A Hail Mary on the Opening Drive
Yesterday, when Premier Ed, already stumbling through his performance, is faced with the pitch down the middle of the plate he swings wildly, hauling out the tried-and-true monster, the go-to ghoul, the federal National Energy Program of 28 years ago and Ed links this NEP to past Tory cuts, failing to mention massive Tory buffoonery.
"I lived through the 22% interest rates and part of that was the Liberal government that dumped the NEP on this province," he says. Whatever.
The rest is a ramble but the Coles Notes version is change, real change, change, change, change, change, change, plan, plan, change, change, change, change, change, change.
Good God, 100 years from now, Albertans are going to be telling their children to eat their vegetables or the NEP will come and kill them in their sleep. Or, at the very least, the PCs will be troting it out to try and win them a 36th consecutive term.
Oh, and for my Ontario readers, tired of Alberta news and looking for something closer to home, here's some local news for you ;-)
UPDATE: Joel Kom, at the Herald site, puts it better than I could:
If you asked your kid, “Did you steal a cookie from a cookie jar?” and the answer you got was “Jimmy took two before I did,” or, “That depends on what your definition of ‘cookie’ is,” you’d go crazy.
It only took until the second day of the campaign — really, the campaign’s first full day — to bring a similar answer.
You got a question on your health care track record and platform, and your answer was to blame a program by a federal government that is now almost three decades old.
The fact that government was Liberal is somehow supposed to reflect on Taft — even though it was almost 30 years ago and an entirely different level of government altogether.
It’s the equivalent of: “I was there when we didn’t have any cookies because the Saskatoon Cookie Monster brought in the great chocolate chip shortage of ‘73.”
Stelmach’s evasiveness, on the second day of the campaign no less, not only does a disservice to voters across Alberta but to himself. By the time you finish reading his response, you start to wonder why he doesn't want to simply answer the question head-on. Does he really understand the state of health care?
I'm sure voters aren’t sitting in the emergency room or the clinic for three hours (or more) and thinking: “That darn federal program from the 1980s is responsible for this.”
Any politician should expect to get questioned on his or her track record. Stelmach’s non-answer is, at the least, thoroughly disappointing to any voter wanting to hear him discuss the performances of his government and others he has served in.
Labels: Alberta Election