Sunday, May 29, 2016


The U.S. International Trade Commission said the Trans-Pacific Partnership would increase economic growth and create jobs
Exports would increase, but imports would increase more, the report said.
Critics worry it would cost jobs by exposing American workers to low-wage competition from countries such as Vietnam. They also say it would allow multinational corporations to challenge local laws by saying they violate the trade deal.
As part of his legacy tour President Obama visited Vietnam, and allowed them the right to buy weapons from their old foe the USA to help keep at bay an even older foe; China. Obama calls this his Asia Pivot.
Its ironic that those who call themselves fiscal conservatives, denounce governments for picking winners and losers, and then cheer on these trade deals that do just that.
For Obama and Vietnam his visit was a win for the TPP which both countries agree is vital. And in Vietnam's case this is vitally true, more so than for any other pacific nation even Japan.
For all the controversy raised by the secrecy and wheeling and dealing behind the scenes diplomatically with no one admitting anything, that went into the creation of the TPP in the end it is just another agribusiness trade deal, with add ons, or as the Americans call them; earmarks.
It is a trade agreement that also allows Vietnam to become the newest of the developing countries in the pacific region to create a modern Fordist economy based on outsourced manufacturing, aka sweatshops.
Unlike Cambodia which is picking up the apparel business that Bangladesh is losing as it faces increased calls for government regulation, health and safety regs, workers rights, unionizaiton, Vietnam aspires to also produce car parts, steel, etc. 
This is where the TPP would allow Vietnam to benefit from off shoring by Japan where Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, etc. could produce car parts, as could Korea with Hyundai, Kia, etc. 
The seal of joint approval came this week when for the first time a sitting US President visited Vietnam, and with he brought that valuable weapons agreement. 
Vietnam is one of the contestants with China over sovereignty in the resource rich South China Sea, around VN deep sea oil beds exist that are in contestation.  Japan, the Phillipines, Malaysia all are fellow contestants for the sovereignty and resources of the South China Sea against China's claims of ownership. 
For Vietnam the TPP is even bigger than the South China Sea resources, because it will remove tarriffs and open markets in North America to their sea food and agricultural products, to Japan and Korea as outsourcing for car manufacturing, and a new trading partner with Australia and New Zealand.
No other country gains as much from the TPP as Vietnam, and small as it is, it believes that it can be a competitor to China's regional hegemony by also producing car parts for them as well. For Vietnam its a win win situation.
For the other eleven members of the TPP the only real advantage to the agreement is that of dropping tariffs on agricultural goods.
For Multinational corporations its another step in the development of a global corporate free trade policy to their liking. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016


I have written about Political Astrology before and in particular about the impact of unexpected change created in the Year of the Monkey.      

It has been twelve years since the last one, and at that time I used it to predict the minority government of Paul Martin and his and the Liberals fall from power. That was 2004, I also used it as the basis of predication of the coming Obama campaign for POTUS and the auspicious birth it would have in the year of the Monkey.

With the topsy turvy politics that began a year ago with the totally unexpected win by the NDP in Alberta and later the Trudeau Liberals federally in Canada and the Trump and Sanders campaigns in the US change of the trickster kind, the unexpected is the norm, it flows right into the year of the Monkey. As I said back in 2004;

And why should we put such credence into the Year of the Monkey? Well it occurs on a twelve-year cycle, and in Canadian politics the year of the Monkey has seen the fall of many PMs and their parties.In the monkey year1992, Brian Mulroney stepped down as PM and was replaced by Kim Campbell, who went down to defeat in the 1993 election.In 1980 Pierre Elliot Trudeau came out of retirement to defeat PC Prime Minister Joe Clark, who had held his office for only a year. Of course PET had the year of the Monkey on his side having become PM in 1968, a crucial and revolutionary year of the Monkey.1968 is a quintessential year of the Monkey, with the Paris uprising of students and workers, the Tet offensive effectively defeating the Americans in Vietnam, the Chicago riots at the Democratic Convention which led to the election of two time loser Richard Nixon. The assassination of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and the Russian invasion of Chezslovakia.The Year of the monkey in 1956 saw John Diefendbaker elected Leader of the Progressive Conservatives who win the 1957 election with a Minority Government, the first minority government in Canadian history, which lasted only one year.

