When Ralph Klein stepped down as Premier of Alberta and leader of the Conservative Party of Alberta, I thought to myself “Thank god, that drunken asshole of a leader is finally gone.” Two years later I find myself thinking “Wow at least under Klein things were fun."
It’s difficult to admit that Klein is a better leader then Stemach. I mean, looking back on his history the honorable Klein had these gems under his belt.
-Barging into an Edmonton Homeless shelter, then telling homeless man, Mark Shea, to “get a job” while throwing money at him. It turned out Shea had a job, but was unable to afford a home in the Edmonton Area.
-Throwing a book at legislative paige Jennifer Huygen while yelling the immoral phrase “I don’t need this crap”. This incident becomes 100 times worse when people meet Huygen and realize that she is possibly the nicest person on the planet.
-Showing off a paper from a communications class in the legislature and bragged about the grade he received. Later people found out that Klein copied and pasted important sections of the paper from various sources. Since then Albertan students have had to deal with stricter anti-plagiarism laws.
Any one of these incidents would have ended most political careers, so it’s not surprising that Premier Stelmach acts as if Albertans will continue to vote for the Conservative Party till the end of time. However, Stelmach doesn’t seem to understand this simple truth about Albertans – they are a pragmatic people.
So long as his the books were balanced, cash continued to flow, jobs were created— Albertan’s would continue to support the Conservative Party. Klein could have sacrificed Jennifer Huygen to Satan on national television, then throw Mark Shea into a tailings pond and so long as he doled out another “Prosperity Bonus Check” he would have gained another majority government.
The thing when King Ralph began to indicate certain controversial political views such as private healthcare or banning gay marriage – he would eventually back down. He understood that while Albertans would support him on the managing of the economy, if he ever acted on his right wing rhetoric, he’d find a revolution on his hands.
Ed Stelmach doesn’t seem to understand this fact. Since he has taken the reigns he’s managed to redo the royalty system in such a way that he’s managed to anger corporations that felt the increase was unfair AND people that wanted an increase in royalty rates in the first place. Instead of convincing Albertans that nuclear power is safe and emphasizing the economic benefits of it, it feels like the government is ramming it down Albertans' throats. And then there is Bill 44, a bill that is an embarrassment to the Albertan Education system.
The recently passed Bill makes it possible for parents to withdraw their children from classes if a “controversial subject” is brought up— sending fears down everyone’s spine that it will be used to allow parents to pull their children out of class when subjects like evolution, homosexuality, and others are brought up with the justification of protection “human rights”.
Environmentalists, The Teachers' Union, Gay Rights Activists, Athiests, The Oil Industry, all are amazingly being systematically infuriated by the Stelmach Government. And while an election is still years away, legislation like Bill 44 will only serve to rally people against their government.