Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Money can't buy happiness

Today’s Calgary Sun comes out with gun's blazing. In advance of the provincial budget, columnist Licia Corbella rails on the current administration. My personal favourite is Corbella's clincher. "This Tory government (Alberta) has lost its way. It has no philosophy. It stands for nothing and falls for everything. As today's budget is sure to show, it has become a rudderless tax-and-spend government in the pocket of big business much like the federal Liberals. It needs a realignment."

With friends like these, who needs enemies. It seems people, after over twenty years in public life, just can't get a true read on Ralph Klein. Is he a dyed-in-the-wool Conservative? Or is he a Liberal? Or is he just a plain populist?

Albertan's loved Ralph because he was plain talking and not an idealogue. He pursued policies, after moving into surplus, that were, for the most part, poll friendly. Occasionally, he rattled Ottawa's chain and often evoked the ghost of the NEP. In recent times, however, he seems to have lost the golden touch.

He has joked that MacKenzie King was a pervert (not true, it was actually Conservative Sir John Thompson), been on the wrong side of the smoking debate (numerous times he has had foot in mouth disease) and been accused of using the government plane as his own private limo.

It is the last point that the Premier has taken a lot of heat on. Klein has made it quite clear that he needs to fly, almost exclusively on government aircraft, because a) they won't let him smoke on commercial flights and he likes to smoke and b) they make him wait in lines at commercial airports and he doesn't like to wait in lines when his time could be better spent serving Albertans.

Henry and Martha do not approve.

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