The Unexpected Should Be Expected should be the motto of this year of the Monkey as it is the norm.

Today we are seeing a much broader range of change occurring as this is the year of the Male Fire Monkey a much more active trickster. With a Jupiter nature, the Monkey Trickster spirit is sure to impact on mundane politics which Jupiter rules. The rise of both Trump and Sanders are reflective of this spirit. And so is the win by Leicester in the Premier League of Football, their first such win in 132 years, at 5000-1 Odds !!!

Hoary astrology is the practice of Political Astrology; it uses a base style of chart first developed in England by the father of modern political astrology William Lily who predicted the Great London Fire of 1666. I do not have those abilities nor do I use the standard astrological tools. I use an intuitive method looking at events that would fit in the spirit of this year of the Monkey.

Hanuman which is the Monkey God in Asia is the spiritual nature of Man the Trickster, which we find in other cultures with their tricksters; Set of the Egyptians, Loki of the Norse, Coyote and Raven of North American first peoples, the Fox in Aesop’s Tales and in Japan, and Mercury for the Greeks.  All of them turn the world on its head, spin the magician or shaman around the leave folks guessing. They do it with a laugh, either on you or on them. While the tricks can teach a lesson that lesson may not be benevolent nor without some pain or other form of unexpected event.

In this the campaigns of Trump and Sanders actually reflect that Fire Yang of this year’s Monkey Tai Sui the Grand Duke of Jupiter. Jupiter rules politics, the Twentieth card in the Tarot; XX The World or Aeon

Both candidates for POTUS came from behind, with nothing but negative expectations and media prognostications the magick of the media appointing or anointing their winner and their loser, as though they were Thoth himself.

But here the truth of Ptah did not come from the lips of the media but rather from the people, change was in the air, as the saying goes. In the spirit of the Monkey King, the people decided to support these two politicians because they were not the usual kind of politician. One was a seventies anti war activist a self avowed Socialist, the other a racist bigoted businessman who was both a Democrat and a Republican.  Such Janus like archetypes now fill the imagination of the mass of the American public.

The seventies, which is when I became a young radical activist, have returned, to remind the yuppies, nerds and geeks that they are the baby boomers who lived in the seventies, making it a time of both mass anti war protest and organizing for a political revolution, a music and cultural upheaval and finally a spirit of change, that society as well as the individual could change, it was Yippie culture and Hippie culture combined, it was protest and self help/inward awareness, paganism and Buddhism began to expand in North America. All of the counter culture, freak culture of the Woodstock generation is wrapped in an old guy who was a hero of mine when I was a teenager and he was an anti war socialist elected mayor in Vermont.

This particular historical moment in time, on the way to the second decade of the 21st. Century with its millennial generation is exactly where we were at fifty years ago, ironically. All the Occult and Revolutionary revival of the seventies is coming to be the norm in this new age. The concept of an alternative consciousness, a worldwide ascendant consciousness of humanity and the idea of a revolutionary consciousness baptized the new century in Seattle and Chiapas in 1999. And five years ago its zeitgeist became apparent to all of us with the Weltanschauung of the Arab spring.

Both Trump and Sanders reflect this zeitgeist in the year of the Monkey, the anti free trade movement has a left and right base and both these candidates reflect these bases, while their parties the Democrats and GOP do not.

They are the Left and Right of the same coin, a libertarian urge to social change for the good of the individual and for society. Unfortunately as we have learned from history this left right deviation occurred in the thirties and created fascism, which has returned as the zeitgeist of the Trump movement. White America is being swept up in final campaign, before it becomes a minority in the United States. 

Both Sanders and Trump reflect this, both are appealing to predominately white voters, and in both cases they are appealing to the working class, there is no middle class that was a socioeconomic myth of  sixties sociologists to confuse producers with consumers, creating new classes such as blue collar and white collar, to separate them into economic categories. Everyone wants to be white collar, middle class, a consumer, who may or may not be a direct producer, like auto workers, or secretaries, both jobs created for post WWII North America.

