The new Premier is shaking his head. He has to be asking himself why it is his every move is under such critical scrutiny, even by longstanding Tory cheerleaders. Ralph could blow up hospitals, preside over the deterioration of health care, refuse to build schools or upgrade roads, let our universities become over-crowded, play endless games respecting private medicine, fight with the homeless at Christmas, belittle people on AISH, reduce welfare payments, boorishly abandon a Premier's Health Care Conference and head to a Casino, yada, yada, yada, and the Tory media pals would soft peddle it all or in some cases refuse to print it at all, and people would forget about it, and Ralph remained King Ralph, the teflon Premier.
No such luxury for Ed though. Whether it be his fund-raising (the $5000 intimacy sessions with would be P3 profiteers), his refusal to disclose the donors of $160,000 to his campaign, his neanderthal vision on the development of the oilsands, his chintzy offer of $400,000,000 to relieve some of the oilsands development pressures in the Municipality of Wood Buffalo, his letting of a P3 contract to build a Calgary ring-road and his promise to allow more, the shortfall of funding for the new hospital in south Calgary, the continued deterioration of health care and Calgary growing pains, yada, yada, yada, and he is being lambasted by everyone including the editorial pages of the big daily newspapers - - the Sun organizations, the Herald and the Edmonton Journal. And if he is not getting it in the ear from the editorial pages or columnists, he's getting it with lurid headlines implying Provincial Government culpability for a host of problems affecting the body politic.
He must be thinking that its all so unfair. Why him, the new kid on the block? What about a honeymoon? Why didn't they treat Ralph the same way?
As Ralph and his pals used to say, "Ah, but that was then and this is now." Then, it had not registered in the minds of the media, or much of the citizenry that there was a major deterioration of services going on. There were enough Albertans saying, "I'm all right, Jack. What's your problem?" But little by little the problems and issues either caused by the Government or not dealt with by the Government begin to affect more people - a neighbor here, an aunt there, a child here, and a fellow-worker there. The process goes on until there is a breaking point. That is now.
In Alberta, that breaking point has been reached. Even the best friends of the Government acknowledge that it has not dealt with a host of problems and should be punished. And it so happens that this comes in the early days of Eddie's watch. In politics as in everything else in life, timing may not be everything, but it sure as hell is important. Eddie's timing is not too good. Not only may his days as Premier be numbered. They may not be happy ones either.