Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Stalin Circle in Alberta

It was the New Left that created the term PC or Politically Correct to diferentiate itself from movements of Stalinism and Maoism which took the line that it was the Great Leaders way or the highway, to Siberia. Or in Alberta's case Fort McMurray.

In Alberta to be politically correct is to be PC, full caps.

Our PC's are the Party of Calgary, the Progressive Conservatives, under the Great Leader Ralph Klein.

The Party dominance is everywhere outside of Redmonton, which is the equivalent of revolutionary St. Petersburg (Leningrad).

The current power struggle in the party metaphorically is Stalinism rather than that of the earlier "Great Man" politicks; Bonapartism.

The dictator may pay a hypocritical homage to the tradition of popular consent by means of occasional plebiscites in which the people are asked to endorse some proposal desired by the government. But this purely formal consultation is usually carried out in an atmosphere of intimidation wherein the propagandists of the ruling clique predict the direst consequences unless the proposition is confirmed. What Are The Characteristics Of Bonapartism?

Why Stalin? Because the conflict in the Bolsheviks was a PARTY conflict. The same cannot be said of Fascist states of the time, which were Bonapartist, based solely on the Great Man; Hitler, Mussolini, Franco. Such Bonapartist regimes would become the model for post war Latin American nationalist movements such as Peronism.

Between 1928 and 1933, Stalin inaugurated the First and Second Five-Year Plans to achieve his goal of rapid industrialization. In many respects he was successful - by 1939 the USSR was behind only the United States and Germany in industrial output. The human costs, however, were enormous. Modern History Sourcebook: Josef Stalin (1879-1953 )

And Stalin oversaw the industrialization of Russia, while Ralph did the same in Alberta fulfilling Lougheeds original vision. Which makes Lougheed our Lenin.

But Bloshevism was all about the PARTY and internal faction fights. No different from the PARTY in Alberta. In Russia they sent you to work camps in Siberia, and in Alberta we too are now building work camps in our Siberia; Fort McMurray.

So in keeping with our metaphor, which is endorsed by no less an expert than Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason, here are the players in the game of the Bolshevik Power Struggle in Alberta as the Great Leader flounders and weakens.

Let's play pin the cult of personality on the Leadership contenders and the Great Leader, ala the politicks of the One Party State. Which are unique to the old Soviet Union and to Alberta politicks.

Think of it as a card game, for a pack of cards. Just in time for the Convention next weekend.

Seeking Klein's crown are: former provincial treasurer Jim Dinning, former economic development minister Mark Norris, backbench Tory MLA Ted Morton, Infrastructure Minister Lyle Oberg, Intergovernmental Relations Minister Ed Stelmach and Advanced Education Minister Dave Hancock

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Ralph Klein Stalin

"He is an unprincipled intriguer who subordinates everything to his appetite for power. At any given moment he will change his theories in order to get rid of someone"

Lenin became increasing concerned about Stalin's character and wrote a testament in which he suggested that he be removed. "Comrade Stalin, having become General Secretary, has concentrated enormous power in his hands: and I am not sure that he always knows how to use that power with sufficient caution. I therefore propose to our comrades to consider a means of removing Stalin from this post and appointing someone else who differs from Stalin in one weighty respect: being more tolerant, more loyal, more polite, more considerate of his comrades."

While Vladimir Lenin was immobilized, Joseph Stalin made full use of his powers as General Secretary. At the Party Congress he had been granted permission to expel "unsatisfactory" party members. This enabled Stalin to remove thousands of supporters of Trotsky, his main rival for the leadership of the party. As General Secretary, Stalin also had the power to appoint and sack people from important positions in the government. The new holders of these posts were fully aware that they owed their promotion to Stalin. They also knew that if their behaviour did not please Stalin they would be replaced.

Ralph Stalin Purges Alberta Cabinet

Kliein: A man whose time has come?

The Social Credit Party, which ruled for 34 years, was seen as tired and out of fresh ideas when a newcomer on the scene, Peter Lougheed, swept them from power in an unthinkable rout in 1971. Klein himself has only been in power for 12 years, but the Tories have held onto Alberta for 35 years, since Lougheed’s first win. We don’t change governments very often, but for such a right-wing province, we do think collectively every three decades or so.)

EDITORIAL: Ralph has to go. Now.
Edmonton Sun, Canada -
It's time to go, Ralph. Next Friday, at your party's convention, you should do the honourable thing and resign as leader of the

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Colleen Klein Nadezhda Krupskaya

Yep the brains in the outfit. Relegated by Stalin to the backstage, much like Ralph does with Colleen. She has attempted to ameliorate the Ralph Revolution with philanthropy.