Trump appeals to the older white working class, while Sanders appeals to the new generation their children and grandchildren who now live in a pre socialist world of postmodern capitalism. Like Star Trek that my generation grew up with the advanced communications, social media, internet world which is very much the creation of the 21st Century, is real change occurring instantly give or take a couple of months or years of development.

Apps reflect this change, this shift from consumer based capitalism, to active ameliorating capitalism on its way to becoming socialism, not just the conditions for socialism but actually shifting productive relations into socialist relations of production.

Everyone under advanced capitalism is becoming a producer user, even this blog is reflective of that change, by its very nature the blog allows me to create more than just an article but an actual autonomous media form, that can be spread everywhere on the internet, no different than the New York Times.

The modern technology being used by millennial’s attests to this sense of coming socialism, socialism of the association of free producers, artisans not wage slave labourers,  using apps they create and share. We have a sharing economy bursting through a capitalist economy, whether you and I like it or not. Revolutions are radical change whether people like it or not and we are in a period of revolutionary change unseen since after WWI.

The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

Uber is one of these kinds of disruptive technologies it confronts the old taxi culture that grew out of the forties to sixties when a small group of capitalists dominated and created an industry based on ownership of state sanctioned cab licenses. 

The ultimate purpose of Uber and other such apps, is to eventually be used by us to call autonomous vehicles to our home, workplace or shopping mall, we will no longer own cars, but use a new form of public transit, privatized as it is now. It will change because we are now actually talking about socialism in North America. 

Currently Uber is destroying the taxi industry, and transferring that ability to drive people, to people themselves, taking it out of its specialized role in society, in much the same way the car itself replace the horse drawn carriage or the street trolley.

But eventually once Big Auto starts producing autonomous vehicles, there will be an app used to call up a vehicle, but there will be no need for Uber.

Cars would be leased and once they outlived their lives they would be returned for recycling and reuse, this idea has been in circulation for twenty years now.

Socialism is the natural result of the contradictions of capitalism, which is a failed economic model, based on continuous growth of at least 3% annually, as Prof DavidHarvey has pointed out. Socialism occurs when capitalism reaches the point of restricting the growth of technology, robotics, automation, which can free us from the drudgery of wage slavery. We move from an economy based on production and waste, to one that is that is green, that uses natural resources in a way that considers their finiteness, that then relies on reusing and recycling these products.

Green economics is one aspect of socialism it involves current research in areas like green manufacturing, green chemistry, etc. These are actual fields of research and development. The idea is to take responsibility for your product from cradle to grave and when we go to bury it we find ways of breaking it down and reusing it.

Autonomous production; the freedom to choose, that supposed gift of capitalism is actually central to socialism, the concept of the free association of producers comes with the change in technology, like 3D Printing. This allows for manufacturing at home, a return of home based work, an end of the factory.
The Internet of Things, IoT allows us to administer things, not people, Engels ideal of the socialist state.

Millennial’s understand this, they grok the potential in the social media they use, they live in and live with. They used this to create the Arab Spring, the first world wide revolutionary struggle since the Bolshevik and Spanish revolutionary  struggles in the twentieth century . This consciousness of change was not lost on them.

It is this spirit of hope and change of that revolutionary potential that makes them embrace Sanders call to political revolution and Socialism.

It is the fear of job loss, of destruction of the norm, of the end of power of the white race that drives their parents and grandparents to Trump.

Like the turn of last Century which saw a horrifying war of Capitalist expansion that cut short the lives of an entire generation in Europe, and the creation of Modernism as a result, we are in a period of change, where consciousness, our social and personal self awareness is aware that we and the times we live in are full of potential for change and are changing.

Unlike the lost generation of WWI our Millennial’s as well as members of Gen X, Y, Z are all here. And like the generation of revolutionaries, modernists, they are the voice of the future, of a socialism that is not 19th or even 20th century, but a new model of an advanced technology shared for free in open source. 

