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View Poll Results: Who would you vote for for the leader of the Alberta PC party?
Alison Redford 12 48.00%
Doug Griffiths 2 8.00%
Doug Horner 2 8.00%
Gary Mar 4 16.00%
Rick Orman 1 4.00%
Ted Morton 4 16.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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  #41  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2011, 4:52 AM
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My mom is an MD and typically a conservative voter provincially and federally. She told me the other day that if Mar wins that might be enough to make her switch to Liberal.
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  #42  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2011, 2:19 PM
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Did she explain her reasoning?
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  #43  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2011, 3:45 PM
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I'm getting seriously cynical about the leadership race. I'm beginning to think the public forums are just for show. politican apathy seems to abound.


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  #44  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2011, 3:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Calgarian View Post

When is the next provincial election?
I was on a call yesterday with some people in the Alberta provincial government, they were warning us there was a good possibility of a snap election in November.

New premier should be sworn in by October 5.
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  #45  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2011, 7:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelS View Post
Did she explain her reasoning?
Not much explanation needed. Mar's corrupt nature and his support of privatized health care warrants a giant "piss off!"
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  #46  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2011, 8:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Boris2k7 View Post
Not much explanation needed. Mar's corrupt nature and his support of privatized health care warrants a giant "piss off!"
I would imagine the fact that the Liberal leader, Raj Sherman, is an MD, and has a record for publicly standing up for patient issues, even when his stance was at odds with the government might be a factor.

I would be surprised if the new Premiere would call an election so soon after the leadership was settled. Unless they thought that their popularity would slide over the next year or two, and consider this the best time to lock in for another 5 years. This doesn't seem to be the case, as it seems some of the wildrose support that was all the talk for the last year seems to be stagnating.
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  #47  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2011, 10:34 PM
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I had read a poll somewhere that as soon as Stelmach announced he was stepping down that the wildrose support sank dramatically.

I think the biggest risk to the PC party is stagnancy. Under Gary Mar's leadership, and the motto of unity, I am skeptical of the ability of Mar to make changes to revitalize the party. The median age of Albertans is 37 or so, and Alberta PC MLA's median age is 57 or so when I checked last. The risk is that if they can't communicate with new technology, and don't engage with different demographics on issues that matter they will fail to stay 'current.' Discontent over the party will grow until a better alternative manifests.

The PC party requires to conduct it's operations in a more transparent manner, engage with citizens, be accountable and show costs and value of the services it provides. All of this is missing, and that is why citizens get upset about things like the carbon, capture and storage funding. Noone knows how that project was selected over it's peers, or what the value is to Albertans.

Ted Morton's enthusiastic endorsement of Gary Mar, I think was a very bad for the democratic process. Albertans should be allowed to trust that the party in power will make decisions in the best interest of citizens instead of backroom politics.

Sorry for the rant!
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  #48  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 1:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Boris2k7 View Post
Not much explanation needed. Mar's corrupt nature and his support of privatized health care warrants a giant "piss off!"
Just curious to hear the reasonings from a doctor. I haven't heard many doctors comment on the whole public vs. private health care debate. What does your mom think of the current public system in place? What changes would she like to see made? (You don't need to ask her if you don't want, just curious is all).

Also, what makes you say Mar has a corrupt nature?
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  #49  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 2:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelS View Post
Just curious to hear the reasonings from a doctor. I haven't heard many doctors comment on the whole public vs. private health care debate. What does your mom think of the current public system in place? What changes would she like to see made? (You don't need to ask her if you don't want, just curious is all).

Also, what makes you say Mar has a corrupt nature?
I can't comment on a doctor's perspective, but the prospect of a 2 tier privatized healthcare system recently became a serious issue for me. As a newly married person my wife and I have had the distinct pleasure of trying to find a mutual family doctor. It seems every practice you approach has a policy of not accepting any patients who have a past/current family doctor. If it is this hard to find physicians in a public system now, can you imagine what it'll be like when the private clinics poach all the good doctors? I've already experienced this first hand as I wanted to move to a new clinic with an old doctor I saw until I found out it's a private practice. No matter what Mar tells the public, a two tier system will inevitably favour the rich and only exacerbate the current problem.

End rant.
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  #50  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 3:14 AM
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From what I have gathered from talking with my mom over the years about the system for a while, the problems that come up most often are:

i) misuse of resources

- ex1. people go into walk-in clinics with injuries that should see them checking into a hospital
- ex2. people go into appointments with no actual health problems but have needless anxiety over them (me mom calls these the "worried healthy"); these tend to be older women

ii) lack of graduates going into family medicine

- partially stems from the low rates of compensation relative to specialists, not that family doctors are doing particularly BAD
- also has to do with the long hours (in and outside of the office) and need for broad-based knowledge v.s. the narrowly focused parts of the profession
- this is going to be a big, big problem when current doctors, who are very overbooked, start retiring

iii) costs of running a clinic not really accounted for in payouts

- my mom and her partners get paid by a schedule based on the number of patients they see, and the costs of office staff and leasing the office space come out of that pay
- relates to ii)

iv) glacially slow transition to new systems

- until a couple years ago, most doctors in alberta were still putting everything down on paper, and i've seen the volumes of work just one office has, everything is just starting to move to digital now
- part of the reason for this slow transition is that the provincial government was loathe to pay for the necessary infrastructure

v) diagnosis often comes far too late

- most of the time, this just means more costly treatment later on, sometimes it means that someone dies that didn't have to


