It’s getting to be a little bit repetitive. Kind of like a déjà vu for the masses.
Alberta’s Energy guru Mel Knight made yet another Energy sector-friendly ‘incentive’ announcement today, bringing the number of similar updates/boosts/don’t-admit-we-screwed-up-…royally announcements to at least three.
Do you hear the sound of kissing lips every time Knight holds a presser, or is it just me?
The overwhelming tidal wave of indifference by the general public is a signal that the provincial government seems more than willing to ignore.
Even the most liaise-faire political watcher knew that the Stelmach Royalty plan was a severally bad decision, and countless warning signs littered the P.C. road to implementation.
Energy companies warned Ed. Construction companies warned Ed. Economists, even some left of center number crunchers, warned Ed. Still, Ed stood his ground and put his plan in motion.
And he did it right when the boom was quickly becoming a bust, right when Alberta’s economy – after riding several years of unmatched heights that resulted in, among other things, increased provincial power on the federal scene, an astounding number of people from around the world flocking to Alberta, Calgary becoming Canada’s new business center, etc. – was nailed by the global economic meltdown.
Timing is everything in politics, and if there’s one thing Premier Eddie has shown it’s bad timing.
This latest transparent attempt at turning an obvious admission of a mistake into a positive P.R. spin for the P.C.’s smacks of disdain for Albertans. This tactic may work elsewhere, but the people of Alberta expect their leaders to admit errors. We respect it, in fact.
Infinite examples from the Ralph Klein era need not even be mentioned.
The bigger issue is that the Stelmach government, sitting with an exorbitant amount of seats due to low voter turnout caused by voter apathy and an uninspiring opposition, have split into two distinct groups:
Members who routinely make bad PR blunders, horrible policy ideas, or have just overstayed their welcome. This group includes, but is certainly not limited to, Iris Evans, provincial Health Minister Ron Liepert (Worst. MLA. Ever.), Premier Ed, Diamond Dave Hancock, and the aforementioned Mr. Knight.
The other group consists of those who are basically invisible. They are so boring/backroom/asleep that you have to be reminded who they are. And a good afternoon to you, Ted Morton! Aloha, Lindsay Blackett!
Meanwhile, rumblings that a surprising number of bigwigs from energy world are throwing their support, vocal and financial, to the upstart provincial pro-small government Wildrose Alliance Party.
With the process of policy creation now out of the way and full attention being paid to the current leadership race, the WAP is grabbing attention – and credibility – from many longtime Progressive Conservative supporters, including many of those whose careers are in the provincial energy industry.
Again, a clear warning sign for Stelmach. Again, unSteady Eddie seems intent on slapping another coat of Cherry Red on the pigs kisser.