Where work is what we all do because it is something we want to do, not because we are selling our time to someone else. Technology is on the edge of history, like Marx predicted in his work the Grundrisse, we can transform capitalism into socialism, by using technology to free us from wage slavery.

The followers of Trump are the heirs of the post WWI reactionaries and traditionalists who also appear at this time with the futurist and modernists movements, they are the founders of Fascism. 

They are not quite conservative or aristocratic, though these values and images of power appeal to them, they are actually as much a part of the revolutionary change in consciousness that is occurring, their spokespeople on the right talk about dialectics, gnosis, Hegelianism, all the left topics that while they dispute them consider them important enough as an ideology to continuously confront despite their protestations that Socialism has failed, and is a failed ideology.

It is more than an ideology; it is a historical zeitgeist originating in capitalism once capitalism develops industry and technology to a level of autonomous use it transforms into the potential for a socialist political economy.

It is here that the conspiratorial ideologues of the right, like Eugene Volokh, influence the readers of both the National Review and the National Enquirer. 

This movement of radical traditionalism of Evola and Volokh appeals to the American conspiracy theory imagination which Trump uses very effectively.

 However the white working class, like the coalminers in Appalachia who have abandoned Clinton for Trump, do not see that their jobs, their lives, their very existence being sacrificed by their bosses but because of Free Trade deals.

 With a reactionary consciousness they look to the very same boss who sold them out to save them, the left and the Democratic party has failed them. But they too embrace Sanders political revolution from the right, and support Trump because he will end trade deals. He will save their jobs. Even if the Republican Party is the party of free trade the very reason they have lost their jobs, they do not care, they are not republicans they are Trumpites.

Sanders and Trump’s political revolution also calls into question the whole two party system and Trump more than even Sanders has exposed what a rigged game it is.

In a sense Trump as post modern aristocrat has stepped down from his lofty heights to save the people. His politics are not of reform or revolution but of the great man in history no different from Mussolini or Bismarck who created state socialism in order to unify Germany.

Sanders political revolution harkens back to the seventies, to the ideals of the anti war movement which was the first post WWII movement to seriously threaten the establishment, even more so than the very successful CND anti nuke movement that it originated from.

He has not announced its structure, because as a transitional program it is made up of demands like #Fightfor15, ending Big Money in politics, etc. are all tactics for change, they are not a real program for socialist change. He is using this campaign like a big anti-war teach-in.

America’s political system is broken, this election has proven it.
And the Monkey King knows it and is only too glad to show it.

Monday, May 02, 2016



Rachel Notley warned New Democrats that adopting the LEAP manifesto which demands the end of oil extraction from the Tar Sands as well as conventional and shale gas plays, and NO pipelines, would put the Eastern arm of the party in direct conflict with a party that is proudly Albertan and directly involved in the oil industry history in the province even more so than the long ruling party the PC’s.

It was the development of oil and energy in Alberta that created new wealth and a new industrial province after WWII. The discovery of oil not only brought the oil industry but also the oil and energy workers union, a small American union that had an arm in Alberta, the Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers OCAW. In Alberta it was beginning its organizing of workers in the field and in the new gas and chemical plants being built between Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan.

This was the post war boom, the party in power was Social Credit, and while  there was no NDP there was an active labour political movement housed in the AFL and Edmonton Trades and Labour Council, members belonged to the Communist Party, the CCF and some still belonged to the OBU and IWW.

Edmonton had a history of electing labour council members as Mayor, Aldermen (women), school board trustees and Hospital Board members. Elmer Roper  longtime labour activist, CCF activist and candidate, owner of ABC Printing and publisher of Alberta Labour News would be elected Mayor of Edmonton after the creation of the NDP by the merger of the CCF with the newly created post war Canadian Labour Congress.

The sixties saw the growth of the labour movement in Canada and in Alberta, including the creation of an active movement of organizing public sector workers, provincially, municipally and federally. The Federal Workers Union originating in Calgary would merge with the Ontario based National Workers Union to create what we know as the Canadian Union of Public  Employees, the Civil Service Union of Alberta would become a union known as the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.

