Friday, September 22, 2006

Goodbye Ralphy-boy!

What will I remember about Ralph Klein?

Folksy charm

  • He's got an "aw shucks" about him and we forgave him and forgave him because of it.
  • He would apologize for some of his acts and his outright honesty when he said his government didn't have a plan regarding the rapid economic growth and that the opposition was right, kind of silenced the opposition didn't it?
  • A fat smoker and drinker
  • He tried to sound smart, but couldn't pull it off. "Alluding to ... alluding to ... ". "What you have here...".
  • Appeared aloof or drunk when giving a gift to former President George Bush Sr. at a $1000/plate dinner back in '95. "Mist...mister Pres ... President...."
  • Drunk and out of his limo, he threw change at people at a homeless shelter
  • Appeared to have thrown a book at a page during a legislative session
  • A friend of mine who was bartending an event spoke with Ralph at the bar, where he was drinking non-alcoholic beer. My friend said he looked depressed.
Total lack of political loyalty
  • Basically encouraged Stockwell Day to run federally, which was smart on Ralph's part
  • Never outright supported the Canadian Alliance, whose supporters also voted for Ralph
  • During the 2004 federal election campaign, spouted stuff about private health care, which gave fodder to the Liberals and likely cost the Conservatives some seats
  • He used to be a Liberal.
  • I think it was a monthly thing, but his continued "bash Ottawa" diatribes, including unfounded separation threats had many Albertans roar in agreement
  • Continually called the NDP and some Liberals "socialists" and "left-wing nuts"
  • Took his time stepping down
  • No deficit
  • No debt -- although our current infrastructure is far behind the times
  • Lowered personal and business tax cuts - flat tax
  • Health care reforms
  • Allowed Senate elections to take place


  • Infrastructure debt
  • Education cuts
  • Tuition hikes
  • Randsacking the Heritage Savings Trust Fund
  • Lack of democracy - few sessions of the legislature
  • Environmental record
  • Health care premiums still around despite overflowing coffers
  • No vision for growth

Some say a monkey could have done just as good of a job as Ralphy managing the province with the oil and gas revenues piling in. That might be true, but you wouldn't get that folksy indignancy would you?

However, I stopped supporting Ralph many years ago due to that indignancy. Although last election I was helping a friend with her PC campaign, after attending the kick-off rally and catching myself chant "Ralph! Ralph! Ralph!", after Ralph spoke, I realized that this guy has no idea what he's doing anymore and I didn't vote PC.

Ralph was one of those politicians that will be remembered for a long time. Like Trudeau, he was either hated or loved, ne'er both at the same time.

A legacy has ended. King Ralph has left the building.

Goodbye Ralph, and good luck.

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