Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Wanton and Wanting Dr. Oberg.

Dr. Lyle Oberg has traded in his manufactured positioning of maverick candidate into a new more fitting role, that of a reckless and feckless plain old political hack.

There are lots of blogger and traditional media “show reviews” of his political theatre of the absurd. Oberg promotes a news conference with advanced billing to the media about “juicy stuff” “bloodletting” advising reporters to “bring a smock.” The orchestrated actual “event” turns out to be Oberg self-immolating in a gaudy display of crassness and character flaw.

He promises proof of misconduct in another candidate’s campaign using “sensitive information” from “anonymous sources.” Sadly as it turns out, his sources are not actually anonymous but people he knows, who work in the Legislature and are reported to be related to individuals in his campaign. In one day he transforms himself from a serious possibility for Premier of Alberta into a weapon of muted self destruction.

It seems he was not yet finished as he goes over-the-top with an Orwellian characterization of his actions saying “I chose principle, I chose protection of the individual…” One presumes he is referring to his so-called ‘anonymous sources’ as he states his personal concerned “for their jobs, their future and families.” This is the principled rationale of a man who would be Premier of us all? This is the justification he uses to wantonly cast irresponsible, unsubstantiated – and as it turns out, unfounded personal character aspersions toward every other candidate? Shame on you Dr. Oberg!

We are told there is a long shadow of suspicion and concern by colleagues about Dr. Oberg’s past portfolio performance and his “skeletons” comments merely brought things to a head. The first unsubstantiated “skeletons in closets” accusations towards his Caucus colleagues finally got him kicked out of Caucus. A Caucus to whom he now eagerly offers his "skills and talents" to be their leader. One hardly knows whether to laugh or cry!

Based on the Oberg hapless histrionics of yesterday we are at least assured the Oberg personal “skeleton” has a “bonehead.” We have seen first hand that he can be pithy without being substantial. Based on his “performance” one can’t tell if the good Doctor’s irreconcilable behaviour is preposterously post-modern or just plain bipolar! But now we know one thing for sure. He has shown that he lacks the mental and moral “stuff” to be leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. That means he also lacks character and judgement to ever become Premier of Alberta.

Albertans must consider carefully our individual and collective futures. We must be especially particular of who we select to be PC Leader and, as a result, our provincial Premier. With potentials like Dr. Oberg "in play" participation in this leadership selection process is not an option. Be careful who you elect...every time!


  1. Anonymous8:29 pm

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Did Oberg bungle the presser? Definitely! He should have cancelled the first one and waited until said source ... whoever "SHE" is ... was ready.

    But when he does bring forward a bonafide skeleton, he is labelled as "lacking the moral stuff".

    Meanwhile Dinning, tries to distance himself from it all as to be expected, like he's never met the meager "political junkies" who are just messing around.

    Perhaps Jim forgets the times Glenn and Doug have driven him to campaign events or the meetings he's had with them. Or the fact that nobody in their right political mind believes that this wasn't done from the ministerial offices on government time.

    The issue is Jim isn't Premier yet. He and Rod aren't entitled to use government resources for their campaign. And don't sell me he was in the dark because even you wouldn't buy that Ken.

    The presser was bungled. Lyle is left with egg on his face. Without doubt. He did show poor judgement and to your point, that creates question.

    But that doesn't change the facts that everyone is trying to sweep under the carpet. Glenn and Doug messed up and got caught. Some say this kind of thing is everyday commonplace in the leg. and therefore they are ok.

    It is not ok. It is wrong morally, It is wrong ethically and it stinks. To villify Oberg is classic diversionary spin. Reject and deflect. Don't fall for it.

    The media are going to blow this up and point it all to Oberg because that will create controversy and sell papers. Of course, the media would never perpetuate a story just to fuel the fire right Peter "has anyone seen my dog" McKay?

    Even my 5 year old understands that he needs to follow the rules and play fair. Apparantly the Dinning campaign doesn't. The seem to think they are above the "law".

