Saturday, April 01, 2006

The joys of schadenfreude

So Ralph Klein dropped from 97% support at the last tory leadership review - to only 55% at last nights vote.

Although he theoretically only needed 50% + 1 most agree that 55% was a crippling blow. Klein claims he needs a few days to consider his options. In reality the leadership race has now begun in earnest.

Partly it was simply a rejection of a two year leadership race, partly it was a sense, still left over from the last election that Ralph has been running on auto-pilot - when he threw a book at the head of a teenage girl in the legislature that was more a glimpse of the old Ralph then an anomaly.

I suspect that rural Tories rejecting Klein's Third Way healthcare sell out plans were a bigger component of this vote upset than any pundit will admit. Rural Albertans already have a doctor shortage - plans that will give doctors even more incentive to decamp for the big cities were never going to sell any better outside of big cities than they were inside them.

Klein's agenda - including the Third Way Healthcare 'reforms' are now in doubt. We can only hope the plan is now as dead as Ralph's political career.

The Tories are looking more like the Socreds circa 1970 every day. Almost time for one of those seismic political shifts that Alberta is famous for...

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