Klein Outta Control

Ralph Klein Abuser

Krupskaya had opposed Lenin's calls for an early revolution but after its success she hid her political differences with her husband.
Trotsky's main hope of gaining power was for Lenin's last testament to be published. In May, 1924, Lenin's widow, Nadezhda Krupskaya, demanded that the Central Committee announce its contents to the rest of the party. Gregory Zinoviev argued strongly against its publication. He finished his speech with the words: "You have all witnessed our harmonious cooperation in the last few months, and, like myself, you will be happy to say that Lenin's fears have proved baseless. The new members of the Central Committee, who had been sponsored by Stalin, guaranteed that the vote went against Lenin's testament being made public.

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Jim Dinning Bukharin

Alberta's next CEO, Mr. P3, and leader in this pack of cards. Sitting on the outside looking in, and allowing the night of the longknives at the Convention to wreak havoc amongst the social conservatives in cabinet, causcus and the backbenches.

Bukharin's theory was that the small farmers only produced enough food to feed themselves. The large farmers, on the other hand, were able to provide a surplus that could be used to feed the factory workers in the towns. To motivate the kulaks to do this, they had to be given incentives, or what Bukharin called, "the ability to enrich" themselves.

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Lyle Oberg Trotsky

Trotsky accused Stalin of being dictatorial and called for the introduction of more democracy into the party.

Calgary — Alberta Tory Premier Ralph Klein's long goodbye from politics is hurting the province and should be reassessed by party faithful, says a leadership hopeful who was turfed this week from cabinet for making “inappropriate comments” about the Premier.

Lyle Oberg, who was Alberta's infrastructure and transportation minister until he was stripped of the position for six months after a Thursday night caucus meeting, apologized yesterday for suggesting he would reveal government “skeletons.”

But he did not back away from his suggestion that delegates at next week's annual meeting of the Progressive Conservative Party should rethink Mr. Klein's plan to stay in the premier's chair effectively until the spring of 2008.

"Given the urgency of the challenges that face the province, and the amazing opportunities that lie before us, the impact of a two-year leadership race must seriously be considered," Oberg said Friday.

Deposed cabinet minister Lyle Oberg says he will spend the weekend considering his political future and whether he will remain in the race to replace Premier Ralph Klein as leader.

Appearing sombre and subdued, Oberg told reporters today the past couple days have been “a difficult time within caucus” but he gave no indication he plans to quit the race.

But he also appeared to criticize Klein’s decision to stick around for two more years and hinted that fellow Conservatives should send a message at a March 31 leadership review that they want a leadership contest before then.

“The vote is not a referendum on the premier’s leadership,” he said, reading from a prepared statement. “The premier has already said he is not running again. The vote is a vote on when the leadership should occur.”

Riding rallying for Oberg

Wendell Rommens, past president and treasurer of the Strathmore-Brooks riding association, said Oberg's call for delegates to vote their conscience was met with applause and reflects what has become a commonly-held view. "I think it's time for (Klein) to move on and I would say the sooner the better," Rommens said.

Gregory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev united behind Stalin and accused Trotsky of creating divisions in the party. In April, 1937, Trotsky appeared before a commission of inquiry in New York headed by John Dewey. Trotsky was found not guilty of the charges of treason being made by Stalin.

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After the death of Lenin 1924, Zinoviev joined forces with Lev Kamenev and Joseph Stalin to keep Leon Trotsky from power. In 1925 Stalin was able to arrange for Trotsky to be dismissed as commissar of war and the following year the Politburo.With the decline of Trotsky, Joseph Stalin felt strong enough to stop sharing power with Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev

Ed Stelmach, Klein's intergovernmental relations minister, resigned a week after the premier ordered ministers who want to run for the Tory leadership to step down by June 1 - even though the premier himself doesn't plan to step down for two years. Premier Ralph Klein said he was somewhat surprised that Stelmach decided to resign from cabinet so quickly. "I set June 1 as a deadline and I didn't expect it to happen this fast," the premier told his daily news conference.

Stelmach's move may bolster a sense of urgency among those looking for change.

It's all very confusing for most Albertans watching Conservative politics from a distance. Stelmach's public comments are very reassuring. He's a team player, he supports Klein and all party policies. "Officially, there is no race," said Stelmach, until Klein steps down.

At the same time, he told reporters his resignation means: "Look, there's no doubt about it. We're here, we mean business and we're in the race."

Yes, and there's a new urgency about that business.

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Ted Morton

On his return to Russia he was elected Chairman of the Moscow Soviet and became a member of the party's five-man ruling Politburo. He reached the peak of his power in 1923 when with Joseph Stalin and Gregory Zinoviev he became one of the Triumvirate that planned to take over from Vladimir Lenin when he died.

When Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev eventually began attacking his policies, Joseph Stalin argued they were creating disunity in the party and managed to have them expelled from the Central Committee. The belief that the party would split into two opposing factions was a strong fear amongst active communists in the Soviet Union.

Alberta cabinet ministers who want to take a run at Ralph Klein’s job in two years will have to resign their portfolios by June 1, the premier said Wednesday. Ted Morton, another leadership contender, called Klein’s action “a good idea for obvious reasons.”

Until now, the many Albertans who want their next premier to be ready to at least threaten separation with Ottawa in order to get the kind of respect and deference Quebec has received over the past 40 years -- and there are many of them -- thought their best choice was political scientist and Calgary MLA Ted Morton.

Morton is one of the fellas who developed the idea of building the Alberta firewall -- an idea that basically advocates the province taking full advantage of its jurisdictional rights -- such as establishing its own pension plan, having its own provincial police force, controlling its immigration etc. -- Morton was the closest they could get to threatening Ottawa to keep its paws off of our valuable oil and gas resources.

Not anymore.

This, in effect, means Morton's leadership hopes are severely dampened, since Norris has already raised about $1.4 million from some heavy hitters with more surely to come as the race heats up.

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Mark Norris Sergy Kirov,

As usual, that summer Kirov and Joseph Stalin went on holiday together. Stalin, who treated Kirov like a son, used this opportunity to try to persuade him to remain loyal to his leadership. Stalin asked him to leave Leningrad to join him in Moscow. Stalin wanted Kirov in a place where he could keep a close eye on him. When Kirov refused, Stalin knew he had lost control over his protégé.
Budget not bold enough, says Norris

Norris suggested this week that sitting ministers would have an unfair advantage if they remained in cabinet.

Mark Norris, a former cabinet minister who lost his seat in the 2004 election, said he's glad to see Stelmach stepping away from cabinet to focus on the leadership.

"I was a little surprised that it happened this early, but I'm very happy about it," Norris said in an interview. "It's going to be good to get this race going."

Norris said he's been paying all of his own leadership expenses and he'll be glad to see more of the candidates doing the same, especially cabinet ministers.

"It'll not only put interest into the race, but interest back into the party."

Norris, the 43-year-old Edmonton businessman and former Alberta economic development minister who is chock-a-block with fresh, concrete ideas delivered with a folksy, Ralphy kind of charm.

Norris wants to better care for Alberta's seniors and disabled, believes in strategic investing at all levels of education, would institute a two-term limit for a premier and set election dates for the province.

But it's Norris' willingness to play hardball with the feds and even lead this province down the road of separation if necessary that will set him apart from the others running in this race.

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Dave Hancock
Genrikh Yagoda

Yagoda was a close friend of Joseph Stalin and in 1934 he was put in charge of the Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD). In 1936 Yagoda arrested Lev Kamenev, Gregory Zinoviev, and fourteen others and accused them of being involved with Leon Trotsky in a plot to murder Joseph Stalin and other party leaders. All of these men were found guilty and were executed on 25th August, 1936.

Klein's rebate musings anger many in party
Short-term view slammed by leadership hopefuls

Advanced Education Minister and leadership hopeful Dave Hancock also indicated he's not too keen on the idea of more cheques. Rather, the dollars should be invested in endowment funds and savings accounts, he said.

"My priority is that non-renewable resource revenue should be saved for the future in a manner which can expand our economy, expand our society and pay dividends long-term into the future," Hancock said Tuesday.

11. This could change everything for Dave Hancock's leadership bid. Over the past week, I was beginning to be convinced that Advanced Education Minister Dave Hancock would drop out of the race in the face of Klein's June 1st deadline, but I now think he may stick around the racetrack. Though I don't think he stands much of a chance at winning the leadership, I think he could probably top the list of "best Tory Premiers Alberta never had." Daveberta

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Iris Evans Alexandra Kollanti

Evans gives Klein healthy boost

Alberta Health Minister Iris Evans says she's squarely behind Premier Ralph Klein and his leadership.

When Joseph Stalin gained power he sent Kollantai abroad as a diplomat. This included periods in Norway (1923-25), Mexico (1925-27), Norway (1927-30) and Sweden (1930-45). Kollantai retired in 1945 and lived in Moscow until her death on 9th March, 1952. She was the only major critic of the Soviet government that Joseph Stalin did not exterminate.


NO ONE said...

Another witty and thought provoking post!

Have you ever wondered if the same case could not be made to the political situation in the US given the recent comments made by former supreme court justice Sandra Day O'Connor?


I will leave that parody to you.