Thursday, November 18, 2004

How Does It Work?

We all know (at least those of you living in Canada, yet outside of Toronto) that Ralph Klein will be the next Premier of Alberta. A job, which in his mind at least, is the most important job in the country, including that of Prime Minister.

Reality check people. This province is swimming in money from oil revenues. A trained (or untrained) monkey could run this place as effectively as Ralph. It isn't hard to manage an economy that has many dollars. The trouble is, Ralph can't seem to spend the money in places that it needs spending.

Example: We have some of the largest class sizes in our schools, in the country. Why not take some of that 8 BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS and hire a few more teachers in the most densly populated areas.

Example: There is a waiting list a mile long for an MRI - if you're not a professional athlete. Why not spend some of that 8 BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS and fund our hospitals so that every body can have equal access to medical care.

Example: The main North/South corridor through Alberta is Highway 2. It's a three-lane, 140km/h game of bumper cars to drive from Edmonton to Calgary. Let's part with some of that 8 BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS and start building a rail-line next to the highway and use it for heavy cargo. Get some of the semi-truck traffic off the road.

Example: Most of our power comes from oil, gas and coal. Buring any of these increases the load of greenhouse gasses which leads to increased global warming. Hey, we have an 8 BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS that we could spend on developing a real alternative energy plan.

As I may have mentioned above, if you have the intelligence of a dump-truck, you could run this place and probably do a better job of making people realize that there really is an Alberta advantage.

Ralph Klein now just looks bored with the whole thing. If he isn't bullying the federal government at First Ministers' meetings, then he's attending some photo-op looking like he's going to fall asleep. As witnessed by last week's coverage of Ralph at Agri-Trade. Seriously, the man had a glassed over look that said "I wish I could start drinking again."

And yet, many of my fellow provincial citizens will all say "baaa" and vote the bored man back into power. He'll occupy the seat until he's squeezed the last free cocktail weiner from the last Alberta Centenial celebration and then... he'll disappear. A minor footnote in a Province with a colourful past.


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