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Monday, April 03, 2006

in defence of ralph klein.

After receiving a majority mandate from party delegates at this past weekend’s Alberta PC convention in Calgary, Ralph Klein now has the mandate to stay and complete his two-year retirement schedule.

Though 55.4% may not be a strong mandate in some political circles, surely it can't apply to Alberta’s very own oil Sheik.

As someone who has earned his political capital one bottle of Baby Duck at a time at the St. Louis Hotel to bringing his party back from the grasp of Death’s cold claws, Klein now has a clear mandate from a majority of party members to stay and complete the mandate he earned in November of 2004.

What could those 45.6% of delegates been thinking they showed up on Friday night to vote against their glorious leader? Were they mesmerized by the siren calls of leadership beauties Jim Dinning, Lyle Oberg, and Ted Morton? Or was Preston Manning gracefully swooning delegates behind the scenes?

After 14 years of governing Canada's oil province with an iron fist and a sealed wallet, the least Klein could give Albertans is an entertaining 2-year touchdown period.

23 comments:

Allie said...

After some thought I have come to realize that 500 some people should not have the right to decide the electoral fate of the PC Party for every other Albertan, or member of the party for that matter. 500 people can not be a fair representation of the true nature or feelings of the grassroots of the PC party.

I am still not sure where that leaves us, but (truly) in defence of Ralph Klein - if he decides to stay I will back him.

Anonymous said...

Allie:
Are you suggesting that the leadership review vote was undemocratic? How about not allowing opposition MLA's on committees, over inflating FOIPP costs, appointing your friend as the ethics commissioner, not placing restrictions on election spending, and sending your friend to work in Washington DC for big coin.

KL

Allie said...

I'm not suggesting it was undemocratic... just not representative of the feelings of the entire party, which is alot more than 1800 people attending a convention, making it entirely probable that they results of the delegate only vote are not reflective of the feelings of an entire party.

Jim said...

Are you suggesting that the convention was flooded with shadowy operatives?

daveberta said...

But isn't that the point of electing "delegates" - members of constituency associations are "delegating" responsibility to representatives.

Because it was a secret ballot, It was the responsibility of the elected delegates to make the decision on how they were ultimatly going to vote.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Klein should open an inquery into the vote! I hear Gomery isn't too busy these days.

Anonymous said...

"sending your friend to work in Washington DC for big coin"

Maybe if I joined the PC Party, I could get a posh Albertan tax-paid job in Washington DC. Maybe London?

I think I'd have to be a political donor or one of the Premier's drinking buddies though. Damn.

What does Alberta's ambassador to DC do anyway? Do we really need to pay someone to convince the Americans to take our oil? yeah, a drunk monkey could do that.

Anonymous said...

KL, I'll grant you most of your points but not the buddy to Washington for big bucks.

Murray Smith is earning big bucks, true. He is Ralph's buddy, true.

But if you'vd been watching, and really, who hasn't (?), Murray is doing a dang fine job. This from someone who never thought he would say such a thing! He's already tuned in enough U.S. investment to pay his salary a couple of thousand times over.

Cheers,

AB/ba

WillBlog said...

Delegates aren't elected, they are chosen by riding Presidents.

I get where Allie is coming from, but I disagree. We are the people who show up year after year to Conventions (this was my tenth) - from policy to AGM's and back again - it is we who serve on riding associations and work in campaign offices.

The grassroots approved the party's Constitution, and with it, both the delegate selection process (which is undemocratic) and the mechanics of a leadership review.

The vote was democratic, and represented the will of the membership as setup by the grassroots through the Constitution. If people are now unhappy with the result, then more care should have been taken to either a) craft a Constitution that is more in-line with their views on democracy, or b) more delegates should have taken the opportunity to come to Calgary and cast a ballot on the future of the party.

Democracy is there when we want it and when we don't want it - Klein and the Ministers were fine with the result when it was 90+ in the past, and now they must accept the judgement of the membership when the approval rating is 55.

daveberta said...

" Delegates aren't elected, they are chosen by riding Presidents."

Really? I didn't know that. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"But if you'vd been watching, and really, who hasn't (?), Murray is doing a dang fine job. This from someone who never thought he would say such a thing! He's already tuned in enough U.S. investment to pay his salary a couple of thousand times over."

Yes, because CLEARLY, American energy companies would have completely ignored Alberta's energy resources had we not sent Murray Smith to Washington! Praise the Lord we sent Murray with a big paycheck to Washington! Let's all praise Murray for the good job he's doing! Cocktail parties galore! He's the saviour of Alberta! Why isn't he running for Premier?!!?

Gauntlet said...

Here's a question for Willblog.

If the grassroots have all this control over the constitution, and there are significant sections of the constitution that are undemocratic, are the grassroots of the party just unconcerned with the principles of democracy? Or what?

WillBlog said...

Gauntlet,

Some of us have aired our concerns regarding the status of the Constitution for some time. However, most party members aren't at all interested in the Constitution, and when things are happy and good, the Constitution's structure is relatively unimportant.

The point I was making was that you cannot claim the outcome of the vote is non-representative when it follows the principles laid out by the Constitution, but that perhaps our party has been negligent in ensuring the Constitution is as democratic as it should be.

Jim said...

Democracy is there when we want it and when we don't want it - Klein and the Ministers were fine with the result when it was 90+ in the past, and now they must accept the judgement of the membership when the approval rating is 55.

A damn fine point, William. As Graham Thompson said in the Journal today, this is like a bully being beat up for the first time and then suddenly complaining about schoolyard violence.

Anonymous said...

Allie:
Are you alleging an improper vote? Let's have an inquiry headed by former MP and leader of the honesty and ethics club Germant Grewal.
Willblog:
I am a past provincial constituency president, and current federal riding president. I do not appoint delegates. They are elected in my party by my grassroots Liberal Party members. If you dont like how your party does things, perhaps you should remove your head from the tarsands so to speak.

KL

Allie said...

Liberals have conventions and Constituency Associations?

I didn't know that!

Anonymous said...

"Liberals have conventions and Constituency Associations?

I didn't know that!
"

I thought the Tories would have started to notice after their whipping in 2004, but I guess 34 years in government has slowed the Tories down.

WillBlog said...

Well, anonymous, you seem particularly proud something - although considering you lost your only federal seat in the last federal election, and your vote total for the province only increased by 5,000 in the last provincial election (despite present anger towards the PC's for the election call) I wouldn't boast to loudly about the superiority of your parties.

Anonymous said...

Who said I voted for the Federal Liberals?

I voted Conservative in the Federal election and Liberal in the Provincial election to send a message to two arrogant, old, and corrupt governments.

Jim said...

I think people are getting you mixed up with KL, who has chaired both federal and provinicial Liberal consituency associations.

I, too, am a provincial Liberal who didn't vote for the Federal Liberals because I'm sick of their stench. No double standards here.

daveberta said...

I didn't vote for the Federal Liberals either.

Jim said...

*high five*?

Anonymous said...

Score one for Rod Love, Hal Danchilla and Alan Hallman for knifing the guy who made them who they are....and whom who are they supporting....Paul Dinning, Jim Martin...no Jim Dinning that is it.