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Thursday, October 01, 2009

king ralph aims a shot across stelmach's bow.

My review of Rich Vivone's new book about former Premier Ralph Klein, Ralph Could Have Been A Superstar is in this week's edition of SEE Magazine.

The release of Vivone's book is perfectly timed. As provincial surpluses have turned to deficits and we are seeing some of the repercussions of negligent governance, the former Premier has once again poked his head into the political world. In what some may suspect is a coordinated assault on the current leadership of the PC Party, Klein wrote in an email to the media this week that:

"I would advise he [Stelmach] step down if he doesn't reach 70%. [in the November PC leadership review]"
Any Premier would have a hard time facing the internal party dissent that would come from a less than 70% approval rating, but this advice would be odd if it weren't coming from Klein. Traditionally, former Premier's step behind the scenes. You rarely heard a peep from Don Getty and only more recently Peter Lougheed has began to offer a kind of statesmanly advice to Albertans on the future of their natural resources.

After being unceremoniously dumped in a leadership review after 25 years in politics as Mayor of Calgary, Cabinet Minister, and Premier, I would imagine that it has probably been a difficult transition for Ralph Klein to no longer be the focus of the spotlight.

He could have been a superstar...

8 comments:

Alberta Altruist said...

I am sure to be crusified for this, but compared to the Brainiac we currently have he was a superstar. The big difference was Ralph had timing on his side. At least at the end of the day off the wall Kleinesque comments could make you laugh

Larry Johnsrude said...

Hi Dave,
I just read your exchange with Vavone. He makes a statement I've always found so frustratingly simplistic: The Liberals (or whatver opposition party) need to find a strong leader. I think it's the other way around. Alberta needs a strong leader looking for a party. The Conservatives didn't seek out Peter Lougheed. He took over the moribund Conservatives and rebuilt them in his own image. Likewise, Aberhart invented the Socreds. The trouble today is if there is a leader-in-waiting out there, he or she isn't coming forward. Maybe they're too comfortable with the status quo, or not uncomfortable enough. Maybe they're afraid of the huge Tory machine that can punish and bury anyone that opposes it. None of the mice wants to bell the cat. Change will come only through a popular movement, not through a small, weak and demoralized opposition party.

Lorne said...

Larry, Well said, I could not agree with you more.

Brian Dell said...

The person or persons with vision could understand that they themselves may not be suited to be leader. But they go out and draft the person who fits the bill. A leader without a movement is just an ambition.

Anonymous said...

There was nothing unceremonius about Klein's ouster. In fact, it was about as ceremonious at you could get.

Anonymous said...

Under Ed's bow, or below his belt?

Anonymous said...

The wildrose alliance is a joke

Franz said...

Why, or why, would SEE ask Daveberta to review this book? Dave did an acceptable job, but can't this city not find a slightly more impartial person to write this? I guess I should stop getting all my political news from SEE and Vue, it presents an interesting scope of the world (ah, Ricardo, is there any issue in which you don't have a pre-written article condemning the province?)

It's interesting that Vivone condemns Albertans for being overly focused on one person (ie Klein) when the same this is taking place again in which everyone is focused on Stelmach's personal affinity to the city of Calgary. Well, you win some, you lose some I guess.