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bye Ralph

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Don't let the door hit your mouth on the way out.

Klein loyalists outraged by party vote
Secret-ballot rebuke orchestrated by leadership hopefuls, some allege


EDMONTON, CALGARY -- Many Albertans are fuming that Premier Ralph Klein may be forced into early retirement by his own political party, according to several disappointed members of the embattled veteran politician's government.

"I've had calls from people in my riding, saying 'What are you guys doing, slapping a guy in the face that has been so strong for Alberta?' " Progressive Conservative cabinet minister Luke Ouellete said yesterday filing into a caucus meeting.

Tory MLA Carol Haley said she has received numerous phone calls from constituents "telling us what the hell did we do."

Early Saturday morning, the 63-year-old Premier was forced into an embarrassing position after a dramatic and historic rebuke from party delegates during a secret-ballot vote on his leadership in Calgary.

Only 55 per cent of about 1,200 delegates supported the commitment by Canada's longest-serving current Premier to stay on until Oct. 31, 2007. Mr. Klein has since said that while the low showing was a "vote of confidence," he needed time to mull over his future. A decision could come as early as today.

While the Tory Party constitution states that a leader needs 50 per cent plus one to soldier on, many political observers speculated that Mr. Klein needed more than 75 per cent to keep his tight grip on power.

Since the weekend, the party, a political dynasty that has ruled Alberta since 1971, has been at war with itself, asking how members could have humiliated the popular Premier so openly. Some members, such as Tory cabinet minister Ty Lund, want the Premier to ignore the delegates' vote and press on until he's ready to retire.

Since 1992, Mr. Klein has led the party to four consecutive majority governments and has slashed Alberta's debt from $22-billion to zero. While there have been recent criticisms that the outspoken politician has grown tired of his job, public-opinion polls consistently find he's still popular with Albertans.

Some Tories, still angry over Saturday's vote, are even alleging that the leadership hopefuls already lining up to take Mr. Klein's job may have orchestrated the putsch.

The leadership race has attracted six candidates and possibly former Reform Party leader Preston Manning who mused to reporters on the weekend that he would consider running if he could get enough support and financial backers.

Mr. Manning, who was not available for interviews yesterday, may seem late in coming to the unofficial leadership race, but he is already attracting some significant support.

"He was not just being cute and coy by saying 'I'm open to it and I would need to be convinced,' " said Deborah Grey, the first Reform Party MP. "He's not going to do it if he doesn't think Albertans would support it."

Ms. Grey described Mr. Manning as someone she -- and a huge number of old Reformers -- would back.

"I'm not going to get back involved heavily in politics again, but if Preston said, 'You know Deb, would you have a coffee party at your house and bring some pals?' I'd even sweep the floor and vacuum the carpet," she said.

Craig Chandler, who heads both the Progressive Group for Independent Business and Concerned Christians Canada, said he (and, in effect, the social conservatives he speaks for) found himself being wooed by leadership hopefuls at the convention.

Right now, both organizations are leaning toward supporting MLA Ted Morton, he said. But that would change if Mr. Manning makes a serious run at the leadership. "Manning is a superhero," Mr. Chandler said, ". . . Manning would crush everyone."

Still, Mr. Manning, who left partisan politics in 2002, has been quickly characterized someone who is outside of the Alberta PC party machine.

Marv Moore, a long-time provincial Tory organizer and Klein supporter, said he doesn't believe Mr. Manning will run with six credible candidates already in the race. "I think it's more like musing," he said.

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judge wopner

TRIBE Member
i think the greater fools are those that think replacing one big-mouth cowboy with a different one will make alberta or canada any better off.


TRIBE Member
I f'in hate that guy, he is like the Mel Lastman of Alberta. He may have helped Alberta become the richest provinces in Canada. But his views and ideology is extremely right sided.

I hope he resigns before 2008.

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TRIBE Member
TrIbAlNuT said:
I f'in hate that guy, he is like the Mel Lastman of Alberta. He may have helped Alberta become the richest provinces in Canada. But his views and ideology is extremely right sided.

I hope he resigns before 2008.


A frigin monkey could have made Alberta the richest province in Canada. He just happened to be in the right place in the right time. Maybe Alberta could use some of thier hard earned money to help thier farmers.