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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

not without permission.

Two backbench PC MLAs have spoken to the media about the results of the Calgary-Glenmore by-election and their concerns about a hostile political environment in Calgary. Calgary-North Hill MLA Kyle Fawcett told the Calgary Herald that he believes Premier Ed Stelmach has:

"done very little, I believe, to instil confidence in at least people in Calgary that he has the leadership capabilities to lead this province.
This is quite the stunning change of opinion by Fawcett, who has developed a reputation as a Stelmach-evangelist on the floor of the Legislative Assembly. Here is an exert of Fawcett's speech in the Assembly on February 12, 2009:
Our Premier is a man of extraordinary vision, someone who fails to fall into the trap of regressive thinking during challenging times. He is a steady hand at the wheel of the ship in turbulent times. When others retreat, he has the optimism to search for the light at the end of the tunnel, the beacon of hope that all Albertans aspire to. He has the dogged determination to push forward to establish this province’s place in the new world paradigm when the negativity of others is enough to stop progress dead in its tracks.
It seems very likely that both MLAs were either asked to or given permission to speak to the media to counter accusations that backbenchers speaking against the Premier will be 'Boutilierd' and to temper any anti-Stelmach sentiment that clearly wasn't understood in a recent media release. I have been told that a similar tactic of external criticism only after internal permission was adopted by the Deep-Six, of which Premier Stelmach was a member.


Anonymous said...

Faucett likes to put his foot in his mouth. With the clusterfuck that is the "government caucus table" I'd be surprised if he cleared his comments ahead of time.

But if he didn't clear his comments, his political career is OVER.

Anonymous said...

This is an inside job.

Anonymous said...

So who fills Len Webber's position? Energy is quite an important portfolio.

Anonymous said...

Fawcett has the intellect of an undercooked turnip, and the only aptitude he's demonstrated to date has been the ability to be an unwavering sycophant. I think you illustrated that nicely with your Hansard excerpt, which is one of many. In that context, there is no way he would comment without permission. Inside job indeed.

Anonymous said...

If we accept the premise that this is a planned leak, what strategic objective is the premier's office and PAB trying to achieve?

I'm having hard time seeing how this "planned leak" advances any tangible objective effectively.

I understand that Ed needs to respond to the "Boutilierd'" perception but Kyle's other comments seem quite inflamatory in the context of the massive, unexpected by-election loss - permission or no permission.

"There's a reason why we have a semi-annual review within the party for leadership."

"Of course that will be a lot of the discussions leading up until the convention in early November in Red Deer."

Is correcting the perception that Ed kicks dissentors out of his caucus worth throwing fuel on the very criticisms leveled by the WRAP? That seems ill considered at best.

Anonymous said...

To some degree, this does make sense.

However, once again, it's clear that the tactic is yet again reactive and not part of a greater communications strategy.

Ron Glen and Ed Stelmach are both completely out of their element in their roles as Chief of Staff and Premier.

Ed better get some new advisors around him or the ship is only going to keep going one direction. (And that's provided it's not too late already.)

Brian Dell said...

Great post. Another example of why Dave Cournoyer is the best political blogger in Alberta.

Anonymous said...

If this was cleared and was cleared as stated, the people around the premier are idiots. The goal, presumably, is to enable some MLAs to speak out (or to appear to be speaking out) without actually damaging further the premier's reputation.

If the Premier and his chief of staff that are out of their depth (though if Glen had the kind of role in the Boutilier affair that's been reported, he clearly is), his communications people may be even worse. Being a sycophantic, partisan journalist doesn't qualify you to be a strategic advisor on political PR.

Jane Morgan said...

I think Kyle is getting frustrated. I hear one of his constituents is a real bitch.


Andrew said...

Not so fast Cournoyer! :-)

CBC: Tory MLA apologizes to Stelmach