But throughout the oil boom of the fifties and sixties the union most associated with the provincial NDP was the Oil Chemical and Atomic Energy Workers Union under the leadership of Neil Reimer and his assistant Reg Baskin

That’s right the party was brought to life in Alberta by Oil Workers in the provinces new Energy market. Its first party leader was Neil Reimer, who would meet a charismatic young politician a contemporary of Peter Lougheed and Joe Clark at the University of Alberta, Grant Notley who would go on to become party Leader and its first elected MLA.

Notley himself did not represent Edmonton but his home region, the oil rich north of Alberta, the Grand Prairie, and Peace River riding.

As it had since 1936 the Social Credit party of Alberta held power in the province as a one party state, under the permanent leadership of Premier Ernest Manning, Preston’s daddy.  The New Democratic Party of Alberta focused its energy not only on consolidating union power in the party as well as the voices of the left and progressives but in challenging that Social Credit domination of Alberta Politics.

This was also the time of the Cold War and the Anti Communist Witch Hunts, a time being anti war, anti nuclear war, pro labour, was considered suspect. Where union members who were left wing were exposed to police spying, where padlock laws in Quebec had been used to raid imprison and steal property belonging to those accused of opposing the Duplesis regime or who were suspect of being Reds.

Duplessis ‘s party in Quebec aligned with that provinces Federal Social Credit Party which was aligned with Alberta’s Party as well. In both provinces the left faced one party dictatorship which reminded many despite their democratic trappings of the forces they had been fighting against in WWII.

As in Alberta it would be the post war labour movement in Quebec under Louis Lebarge that would mobilize politically as well as economically against the Old Regime, his right hand was a young activist lawyer named Pierre Eliot Trudeau. And like Alberta they were building a provincial and national party; the Liberals.

This then is the historical basis for the differences between the left in Quebec and the rest of Canada and why it took so long to breech these two solitudes, as was done in 2012 under Jack Layton and the federal NDP.

Premier Rachel Notley, the daughter of Grant Notley, the first NDP MLA ever elected to the Legislature, the first opposition member elected against the Social Credit party of Ernest Manning  had this rich history as her prologue at this week’s national NDP Convention in Edmonton where the party adopted the LEAP manifesto which challenges the very energy economy that makes Alberta a modern industrial state.

This province created the NDP under the leadership of  Neil Reimer, an oil worker and oil union organizer.  Neil was the first leader of the Party, and Reg Baskin was his right hand in their union and the party.

Neil also created the modern Canadian Energy Workers union,  Neil and Reg first represented oil workers in the new industry in the province with the OCAW  oil chemical and atomic workers of Canada, which had one other base of expansion; Louisiana.  He and Reg made it the Canadian Energy Workers Union, which became CEP merging with the Canadian Paper workers unions in BC, and now has consolidated with CAW to create UNIFOR.

Neil’s daughter was Jan Reimer two term Mayor of Edmonton during the 1990’s and while party labels are not used in Edmonton municipal elections everyone knew that we had an NDP mayor.

Meatpackers, a union that disappeared in the eighties with amalgamation of the meat packing industry into a smaller and smaller oligopoly, was a militant base of union workers and activists including communists and socialists, that was a large base for the party, as was Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 488.

These were the post war unions that were the party’s base in Edmonton and across the province. Federally the postal workers were a strong backbone for the Federal Party, though there were two separate unions at that time, letter carriers and inside workers, the latter being more left wing and militant with OBU IWW communist, socialist and Trotskyist activist workers.

It was the discovery of tar sands oil that led to the growth of the province, the union and the NDP. It was also this discovery and its needed development during the Arab Oil Crisis of 1971 that led to the end of the Social Credit government, its movement, but not its essence. In its place came the newest members of the Alberta Legislature elected in 1967 for the first time, the Lougheed Progressive Conservatives. They would be joined by Grant Notley and the NDP in opposition in 1968, when Grant won a by-election in Spirit River.

