Three news snippets today

It’s a crazy time in my work world so no pithy comments or self-ascribed dogma today. Just a few quick points from the news yesterday:

1. Is it just me or are Fed-Prov relations in New Brunswick reaching a new low? First daycare funding and now the -if-the-Libs-win-again ‘People’ strategy put forward by Andy Scott. Don’t you think that any ‘people’ strategy (presumably those people actually reside in New Brunswick) should have the full support and indeed input of the provincial government (note the recently $922M immigration deal in Ontario which read like a love-in between the Feds/Prov)? But instead, provincial politicians try to sneak their input in via the newspapers. In my opinion with all this talk of elections, Premier ambitions, cabinet postings, etc. I think that a few people are putting politics ahead of policy (Lisa Keenan would be one example based on her editorial last weekend). And the sad thing is that good (P)olitics only benefits the few whereas good policy benefits the whole. Somebody should put policy ahead of politics (read: the good of the people) and get this stuff done, please.

2. In the words of the Globe & Mail: “In an attempt to prove that Alberta isn’t hoarding its exploding resource wealth, Premier Ralph Klein announced a $20-million scholarship program for needy students across the country.” Mr. Klein is on a three-day national speaking tour, where he is promoting his oil-and-gas-rich province, which is expected to bank an $8.7-billion surplus this year, as a “sharing and caring” place whose wealth shouldn’t be envied by the rest of the country.

I don’t have much to say here except when Klein gives scholarships to New Brunswick university students this is most likely attached to Alberta’s campaign to encourage more people to move there. A $2,000 cheque for a UNB student from Ralph will raise at least some goodwill. If he added a plane ticket after graduation – that would be a slam dunk.

3. It seems that Brian Murphy may have some competition to replace Claudette Bradshaw as the Liberal candidate for MP. I can’t say who, yet but it’s an interesting candidate. By the way, Murhpy is announcing today. Maybe a Gagne-Koch/Bradshaw type deja vu?

4. For those of you starting to use blogs more and more as ‘information sources’ (I now have a dozen or so that I use), we all need to be careful. It seems that the concept of the highly opinionated but not ‘bought’ blogger is no more. The use of blogs to convey corporate or union messages is a major trend according to some reports. This is where a blogger with a good following quietly gets paid to discreetly push a specific vested interest or agenda. This is also entering the realm of politics where parties are paying bloggers to put forth specific messages.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not against somebody getting paid to write an online story or do some promotion but I think they should disclose who is paying them. Then the reader knows the context. The rumblings and musings of a highly opinionated blogger is one thing (and we can put this filter on when reading that blogger) but the specific agenda of a vested interest requires a different set of filters (a bit like reading Al Hogan’s We Say but at least he is obvious about things).

And since you asked, I get no funding to write “It’s the Economy, Stupid” which, I guess makes this blog an oxymoron if not the writer himself.

But if someone wants to pay me, I’ll entertain offers :-).