Full Monte

From today's Monte Solberg blog giving advice to right-wing politicos in Alberta:

I would love to see honest and fact based debates about the merits of:

• Modestly sized government, and why government should be restricted to a percentage of GDP.

• Local control of municipal services, hospitals, schools and police services. This already occurs partially but what about financing these services?

Property taxes are about as archaic, distorting and economically harmful a way of financing local government as you could possibly find. Is there a better way?
I've rambled once or twice about municipal politics before. Ironically enough, municipal elections have the lowest voter turnout imaginable. Left-wingers cheering that asshats like Don Iveson or Michael Phair win elections would be aghast and demanding action if Stephen Harper scored a minority with such a small voter turnout.

The first thing to remember about municipal government, as I know I've mentioned on here before, is that they have absolutely no constitutional standing. Edmonton City Council doesn't exist because of any longstanding arrangement with the Fathers of Confederation. The last few years municipalities have been in direct negotiations with the Government of Canada which is a tolerated but not constitutionally justifiable end around. To be fair, recently, at the behest of municipalities the Government of Alberta greatly expanded their powers, and wide-eyed socialists like Iveson or Amarjeet Sohi have been using them to our detriment ever since.

Regardless, this is something to remember:
Municipalities in the Province of Alberta have no standing.
They are the province's bitch,
and can be dissassembled and reassembled at whim.

If there is a better way to run municipal government in Alberta with greater limits on their powers, less disgusting use and abuse of their tax base, and a way to manage their assets in a sensible way more in line with responsible limited right-wing government, then lets do it.

The municipalities may object. Let them. They aren't in command here. The province may have forgotten this (the existence of Department of Municipal Affairs for example), the city councils may have forgotten this, and they may try to dupe the ratepayers in their jurisdictions that it isn't so, but it is. The faster everybody accepts this, the faster local politics in Alberta can stop being the 291-Headed Hydra it is.

You're Ed Stelmach's bitch, Stephen Mandel. If he tells you to bend over and take it you have little choice but to hold onto your ankles.

[I would like to apologize for the mental image called up in that last paragraph. For that matter, the post title as well. What can I do? -ed]

Okay, so by "recently" I mean 1995. Still, 15 years ago municipalities in Alberta didn't have nearly the clout they did now, and that ain't so very long ago.

100 villages, 111 towns, 64 municipal districts, and 16 cities in the Province of Alberta according to Wikipedia.