Thursday, April 5, 2012

My #abvote questions

I am having a really tough time this election deciding which of my MLAs to vote for. So to help me make my decision I am putting these questions out there:

  1. When it comes to party politics & ideology I tend not to care; what's most important for me is whether my MLA will represent me. My first question is would you vote against your party if your constituents requested it? What if what your constituent's want goes against your ideology?
  2. Energy is Alberta's largest resource right now. We seem anxious to sell as much as we have as fast as possible, yet the return on investment is almost non-existent. Sure we had a surplus in the past, but we were also creating an infrastructure deficit of which we are now in the red for as we attempt to catch up at inflated prices while oil sits at $100 / barrel. In place of investment in the long term health of the province money was wasted on "investments" such as the Alberta train and our $25M provincial motto no one can remember. My question is how can Alberta's youth retain any value from what's being done now? Given the "hope we don't piss away the next oil boom" attitude of the province and the amount of time and faith that has to be invested to discover the real results, how can Alberta's youth trust investment in their future will be followed through with?
  3. When it comes to student debt: Do you support relief for students? If yes, through forgiveness? cheaper tutitions/fees? or Cheaper/easier loans?
  4. Do you believe in "new age" solutions to food and hunger? Such as urban chickens or public gardens?
  5. Would you put priority for transportation on public transit or drivers?
  6. As more and more countries come to Alberta for oil, foreign influence in our politics will grow. What measures will you take to increase transparency and assure Albertan's their government is working for them 100%?
  7. The U.S. and European debt situations continue to get worse and the Canadian housing market - fueled by cheap mortgages which are also fueling consumer spending which is expected to be 1% of anticipated GDP - is overheated. Gas prices only compound the problem. It's clear over-reliance on the global market and supply chain is an economic weakness. What would you do to strengthen Alberta's local economy, and trade with other provinces?
  8. Finally, on oilsands. Budget expectations on the price of oil expect sustained higher prices, but gas prices are already on the frontpage around the world. In 2008 oil was at $147 / barrel when the mortgage & auto meltdowns occured. Often overlooked are facts such as people ditching their cars in favour of bikes or scooters. Mortgage payments couldn't be paid with such a high price of oil according to Jeff Rubin. Many economists expect a collapse in the price of oil similar to the collapse in price seen in 2008 due to a sudden lapse in demand due to price. What is your plan to balance Alberta's budget if oil isn't more than $80 / barrel?
- Richard Fantin, Edmonton Strathcona constituent.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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