Wednesday, September 30, 2009

STELMACH'S OPPONENTS SHARPENING THEIR BLADES



On Saturday September 19 I posted a tantalizing bit of gossip that Ralph Klein’s old comrades-in-arms, bankrolled by a well-known, publicity seeking, oil patch gazillionaire, were scheming to drive Premier Ed Stelmach out of the Tory leadership and out of office. The story goes that the Klein cabal is set to replace the hapless Stelmach beginning as early November 6th and 7th at the Tory Convention in Red Deer when it would engineer a negative vote against him in the mandatory leadership review. The plotters believe the vote results would leave Stelmach with no option but to resign, after which he would be replaced at an early date by the darling of Calgary’s oily Tory set, Jim Dinning.
See: Saturday, September 19, 2009
STELMACH HEADING FOR THE LAST ROUND-UP? KLEIN'S BARBARIANS AT THE GATE? YOU CAN SAY YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!

Yesterday, Ralph himself seemed to publicly confirm at least part of the story. In a brief Email exchange with Canadian Press about what Stelmach should do in response to the results of his leadership review Ralph said, “I would advise he step down if he does not reach 70%.”

Klein's bold Email message follows closely upon the heels of a recent Email sent by one of his long-time inner sanctum, back splappin’, good ol’ boy pals, Hal Walker. Walker, a prominent businessman and former President of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, sent his message to 200 party members and business leaders complaining bitterly about the new royalty regime and that nobody in the Stelmach government was listening to the gripes.
See: http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jOVge4x6xHnntGNQZOVZihz6R1uQ
Calgary Tories are not happy these days. They are all smarting over their third place finish in the by-election in Calgary Glenmore. They are worried sick over the rise in popularity of the Wildrose Alliance Party and see many of their former members embrace the new neocon movement. They remain angry at the bumpkin Stelmach for stealing the Tory leadership from their classy urbanite Jim Dinning. Of course, they blame Stelmach for all of their political woes and did not even allow him to campaign for the Tory candidate in the Glenmore by-election. More importantly, the oil patch, feeling the pain of sharply reduced oil prices and feeble gas prices, is up in arms at the government over the royalty policy. And everybody – Tories included – blames the government for shaky and costly health care and the mounting deficit. Add to that toxic brew the fact that the old Klein operatives are seething about being long ignored and neglected by the new regime, and you have an Alberta Tory party that is ready to explode.

My guess is that there is more than a good deal of truth to the rumour of a coup d’etat against Stelmach. I also foresee a disappointing leadership review vote for him particularly coming out of Calgary and Southern Alberta. If he is forced to pack it in – and I predict that this will happen – it will set the stage for another Tory leadership brawl. I can foresee Stelmach’s Northern Alberta and rural support being very antagonistic to any Calgary-based insurrection. I also foresee Stelmach’s ethnic voting base in Edmonton and Northern Alberta getting mad as hell at the knifing of one of theirs by a bunch of rich anglos from Calgary. In these circumstances whoever replaces the Premier is not going to have an easy time of it.

It is easy to sympathize with Stelmach as he faces his sad plight. Because of bone headed fiscal policies of his predecessor Ralph Klein – the man who just stuck the knife squarely between the Premier’s shoulderblades – Stelmach was forced to increase spending by billions of dollars on neglected infrastructure and declining services. Then he’s hit by an economic downturn that drives his province into a whopping deficit. Hell, he hadn’t even begun to start solving the huge problems left on his desk courtesy of Ralph Klein. Surely, one could – and probably should – blame Ralph Klein for the current mess we are in.

But wait a minute. Not so fast. Let’s think about this. Or preferably, read this:
Saturday, January 27, 2007
FAST EDDIE: RALPH'S BIG STICK

That brings us all back to earth, doesn’t it? Alas, there should be no tears when Special Ed throws in the towel.

3 comments:

michael.queenan@gmail.com said...

Daryl
poor Ed is beween a crock and a hard place.
With klein and his goniffs hot on his heels.

Your visit to a Doctor does not depend on how sick you are but at what price the Nat Gas is at

The Tories are reality challenged and we should be pounding the pavement for a more progressive and stable Alberta.

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