The "old boys club" is still alive and kicking.
Continuity with the old boys is most obvious in the recent entitlements the unchanged regime has imposed on us, the milliondollar-plus handshakes given to former premier Ed Stelmach and Speaker Ken Kowalski. Nor should we forget Gary Mar's transition from one trough in Washington, D.C., to another in Hong Kong. This is how the entitled old boys take care of themselves. When confronted with similar porcine problems in April 1993, former premier Ralph Klein showed leadership, changed the terms of the gold-plated pension plan and won the next election against all expectations.Looks like nothing has changed. It's the same old, same old.
In contrast, Tory party president Bill Smith has refused to say how much money Redford is getting in her top-up payment.
When Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald asked about it in question period, Kowalski shut him down. In fact, we don't really know what the leader's expense reimbursement and benefit plan trust, a version of which began in Peter Lougheed's time, is used for. Party-related work, we're told. Does it include a new wardrobe? A haircut? A BMW? A trip to Maui? Nobody knows.
Redford initially indicated how change would be operationalized when she planned to cancel the fall sitting of the legislature. After considerable public outrage, she changed her mind. It was, however, a revealing display of her default position.
On health-care mismanagement, in July, Redford called for a judicial inquiry to uncover "the truth and put a stop to practices that go against my personal and political values." Many people understood her to mean queue-jumping orchestrated by bureaucrats and politicians to get their friends and family to the head of the line. But she changed her mind and called on the Health Quality Council, which reports to the government, to look at the problem - just what her predecessor had planned.
Then she made a cosmetic change that further obscured an already muddy issue. A judge would head the Health Quality Council investigation of queue-jumping, but not until sometime next year, when they finish an investigation of doctor intimidation. Thus, the big scandal - if there is one - will not be exposed until after the spring election.
And then came Bill 26, the new impaired driving law. The Herald called management of the bill "hamhanded." True enough, but why didn't the Tories consult with anyone beforehand or reconsider the consequences afterward? As with her initial decision to cancel the legislative session, Bill 26 exposed another default position: whenever possible, reinforce the nanny state.
Uncharacteristically for the PC's, Premier Mom has put out a TV ad. to counter the Wildrose ad. The election hasn't even officially started yet. Go watch both. at Hatrock's Cave.
I agree with Hatrock, I too think the PC's are nervous. I think the PC's know Wildrose could easily end their 40 year reign. More and more PC MLA's everyday are stepping down and not running again in the next election. What does that tell you? Maybe they want to get out while the getting is good instead of going down to a devastating defeat.
It's clear after promising change Alison hasn't changed a thing. You want real change? Change the government. I sense Albertans are ready for that, I feel it in the air. Time to get rid of the "old boy's club" party.