    The Calgary Mafia must be wetting themselves in glee with this. After all, Oberg dropped it into their lap unsolicited, but it doesn't change the facts. This is symptomatic of a much bigger issue within the Dinning campaign.

    No, this will do nothing to mend the bridges that Dr. O needs to mend, he's just tossed a grenade in the doorway of Melchin and Mar (who calls this a trivial issue). But you are the company you keep. We can see what kind of company Jim Dinning chooses to keep. If he maintains his alignment with Greg Melchin or Gary Mar it speaks volume to Mr. Dinning's ethics!

  2. Hi Anonymous...interesting comments.

    Status Quo governing models are best kept in place with old guard inertia, mental lapses to establish and enable deniability as the main governing operational methodology - and instead of doing the right things for the right reasons at the right time - not easy granted, we lapse and embrace situational ethics...political ends justifying whatever means necessary as the only real moral compass...kinda like George Dubya Bush these days. I see all these symptoms in the Alberta PC Party and government today.

    I recall Klein was brought to power with a bunch of less than savoury political supporters. Folks who thought they were destined to be the power behind the drone. Love and Elzinga cleaned house in the Premier's "circle of friends" rather quickly - K2 (Ken Kowalski)being the toughest to quarantine - and the last to leave - but it was done.

    Many feel Dinning must do the same. The paradox of the Catch 23 is alive in the Dinning leadership dynamics. Catch 23 is so apropos to politics. It is "The talents and techniques necessary to get the job are opposite of those needed to do the job."

    We can clearly see the Catch 23 in Oberg's lack the character qualities to govern except perhaps by intimidation and bullying but his not insignificant popularity in the campaign to get the job by inuendo and allegation are working rather well.

    The next question that is being asked is what are the character qualities of Dinning that makes him more than just the status quo front man OR can he also clean house if elected? If people do not believe that he can clean house and will not "just dance with those who brung him" and actually bring in new blood and deepen the Premier's office gene pool - just as he was in the early Klein day - he may well be forfeiting the leadership - but to whom - Why Ted Morton of course. Isn't that the answer to "who?"

    That is the next question but I have rambled on too long already.

    Good progressive governance outcome scenarios from the PC Leadership are becoming more difficult to imagine. It can turn into a repeat of 1970 - 71 rather quickly. We may see Albertans voting next time not as a wake up call to the sitting government but as an eviction notice.

  3. WHEW! And I thought Norris was the Drama Queen!

    Don't really know what he was thinking here, promising "Blood letting" et all... But one thing is for sure, if this is the quality of Dr. Oberg's other percieved "Skeletons" then I don't think anyone has anything to worry about when looking into the closet.

    You're right, ofcourse, this should raise serious concerns regarding what type of Leader or Premier Dr. Oberg might end up to be. Seems he has an over active imagination and a tendency to be mean - a bully perhaps? Or just the Bogey man?

  4. kevin from the country9:42 am

    Sorry, anonymous, your caustic comments about moral and ethical issues are wide of the mark.

    This is about nothing more than the downtime hijinks of a couple of self-described political meatballs. Were some of their comments unkind? Surely. Unusual for that? Hardly. Messaging like this swirls about each of the campaigns, including Dr. Oberg's. Most of it simply isn't made public by anyone for that reason: It's run of the mill stuff that would paint every candidate.

    Not all of the supporters of any of the candidates are people of absolute sweetness and light, and some are downright dirty. C'est la vie. What does it say about the candidates themselves? Not much.

    Damaging to Mr. Dinning? Quite possibly, but only in respect of the "puke bucket" references to farm aid. That just won't resonate well with most rural folk, regardless of any practical distance between Mr. Dinning and the two EAs in the campaign hierarchy. Having Doug Griffiths on board has nicely covered off the accusations that Mr. Dinning is a city dude lacking any connection to rural issues or support in rural areas, but the EA comments might knock that back a bit.

