bishop's falls to buchans

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Et Tu Brutus

CALGARY (CP) - In what could only be seen as a crushing blow, Premier Ralph Klein received just 55 per cent support early Saturday in his bid to retain the leadership of Alberta's Conservative party.

"(Albertans) didn't choose this party to govern so they could watch us bicker," said Klein. "They chose us to be honest, open, bold stewards of the province's future . . . The lustre of the shining star can only be darkened if the stewards they chose don't show leadership and vision and unity."

Unfortunately this is exactly what had happened to the PC Party. They had been bickering, exemplified by Oberg's move (now seen as prescient if not bold) to speak out and face the wrath. A political martyr by Alberta standards. Now it's obvious he was the one of few willing to put a face to the seething (ok, mildly peeved) horde gurgling under the surface. Ralph had been anything but honest, open & bold. Pandering to the masses with natural gas rebates & Ralph Bucks alienated the right wing core of his supporters. An unforgiveable sin, it seems obvious now, in this most right wing of provinces. Afraid to go down the path less travelled on health care he commited many false starts and feared implementing even the most common sense of the reforms that had been proffered over the years by Mazankowski et al.

Based on the result and what Tom Olsen of the Herald described as a mad rush to the exits after Ralph's mea culpa and plea for mercy it could be that the only people who voted for Ralph to stay were his immediate family, his staffers and his cabinet!!!

The bottom line for Ralph is that he has to go now, sooner rather than later; I'd pick late September '06 for the convention. The very sad part is that it did not have to be this way! He achieved much and it would have been nice to see him leave on his own terms the same as Peter Lougheed did.


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