Today I want to talk about Alberta soon-to-be ex-Premier Ralph Klein.
As you have no doubt heard by now he only received 55% approval at the Alberta PC policy convention, a shockingly bad performance. I know Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams has talked about the ingratitude of these people in the Alberta PC party and all that, and he's right. Ralph Klein has led his province through some really good times. To turn against him is treachery in anyone's book.
Nevertheless, he has to go now. 55% is just a terrible showing, and too many people want the leadership race to start already. Ralph clearly looks like a leader adrift these days. He's gone after Oberg for organizing against him and has even thrown stuff at pages in the legislature! This guy has been a loose cannon on the health care file as well, with his rants about private health care embarrassing the Prime Minister.
He's just an embarrassment. Which is too bad, because for a long time he was a great premier for Alberta. The economy is great, the debt is gone, and life there is good. But it's time to Klein to go. His party slipped back in the last provincial election and the public is turning against him. Clearly it's time for renewal, so that the PCs don't get hurled out of office completely and get replaced by--- whomever.
The usual names like Jim Dinning, Lyle Oberg, Ted Morton etc. have been bandied about but the big news of the weekend was the rumor that Preston Manning might run for the leadership. Manning basically is looking for the party people to beg him to run. It's odd because Manning doesn't really have much of a history with the Alberta PCs- his father, Premier Ernest Manning, was a Social Crediter, and so was he! It would really be bizarre to see Manning in the race, but then again, look at all those ex-PCs running for the Liberal leadership. These are strange times in Canadian politics.
What would be strangest of all would be to see Klein attempt to stay on. His staff loyalists are absolutely pressing him to stay on, according to the National Post. It's easy to see why; they want to save their jobs! The Alberta PCs are in disarray right now; they look like they are in worse shape than the federal Liberals! Klein needs to call a convention now and get it over with, so that the party won't tear itself apart.