Politician in the Badlands

That Ralph Klein, eh? What a jerk.

Mind you, it’s sort of sad to see Ralph outclassed by an MP from the fourth largest party in the federal parliament. Ed Broadbent makes one joke about Ralph’s early exit from the health care talks, and the best response Ralph can come up with is “How much attention can you pay to a socialist…especially when he comes into town to support a person like Brian Mason?” Ooooo! Ralph seems to have forgotten that, when criticism from a minor party in the federal quarter comes your way, your best choices are to:

A. Not respond.

B. Respond, but in a civil manner.

Why doesn’t Ralph know enough to simply say, “Mr. Broadbent is entitled to his opinions, but he is speaking for himself, not for the other premiers, and certainly not for Albertans”? Why launch into a monologue that savages all democratic socialists as human beings instead of just criticizing their policies? Why does he make himself sound like a boor who, outside of the Albertan Legislature, would be casually ignored as the neighbourhood crank?

I seem to recall that Mr. Klein used to deal with politics better than this. And he has been premier since 1993, has he not? I suggest to you that Mr. Klein has become a dinosaur. The zest of his youth has departed, and he’s slouching towards the next election. He’s run out of policies, run out of ideas, and is running primarily out of habit. However popular the Conservatives of Alberta might be, they’re running with a leader who is getting increasingly arrogant and complacent.

And the Albertan Conservatives are nearing the awkward age the Social Credit dynasty was when the Conservatives toppled them under the vibrant and energetic Peter Lougheed.

I wonder if one looked back at the final years of Social Credit in Alberta, and checked out their leader, would they find someone as tired and out-of-touch as Ralph Klein?

Link courtesy Sinister Thoughts.

Speakership Goes to a Liberal

I was dead wrong, as it turns out, in my prediction that independent MP Chuck Cadman would be the next Speaker in the House of Commons. He isn’t running. No opposition member is, and so the seven remaining candidates are all Liberal.

This is one more annoyance to the Liberal government, as having the Speaker’s chair in their hands means they have one fewer MPs to vote in support of their minority, although it was noted that frontrunner Peter Milliken might be Paul Martin’s first choice in any event. Peter’s long experience in the chair might prove vital in negotiating the procedural complications of the first minority parliament in 25 years.

Or, it could mean that we’ll be going to the polls before the year is out.

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