The “Progressive” element in the Lougheed PC’s represented the post war Liberal base among the non Anglo ethnic communities in Edmonton and Calgary, such as the recent post war immigration of Ukrainians, Italians, Portuguese, Greek, European, Asian, and Displaced Peoples. The Liberals had no political existence in Alberta since they were wiped out by the United Farmers/ Labour Party coalition in 1921.

Even Lougheed’s conservatism was not the neo conservative Austrian school embraced by the republican lite Preston Manning cons of today, it was classical liberal capitalism, that progressive aspect of capitalism that sought to ameliorate through regulation what short comings capitalism itself may suffer from despite its idealism of being the ‘ideal’ system.

The history of the Alberta NDP is the history of the Oil Workers and the Oil Industry in Alberta, even more than it is for the current batch of Conservatives provincial or federal.  The NDP in Alberta grew up with the oil industry with its workers and their union. For the Alberta NDP to reject both the LEAP manifesto and those call for the end of pipelines is natural and should have been expected by those who know the party history in the province.

For those who fail to understand this historic base of the party in Alberta fail to understand the social democratic politics of the oil industry, the NDP has long supported a form of nationalization under public ownership and increased workers control through unionization.

This occurred in the case of Suncor which was the earliest of the oil sands operators, before the Syncrude conglomerate was created.  In the early seventies after the Lougheed government promoted the oil sands, Suncor began mining operations.  Neil Reimer’s new Canadian Energy and Paperworkers union, CEP, got its birth in a long and bitter historic strike at the Suncor operations.

CEP went on to organize refineries in Edmonton, Sherwood Park and Fort Saskatchewan.
It tried but failed to organize Syncrude due to its conglomerate ownership and its concerted anti union efforts over the decade of the seventies into the eighties. Today unionized Suncor has bought out Syncrude so this situation opens it up to unionization decades later.

The seventies and eighties saw massive growth in the province including growth in both private and public union membership.

This also saw the success of the NDP and the left in Edmonton. While Grant Notley was a lone NDP member in Alberta Legislature, Edmonton saw a left wing U of A Prof David Leadbeater elected alderman.  Notley was joined in the house by Ray Martin, from Edmonton.
The NDP elected Ross Harvey its first federal MP from Alberta in the eighties from the old packing plant and union district of Edmonton Beverly. This was at the height of the Arab Oil Crisis of early eighties, which the Conservatives in Calgary blamed on the NDP Liberal National Energy Plan, NEP, which included the creation of the Canadian Publicly Owned Oil and Gas Company PetroCanada.

PetroCanada was a success and saved Calgary and the Lougheed Government during this oil crisis, it was able to buy up, nationalize, American oil companies like Gulf Mobile, Texaco, Chevron,  as well as smaller Canadian and American oil companies that were going broke or bailing out of Calgary heading back to Dallas and Huston.

And CEP was there to unionize it. Today PetroCanada is no more the Liberals privatized during the Austerity crisis of the Nineties, and Paul Martins Liberal Government sold off the last of our shares prior to the 2006 election.

Ironically it is Suncor that bought them and then bought up PetroCan and absorbed it., just as it has done with its competitor Syncrude.

It would be during the late eighties and early nineties that under Ray Martin the NDP would gain a record number of seats, going from 2 to 23 and status of official opposition. But by the time of the middle of nineties and the Austerity panic of debt and deficit hysteria and the birth of the neo conservative movement that two city Mayors, Ralph Klein of Calgary and Lawrence Decore of Edmonton would battle it out for Premier of the Province, Klein for the PC’s and Decore for the Liberals. Both ran on Austerity budgets, one promised massive cuts the other brutal cuts. It was a close election the losers were the NDP who were wiped out as a third party.

In Edmonton we had a new NDP mayor to replace Decore, Neil’s daughter Jan Reimer, joined by another leftist alderman the bus driver Brian Mason. The NDP centred itself in Edmonton at this time and got elected the enormously popular  team of Pam Barrett and Raj Pannu.
The CEP was critical in supporting the NDP at this time, including having its past president Reg Basking become leader of the Party.

