Why wait for 2013's headlines when you can read them here on Alberta Dairy right now? In a spirit of transparency bordering on clairvoyance, Alberta Diary consulted the Red Top Institute of Political Commentary, headed by Perfesser Dave and made up of a cab driver from each of the communities in Alberta large enough to license insufficient numbers of taxis. Here are the Institute's predictions of the major Alberta political news stories in each month of the coming year, made by an all-Albertan panel of the favoured sources of professional journalists throughout the world, which Perfesser Dave hopes will result is numerous grants from the bazillionaire American plutocrats who bankroll the Fraser Institute. Warning: Actual events may not turn out exactly as predicted, sort of like similarly scientific Fraser Institute studies in that regard.
January: Allaudin Merali returns to Alberta Health Services
Alberta Health Services CEO Dr. Chris Eagle announces that former Chief Financial Officer Alauddin Merali would be rejoining the province-wide health agency and resuming his duties as CFO. "When we looked at how much Mr. Merali’s lawsuit was going to cost us, seeing as we fired him in a big fat hurry after Fred Horne called us, and we don’t have a legal leg to stand on anyway, we thought we'd just say ‘to heck with it' and ask him back," Eagle said. "We would never have done this if the price of oil wasn't collapsing," he added, "but Doug Horner told us we had to." Eagle added, "we're putting him in the basement next to Lynn Redford's office." Premier Alison Redford was not available for comment, either about Merali or her sister, who also works is a senior executive position for AHS.
February: Finance Minister Doug Horner launches leadership bid as oil heads lower
With oil prices heading south of $50 per barrel, Legislative insiders say Finance Minister Doug Horner has established a committee to explore the possibility of another bid for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party in the event Alberta Premier Alison Redford decides to step aside. He's reported to have observed that his family has been in politics in Alberta longer than almost anyone else, and they might as well stick around and be the last ones in charge before the place shuts down. Petroleum markets have been hit by a glut of oil and gas supplies in the United States and a worldwide economic slowdown that has significantly reduced demand and prices. Redford was not available for comment, although her spokesperson, Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk, said he would be sending out a Tweet later urging Albertans not to move just yet to Saskatchewan and B.C., which he referred to as "mudslide country."
March: Trio of Liberal MLAs cross floor to join NDP Legislative caucus
Alberta Liberal (Liberalberta) MLAs Laurie Blakeman, David Swann and Kent Hehr all cross the floor to join the Alberta New Democrats, increasing the NDP caucus to seven and making the New Democrats the third party by size in the Legislature. All three are thought likely to contest the NDP leadership, along with NDP MLAs David Eggen and Deron Bilous, when New Democrat Leader Brian Mason retires next year and moves to the United States to take up an important position with the New York City Transit Authority. "I'm finally going to get to run the train," Mason said proudly. The remaining NDP MLA, Rachel Notley, continues to refuse to consider a leadership bid.
April: Defence Minister Joan Crockatt censured for misspelled Tweets
Conservative Party strategists ask Canadian Defence Minister Joan Crockatt to give up her Twitter account after a series of embarrassing late-night Tweets in which she spells Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair's name five different ways and accuses him of willfully transmitting Dutch Disease to Canadians who weren't told he had the condition. To pass the time previously spent Tweeting, Crockatt said she had joined the Dagny Taggarts, a synchronized skating team that acts out the stories of author Ayn Rand on the ice. She said she is also considering marketing a line of high-fashion clothing based on old Shriners' uniforms. Conservative Party insiders said Prime Minister Harper considers Crockatt's punishment the end of the matter, although he would think about demoting her to Minister of Winter Sports Clothing and making her move to Helena Guergis's old office if there are any more Tweeting incidents.
May: Tom Flanagan appointed to Canadian Senate
Prime Minister Harper announces that his former aide and Calgary School professor Tom Flanagan has been appointed to the Canadian Senate. "As an American, Dr. Flanagan knows exactly what I have in mind for the Canadian Senate, which would be the American Senate," the Prime Minister said. A special provision will suspend the normal requirement that Canadian senators not serve past the age of 75, the prime minister said. "I can't tell you how delighted I am to be get to move back to Ottawa, where I was born and grew up," said Flanagan, at a press conference on Parliament Hill, a remark that confused several members the Ottawa press gallery. "It sure has changed, though, since I was a lad there," observed Flanagan, who is 106. "They even seem to have rerouted the Illinois River to the north side of town!" The PM and the professor have patched up their differences over Flanagan’' book on how he made Harper the prime minister and won the federal government for the Conservatives. "I explained to Stephen that it was just a misunderstanding," Flanagan said. "The publisher forgot to say it was supposed to be a work of fiction."
June: Jason Kenney weds Hungarian in secret ceremony
The marriage of Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to a woman he met at a street market in Hungary last summer stuns and shocks his friends and political associates. Little is known of the identity of the bride or the details of the ceremony, although one Ottawa insider is said to have cell-phone video of fellow Calgary MP Ron Anders sobbing throughout the service, which appears to have taken place outdoors at a campground. Sun News Network political commentator Ezra Levant turned down a request to serve as best man and refused to attend the rites. There is apparently some disagreement between Levant and Kenney about whether the European country is a safe destination for on-air political commentators. Alberta's Lukaszuk, who serves as Premier Redford's representative in matters involving European protocol, said he would not be sending a gift to Kenney and his bride.