    More damaging, of course, to Dr. Oberg, whose ethical position about not disclosing identities of sources proved quite situational. The beginnings of a true meltdown?

    I'm not the knowledegable writer that you and Ken both obviously are, and I'm not as familiar with the daily workings of the government. Take it from me, though, as someone firmly ensconced in the daily life of oridinary Albertans: Outside of the political camps and the navel-gazing circles of political wonks, the EA emails are being seen as same old same old, with Dr. Oberg going more than a little off the rails over the whole thing, and any other candidate's response tagged as the self-serving making of political hay, whatever they say about Dr. Oberg or Mr. Dinning.

    By the way, Ken, good posting about whoppermania, and great targeting of the candidates' Achilles heels. Marvellous humour, something all of us could use a lot more of these days. Noticed that you gave your own guy Hancock a bit of a light touch. A lawyer friend of mine once told me that there's only one lawyer joke; all the rest are true stories.

  5. Anonymous12:16 pm


    This is your anonoymous friend again. I can't add anything more to your comments re. Oberg.

    I have now seen the three pages of "research" from Mills and Shepard, and I use the term "reseach" loosely"

    This is the shoddiest piece of unadultered garbage that I have ever seen and I've been a researcher for twenty years for some the best minds in the business.

    If I had presented that type of work to the people I supported, I would have been fired on the spot. These guys couldn't cost a candy bar with a price sticker on it at a local grocery store.

    If the other 17 pages of "research" are like this, I can only imagine what people like Mike Percy and Paul Boothe are thinking.

    If Mills and Shepard have the guts, they'll want to share all of their research with everyone on this blog. Let's have an informed discourse on policy and costs.

    Doug, Glenn, do you have the balls to put your independent research out there are have it peer reviewed. You call yourself policy wonks, prove it to me and others on thiss blog

    If Dinning had any balls, these so-called supporters would be fired on the spot, whether they were doing it on their own time or govenrment time. But we all know what Dinning did in 1997, it on the Ethics Commmissioner's site.

    And to suggest that Rod Love had no knowledge of this is a crock, Rod knows everything or at least thinks he does. He doesn't know a tinkers damn about policy or finances, I can tell you that with certainty.

  6. Becky5:37 pm

    Hi Ken, have come across your blog today :-)This incident reminded me of Premier Klein in many ways - he always said what so many of us were actually thinking. We live in a democracy. That means that we have the right to our own opinions. It does not matter what these gentlemen said or how they said it, it is their opinion and they are entitled to it. If they have to produce what they were "scribbling" then all of us will have to produce our scribbles as well. Anyone who is following the leadership is reading and note-taking and listening to everyone and perhaps making even WORSE comments, believe me! A little "puke" is gentle compared to what many of us have heard over the last few weeks.

    The wrong done here lies within the character of the person, "masquerading" as some "noble informer", snitching and shopping around things not belonging to them. Instead of "showing balls" and "producing the scribbles of political hacks", I am more interested in producing the person behind the mask. I think that is what many of us find so distasteful; the cheap and tawdry actions of the person behind the mask. If you are going to do something like that, then you better own it, not slink away like some coward crying about your job after the damage is done. They get protected and these gentlemen are roasted on a rack of self-righteousness with a dash of morality and ethical spew? . To the "noble informer" I say SHAME SHAME SHAME on YOU! :-)

    Best regards.....

  7. Anonymous7:22 pm

    There once was a Tory named Lyle
    Self possessed with incredible guile
    And said with a grin
    As he wiped off his chin
    ‘Twas good, but too bad ‘bout the bile

  8. Anonymous7:45 pm

    There once was a Tory named Jim

    Self possessed with incredible vim

    Who thought he was proficient in math

    But soon found that his money management skills have led him down the wrong garden path.

    All fiscal conservatives unit!!!!

  9. For an earlier posting and observations I made about Dr. Oberg's suitability to govern go to my August 1 posting...Oberg the Iceberg - You Only See 10%