Thursday, February 01, 2007

Klein Criticizes Harper - Is There Trouble in Tory Land?

Small story in the Globe and Mail this morning where former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein has called on Prime Minister Harper to reverse his reversal and restore the income trusts.

Klein reportedly said "The problem with Stephen has with income trusts is that he didn't keep his word so that doesn't sit well with the Canadian public." He call on Harper to reverse himself again for "redemption." OUCH!

Klein still has a considerable amount of sway with the libertarians of the fiscal conservative variety. Is this an indication of even more erosion of the old Reform/Allinace base from Harper?

Good to see Ralph is not putting himself out to pasture nor going quietly into that political night. Lougheed and Manning have weighed in on the public policy agenda very effectively. I wonder how Ralph will fair in the elder statesman role compared to those gentlemen.


  1. Ken, you run a great blog but some are starting to wonder whether or not Steffy D has you on staff.

    Ralph Klein lost his sway with fiscal conservatives a long time ago. The massive spending increases and huge growth in the civil service took care of that pretty handily.

    Your readers should also know that there is a pretty big difference between federal and provincial conservatives in Alberta. What a provincial guy says has little effect on what the feds do, these days.

  2. le maudit bleu - Glad you enjoy the blog and thx for commenting.

    I have no doubt Klein "lost his sway with fiscal conservatives a long time ago." He has been a big spender that makes Getty look like a cheapskate. Have you followed Paul Boothe's comments in the papers recently on this? He has the spending issues nailed down pretty well.

    Klein had lost it with the Red Tory faction too because of ignoring the infrastructure needs, capitol, maintenance AND social. the fast and furious single minded debt and deficit focus has cost us dearly.

    Hence the 55% "support last April 1 in the leadership confidence vote.

    We had a 25 year deficit and debt paydown plan that was done in 8 years. We are now paying a premium for catch up and growth demands. Not good and not necessary!

    I just think it is interesting he came out so public so soon after he is "out" of politics and on this point of all things. Why would he take on Harper on the income trust breach of promise? Not helpful in any way.

  3. Anonymous12:07 pm

    Klein should shut his trap. He knows this was the right move for Canada, but has a personal feud with Harper. Even if there is a tiff between the Tories and Reformers, the Tories will never vote liberal in Alberta.

    The liberals are attacking the Cons for cleaning up their mess on the income trusts. Yet, at the same time, the libs are not promosing to give the huge tax breaks back to the income trusts. Hypocrisy at its best.

  4. le maudit bleu, there is no doubt that Ken is a Dion-partisan. He clearly stated this in many of his posts and you can see the slant he places on facts (see his insinuation that Harper was involved in the Environment Commissioner's firing with no factual foundation whatsoever).

    But Ken despite partisan spin, I enjoy reading your blog. You have a great insight into Alberta politics.

    p.s. I hope you denounce Dion's pathetic "fat joke" of Harper. Is this the type of person that we want as our Prime Minister? Just another disgusting cheap shot. Canadians will not stand for this type of behaviour and maybe it's the reason why Harper is back to 25% in Quebec, exactly where he was in the last election.

  5. Thanks for the clarification, Ken. Good to know you see through Klein like everyone else does.

    If I had to hazard a guess, I think Klein was baited into talking about income trusts by Duffy. He may be well-respected journalist in Ottawa, but Duff is still a PEI Liberal at heart.

  6. Yes - I think the "fat joke" is inappropraite and uncalled for, just as the earlier comments quality of Dion's English is unwarrented. At least it's not ad hominem tripe about Belinda and Peter this time (sic).

    For the leaders to challenge each others environment record on the other hand is entirely approprate, so long as it is factual and quotes are not edited to mislead.

    The quality of discourse in the Parliamant and outside even is deteriorating beyond the circus of Question Period.

    I am also dismayed by the content of Question Period especially yesterday re climate change. The only real change from what I am seeing in the political party's concerns over the climate has been the "change in the political climate." The environment is still being sacrificed for cheap political all of the parties.

    Citizens will not be amused. The recent Sympatico.MSN poll in the Globe and Mail showing the trust level to be the lowest in national politicians at 7%. Even lawyers are at a trust level of 25%

    These politicians, of all stripes, better start smartening up and getting focused on the job of governing. Citizens can be brutal at election time. Just ask Paul Martin!

  7. jonathan sharek3:29 pm

    I prayed to God that one day Klein would go away and shut up, I guess that day hasn't arrived yet. 15+ years is more than enough time for the public to here his vacuous musings.

    It is interesting that when Klein was in charge of Alberta, he treated all external (and internal) criticism with savage contempt. So I really have no idea what he is doing here, although a previous comment was that it is personal between him and Harper. Perhaps Klein doesn't need to be in office to ruin another election for Harper.

  8. F. Haultain7:39 pm

    I wonder if any of RK's new clients are income trusts? No cooling off period in Alberta...

  9. goldwater8:31 pm

    you know, it was conservatives that enabled that larnyx to become premier to begin with, and now he goes on undermining us. ralph is just a big hole, and never was a conservative. he just used us, that's all. well good riddance, fatso...see you in hell, or mexico..

  10. ken chapman9:23 pm

    I take it goldwater is disenchanted with his lot as an Albertan. Nasty bit of prose though.

    "Fatso?" Ouch...cut with a wit to the rhetorical quick.

    Goldwater. Good "sir." All of your eloquence aside, have you been reading too many Blogging Tories on Dion's comments about Harper's corpulence that you are now message channeling for Stephane?

  11. Anonymous12:20 am

    Interesting that Ralph Klein is now saying the federal government should not be taxing income trusts, when the 2006 Alberta budget, a budget I assume he supported, estimated that the loss to Alberta from not taxing income trusts was $400 million. At least Ralph is consistent with his inconsistencies

  12. jonathan sharek11:44 am

    I can certianly understand goldwater's sentiments. I think what often gets lost is that Ralph Klein exercised power over the Albertan people - somewhat akin to an abusive domestic relationship - in a way that created much resentment. Ralph was premier for half of my life and I hold emotional reactions to him as well. (I'm sure people who read this blog regularly have figured that out)