July: Pope visits Fort McMurray, blesses Alberta oil sands
Accompanied by Prime Minster Stephen Harper, Pope Benedict XVI, flies into Fort McMurray, where the leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics worldwide blesses the Alberta oil sands, conducts services for a huge throng of worried Newfoundlanders and prays for an increase in petroleum prices. The Papal aircraft is accompanied by a flight of J-20 stealth fighters from the People's Liberation Army Air Force, which the RCAF-FARC is said to be considering purchasing for the bargain-basement price of $35 billion. The Prime Minister is also said to have been persuaded by former British PM Tony Blair to become a Roman Catholic, since that would make it easier for him to get a great diplomatic gig after he retires from politics and because it's been sort of a tradition with Canadian prime ministers, the better ones from Quebec, anyway.
August: Danielle Smith quits; Ted Morton to lead Wildrose Party
Saying that explaining the basic concepts of market doctrine MLAs from southeastern Alberta "is just too much work," Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith announces she is leaving politics to move to Vancouver and join the Frasertarians, a New Age religion that worships Ayn Rand as the "Ascended Master and Mistress" and the late economist Milton Freedman as the "Missing Messiah." After an emergency meeting of the party leadership at a retreat in the Rocky Mountain town of Cochrane, a press release is posted on the Wildrose website saying former Conservative finance minister Ted Morton has been asked to lead the party. Wildrose House Leader Rob Anderson is reported to be in the southern Alberta community of Cardston conferring with someone named Craig Chandler about plans to establish a new party, which will be even farther to the right than the Wildrose Party. Chandler will draft the Wild Rosehip Tea Party's constitution, an area where he is said to have experience if not expertise.
September: On 'sabbatical,' Kim, Jong-un commences studies at U of C
Saying he on "on sabbatical" from his duties as leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-un commences studies in political science and economics at the University of Calgary. "I was very disappointed when I got here to learn that Professor Flanagan would no longer be teaching classes because of his duties in Ottawa," said Kim. "My late father and I have both admired the professor and studied his advice for many years and I felt there were still some things I could learn from him." However, Kim said, "I am looking forward to meeting and taking classes with other signatories of the Firewall Manifesto. As you know, it has been necessary from time to time to remind the American and Japanese imperialists of the DPRK's own Firewall Doctrine, under which a Wall of Fire can be called down upon them at any time if they do not respect the territorial integrity of the DPRK. We were always encouraged by the existence of people who thought like us in the Canadian West." Kim said he also hopes to make a "Gangnam Style" video with Justin Trudeau before returning to the Korean Peninsula in 2015. "Justin has enough star power to put a small satellite into orbit, although only for peaceful purposes!"
October: Raj Sherman quits, Darshan Kang to take over as Liberalberta leader
Liberalberta Leader Raj Sherman takes Albertans by surprise when he announces he will soon be stepping down as leader of the Liberalberta Party. "I've already achieved what I came here to do," Sherman told an extremely small group of supporters. "You'll know what I'm talking about very soon," Sherman added mysteriously. Darshan Kang, the only remaining member of the Liberalberta Caucus, will become interim leader until a joint leadership convention is held with the Alberta Party in the spring of 2014. The Liberlbertans will publish advertisements in all Alberta community newspapers asking any Alberta Party members to come forward and identify themselves.
November: President Obama says cold fusion is product of 'new Manhattan Project'
U.S. President Barack Obama announces in Washington that the work of a top-secret "new Manhattan Project" has resulted in the creation of a cold fusion reactor that will solve the world's energy problems forever and end the threat of global warming using only water and peanut butter. Oil prices plunge to below $5 a barrel for sweet Saudi Arabian crude. Former PC leadership candidate Gary Mar is reported to have returned from Hong Kong to Calgary, where he is raising funds for another run at the Progressive Conservative Party leadership, should Premier Alison Redford decide to step down. "We all know that Alberta has a great future as a top producer of world-class beef and barley, and as the No. 1 holiday destination for Americans thanks to the steep decline in the value of the Loonie," Mar said. Redford, who was reported to have been admitted for a period of rest at the Ralph Klein General Hospital on Third Way Trail in south Calgary, was not available for comment.
December: Raj Sherman awarded Nobel Prizes in Medicine, Economics
The Nobel Prize Committee in Stockholm, Sweden, announces that former Albertalberal Leader Raj Sherman had been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Medicine. The Emergency Room physician and former politician will receive the prize for having come up with all the answers to the problems faced by Alberta Health Services in just 18 months, then offering them to Mankind, the committee said. He will be honoured at a dinner of fermented herring and köttbullar (Swedish meatballs) in Stockholm later this month. The committee also awarded Sherman the Nobel Prize for Economics, for the same reasons. Sherman is the first winner of two Nobel Prizes in a single year. Sherman will take up a teaching post at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, where he said he has really good contacts. "See," he told reporters who met him at Arlanda Airport near the Swedish capital, "I really was the smartest man in Alberta!"
This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, Alberta Diary.
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