume or be re-approved for this loan. The new buyer will enjoy the reduced power bill, and will continue to repay the loan via the assessment on that property’s property tax

Alberta Needs Real Democracy

Alberta needs real democracy. Democracy means the people have the power, not the government.

That isn’t how it is in Alberta now. Right now we elect representatives who are then able to act with impunity for the next 4 years. That isn’t democracy. That is electing 4 year termed dictators.

Electing representatives is a good thing. It puts people in a position where experience and dedication can handle most aspects of administering the government. Electing representatives isn’t the problem. What we need to get rid of is their ability to act with impunity, even where that decision is not supported by the majority of Albertans.

We also want to have citizens being able to directly influence their government.

The solution to all three of these issues is to give the people the powers of Initiative, Referendum, and Recall.

Initiative

With the power of initiative, Alberta citizens suggest new laws and policies themselves, and have that suggestion debated in the Legislative Assembly. There the elected representatives must debate on the motion, and then vote in favour or against the motion.

This gives Albertans a method to have their own ideas presented as a option for Alberta.

We don’t want to waste the time of representatives debating every idea of every single Albertan. The motion must have some popular support before it must be read in the Assembly.

The motion must have a petition that receives citizen’s signatures totaling at least 1% of the amount of eligible voters as of the previous election. As of 2016, that number would be about 25,000 people. It’s a significant, but not unreasonable amount of signatures needed.

Referendum

The people of Alberta should always be in charge of the government. The government must not be in charge of the people.

If we are to have a real democracy, we must have the power of Referendum.

ANY decision made by the Alberta government, either in favour or against any motion, can be forced to a Referendum by the people. Then ALL Albertans will be able to vote for the motion. They might agree with the government, or they might disagree. With the referendum, it then becomes the people’s will that must become policy. The government will no longer be able to pass legislation that is against the will of the majority of the people.

To get the motion out of the government’s hands and into directly into the hands of the voters, a petition must be made that receives citizen’s signatures totaling at least 3% of the amount of eligible voters as of the previous election. As of 2016, that number would be about 75,000 people. It’s a very significant, but not unreasonable amount of signatures needed. We don’t want to make this unreasonably easy, or every motion the government makes will go to a referendum, costing us all time and energy.

Recall

If a representative no longer represents you and your riding, you should be able to force a by-election in that riding. Then people will choose who the representative should be.

The incumbent representative can ride again, and might be elected again, or a new representative might be elected. But the people will have the choice to always decide their representative at all times.

In a sense, you will be able to fire your elected representative. And it will make your representative accountable to you.

To recall a politician, there must be popular support for it, otherwise every politician will be recalled the day after each election. That wouldn’t be very efficient.

The motion must have a petition that receives citizen’s signatures totaling at least 40% of the amount of people that voted in the last election in that riding. This is similar to the recall legislation in Kansas, which has successfully had representatives forced into a recall, but isn’t so unstable that there are unreasonable amounts of by-elections.