Nov 5, 2012

Canada Albertans missed their chance for a citizen-ownership democracy

Alberta party plans to share wealth if elected
Alberta's Wildrose party is promising free oil money for all if it wins the election on April 23.(2012)

Leader Danielle Smith announced Monday a Wildrose government would pay directly to citizens 20 per cent of all future budget surpluses generated by oil and natural gas revenues.

"We all own the resources and we all deserve to have a share in that wealth," Smith said at a campaign stop."
However, the promised amount is not significant.
"Smith said if that happens, her team would cut a $300 cheque to every man, woman, and child."
The Widlrose Party won 34% of the votes in Alberta's election in 2012. It has 17 out of the 87 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

What the Wildrose Party should really consider is the amount of wealth distribution. $300 per resident is way too small, compared to Alberta's common wealth. Alaska is distributing citizen-ownership incomes of $1000 to $2000 annually, even though only a small fraction of their oil revenue goes into their special citizen income fund. Even Singapore, traditionally regarded as not a natural resource rich country, has enough common wealth to distribute $9,000 annually to every citizen.

The Wildrose Party needs to be more forceful. Don't think of sharing just the leftovers, i.e., the budget surplus. Think of sharing the common wealth revenues.

If the Wildrose Party can come up with more realistic numbers, there is hope for Alberta to become a citizen-ownership democracy where citizens/residents share equally in the state's common wealth.

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