As for Mar's nature, may get to that in a bit.
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  #51  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 4:39 AM
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Maybe to play devil's advocate here, but wouldn't iii), iv), and v) (and maybe even ii.) all be helped by allowing doctors to privatize, and run their clinics as they see fit, and not as how the provincial government sees fit? I am not necessarily advocating 2 tier health care, but in your big response, all I saw was complaints about the current system. Why would we be opposed to looking at altering it?
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  #52  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 5:13 AM
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In response to that, I would say that there's a lot of room for reform. But any changes can't compromise the goals of the system (e.g. universal access). For what it's worth, the majority of family doctors already work like my mother in privately owned clinics on a pay schedule agreed to between the medical associations and the provincial governments. It's essentially tightly regulated, private delivery based on public health insurance.

To privatize more, you'd probably be looking at either private expansion into further areas (such as hospitals), or allowing for doctors to set their own pay schedules outside the public system (which would defund the public system).

I think, from the viewpoint of an MD, it would seem like there are identifiable flaws in the system but that we could be much, much worse off (just look south of the border).
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  #53  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 5:21 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelS View Post
Maybe to play devil's advocate here, but wouldn't iii), iv), and v) (and maybe even ii.) all be helped by allowing doctors to privatize, and run their clinics as they see fit, and not as how the provincial government sees fit? I am not necessarily advocating 2 tier health care, but in your big response, all I saw was complaints about the current system. Why would we be opposed to looking at altering it?
Boris' note didn't provide numbers. I know of family physicians that clear $500K/yr. True that some only clear $200K-$250K/yr, but often those are ones that work the equivalent of part-time. Remember that while family physician clinics are open long hours, often they are staffed by a number of family docs, so it is not like they are working all the time.
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  #54  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 5:28 AM
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Boris' note didn't provide numbers. I know of family physicians that clear $500K/yr. True that some only clear $200K-$250K/yr, but often those are ones that work the equivalent of part-time. Remember that while family physician clinics are open long hours, often they are staffed by a number of family docs, so it is not like they are working all the time.
According to the CMA, the average salary is about $210-220K per year, but that's gross pay. Overhead is "estimated" at 40%, but that's variable. The pay schedules were boosted a bit in the last few years which helped get to this level, but it's still way out of line with what specialists get. Not that family doctors are doing particularly poor for pay, again. $110-$120K a year isn't bad at all. Many doctors who are very well off tend to either have married a specialist or have successfully invested their wealth.

There are outliers in either direction. In the last few years, my mother has seen quite a boost in her pay schedule, with the increase in salary outpacing the rising costs of running a practice. That has been enough to reverse the flow of doctors into the province (it was negative for a few years back in the mid-90's), but the rate of new entrants is a trickle compared to population growth. Doctors aren't fleeing the province en masse anymore, but they sure aren't latching onto our land of opportunity bullshit either. Licensing doctors who've immigrated here with foreign credentials would help a bit, but that's also just a drop in the bucket.
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Last edited by Boris2k7; Sep 23, 2011 at 5:52 AM.
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  #55  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 2:28 PM
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Thanks for the comments Boris.
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  #56  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 4:09 PM
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I would really like to see the RAM design quashed by whoever takes over....among other things.
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  #57  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2011, 10:18 PM
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Alison Redford suspends campaign

http://www.660news.com/news/local/ar...ther-s-illness

Not sure what that means apart from missing some events. Still running of course, but such a shame for her. (And of course her mother)
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  #58  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2011, 2:58 AM
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I listened to the PC debate while doing house work tonight. I have to say that I was most impressed with Redford. Although Mar sounded pretty good, he definitely sounds like a politician: putting spin on things and focusing on how they all agree on different points. He definitely down played the 2 tier health care position and taking his MLA pay when he said he wouldn't.

I think I may pick up a membership so that I can vote on Saturday.
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  #59  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2011, 4:21 AM
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Originally Posted by devonb View Post
I listened to the PC debate while doing house work tonight. I have to say that I was most impressed with Redford. Although Mar sounded pretty good, he definitely sounds like a politician: putting spin on things and focusing on how they all agree on different points. He definitely down played the 2 tier health care position and taking his MLA pay when he said he wouldn't.

I think I may pick up a membership so that I can vote on Saturday.
May not be a bad idea. Have a read of this!

http://www.calgarysun.com/2011/09/28...to-mayors-slap

Nenshi says of Mar:
“If truly someone, who wants to be the premier of Alberta, has such a poor understanding of how cities and municipalities work then we’ve got a serious problem.”
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  #60  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2011, 6:42 PM
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Originally Posted by devonb View Post
I listened to the PC debate while doing house work tonight. I have to say that I was most impressed with Redford. Although Mar sounded pretty good, he definitely sounds like a politician: putting spin on things and focusing on how they all agree on different points. He definitely down played the 2 tier health care position and taking his MLA pay when he said he wouldn't.

I think I may pick up a membership so that I can vote on Saturday.
Yeah Redford was solid especially given that her mother had just passed away. She was poised and assertive. But what impressed me most was her ability to speak so smoothly without any notes or papers. Her constant eye contact with the questioner and camera was engaging.

Overall, I didn`t find it to be a very solid debate. I would have thought that horner and Redford would have been more aggresive towards Mar. It was just really pleasant.
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