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Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 10:14 MDT

Ralph Klein gone - almost.

Alberta PoliticsWell today was Ralph Klein's last day in the legislature. Some thoughts about this event. First was a comment he made on the radio about how his government didn't have a plan for the boom economy. Second is how bad things could get with his replacement.

During his final interview upon leaving the legislature, Ralph admitted that once the deficit and debt were eliminated and the boom began his government had no plan. No kidding, we hadn't noticed. It means that what everyone has said, including conservative pundits, is true: that the Alberta Tories have been on autopilot since the killing of the debt. They had no plan for if a boom were to start, when it started they had no idea what to do about it and it would appear that they still don't. It would seem that the Tories under Klein haven't served Albertans at all.

So basically, for the past six or so years, the Tories have simply been marking time. Of course they've made live very good for their corporate friends, and their non-corporate friends through various patronage appointments and contracts. Tax breaks for the rich and corporations while the poor struggle to find even a place to live. The disabled and the homeless openly mocked by the premier. A fine legacy.

The problem is, Klein was the moderate in his government. Many of the Tories in the race to replace him are much more extreme conservatives, both neo and theo. It's likely that the Alberta government will get much, much worse than what we have now. This is especially true if Ted Morton or Victor Doerksen take the helm. The extreme shift to the right would cause undue hardship for minorities and people who are not close personal friends with the Progressive Conservative Party and its government.

The one thing that could save Alberta is that none of the current leadership candidates is capable of holding the PC's together. Doerkson and Morton are very to far right for the moderate members of the party to stay happy for long. Jim Dinning is seen as too much a corporate man to make it in the rural areas of the province. Most of the rest of the candidates for the office don't stand much of a chance, though anything could happen. It remains to be seen what will happen in the fall. Hopefully it will cause the disintegration of the Tories and someone else will get the chance to run the province.

***Edit 01 Sep 2006 - Here's an article where Raphie says they had no plan.

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