After the shocking early death of party leader Pam Barrett, former alderman Brian Mason ran in her riding, Highlands, which also covers the Federal riding of Beverly that Ross Harvey once represented and won her seat in the house. Raj Pannu became the first Indo Canadian leader of an NDP party in Canada.  After he stepped down Brian Mason became the leader of the party.
The party went from four seats to two to four until Brian stepped down and the party elected Grant Notley’s daughter, Rachel Notley, who had sat in the house with Brian through all those ups and downs in electoral success.

The party base is the labour movement and left across the province and no less important unions such as CEP, IBEW, Carpenters and UA488 all involved in the oil sands and the petrochemical industry in Alberta.

So why are the various wags and pundits surprised when the Alberta NDP does not LEAP off the edge of a cliff named STOP PIPELINES, STOP DIRTY OIL.

In the finest of social democratic traditions, the Alberta NDP will do no such thing nor should it be expected to. It will ameliorate the worst of the environmental damages that the fossil fuel industry has and can be expected to cause. They will create a green plan, and expand the carbon fuel tax the PC’s brought in.

 It will do what the conservatives would not do, and that is eliminating Alberta’s Socred PC dirty energy economic backbone: coal. And that is the real dirty energy in Alberta, coal fired utility plants. These plants are evenly divided between private ownership, with state support from the ruling Socreds and PC’s, TransAlta Utilities, and publicly owned municipal utilities EPCOR and ENMAX. TransAlta is the original P3 funded by taxpayers under the Socred and spun off to become a private company where government cabinet members retire to the board of.

Even Lougheed was tied to the coal industry representing his old employer Mannix Inc, as a board member of Luscar Coal, which during the nineties created a major controversy with its efforts to mine outside of Jasper National Park.

Contrary to Greenpeace and other environmentalists who claim oil sands are the dirtiest energy the real dirty energy on the Palliser Plains of Alberta and Saskatchewan is coal.

Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel that needs to be kept in the ground. There is no such thing as clean coal!

There is however clean petrochemical fuels, that is the nature of refining, creating finer and finer grades of hydrocarbons; ethenes, benzenes, oil and gas for plastic production, diesel etc.
That is the reason for both the Joffre and Scotford massive refining projects and the plan for the heartland refining project, which would allow the province to crack and refine bitumen into secondary and tertiary hydrocarbons.

That is what the future of the energy is in Alberta, stopping the use of coal, refining hydrocarbons and shipping them south, east, and west.

Why would the NDP limit the provinces ability to ship what it processes.

As I have pointed out the pipeline west will probably go through the Peace River Athabasca highway route to Prince Rupert, which coincides with BC Site C dam development and its LNG  pipeline development, giving pipeline companies an alternative to going to Kitimat via the BC Sacred Bear Rainforest.

Energy East will be built and the NDP will promote as it did in the eighties, the idea that Alberta energy for a fair price should go east. What occurred instead was it was shipped to refineris in Ontario and Quebec at discounted prices where it was refined and sold to the US while oil was imported from the Middle East.

This was the original idea of the NEP that the NDP and Liberals promoted to Lougheed, and he agreed to! And like the NDP this was his vision for Alberta oil before he died.
While the LEAP manifesto is suitably left wing green etc, even shudder, anti capitalist ( read anti corporations) it is not something either the labour movement or NDP in Alberta will agree to do much more about than debate. Debate will be welcome, dictat not so much.

LEAP like most environmentalism today fails to take into consideration that even if workers had control of publicly owned energy companies, we would still be producing hydrocarbons, and will be even after the glorious Socialist Revolution.

The dirtiest energy causing climate change is not oil sands in Alberta or Venezuela it is coal and wood burning worldwide.  That is the challenge we face to shut down coal, and wood burning, not to accept the myth of Clean Coal, and to make sure we ameliorate environmental damage caused through hydrocarbon production.

You want to keep something in the ground its coal, and the biggest fight back in Alberta today is the utility lobbies who oppose the Alberta NDP Government ending of coal fired utilities.

In Alberta the NDP is the party of oil and oil workers. Never forget it. The old Social Credit of Preston Manning’s daddy’s day and the PC’s of Lougheed Klein were both parties of coal.