Just like Alberta isn't really our province its Ralphs World. And the folks that live in Ralphs World the only ones that count are the ones that support him the severely normal Albertans...the rest of us don't count.
I didn't do it by myself. I owe a great deal of thanks to all those who were part of Ralph's Team — both elected and non-elected. Most importantly, however are the severely normal Albertans who supported me and helped guide our province through the past 13 years, during my watch as Premier. I tried to avoid "Dome Disease" so that I could listen and hear the advice of people on the street, at their jobs and on their doorsteps. Severely normal Albertans are the people who really made the difference. Klein’s statement on his resignation
Way back in 1996 Ralph defined who his severely normal Albertan was....
"Those are our instructions from the people who matter most, the severely, wonderfully normal Albertans. They, like you, are the Albertans who work hard, pay their taxes, drive their kids to the rink; the Albertans who worship in their own way, who volunteer in their community, who understand the value of a dollar but who also know that dollars mean nothing when a neighbor needs help."
The phrase "severely normal Albertans" was not originally Ralphs, it was the phrase used by his drinking buddy the Dark Prince of Privatization; Steve West.
West used it to justify his policies of privatization of the liqour control board and other public services in the name of the neo-con agenda of the ninties. Severely normal Albertans were not members of unions, who of course were a special interest group since it was their jobs he was privatizing.
Ralph added a little personality to his cartoon characters the severely normal Albertans, he called them Martha and Henry. When ever he wanted to justify his actions he invoked Martha and Henry, who nodded in approval.
Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Mr. Klein: Mr. Speaker, as I pointed outyesterday inthe scrum, Mr.
and Mrs. Grundy or Martha and Henry, normal Albertans, don’t
appear at the government hangar requesting 10 years’ worth of
documents, manifests, some 12,000 different documents, don’t
request the use and the tying up of over 50 hours of public service
employee or employees’ time, doesn’t arrive decorated with a
microphone, with a bevy of media. So I suspect that there was some
media grandstanding going on.
Dr. Taft: To the Premier: is the Premier routinely informed by his
staff of information requests from the Liberal opposition and the
Mr. Klein: Not routinely. Sometimes. Although I suspect that
many FOIP requests are from the Liberals or from the media, FOIP
requestsare kept confidential. You can tell by the questions that are
being asked that Martha and Henry or Mr. and Mrs. Grundy are not
asking those questions, because when you listen to the questions and
the kind of information they’re seeking, you say: “Gosh, this sounds
like a request from the Liberals or the media. I wonder who’s
trolling, who’s casting. I’m sure it’s not Martha and Henry
He liked his severely normal Albertans dumb, as in mute and stupid. Of course real Albertans were far from being either. As the sponteanous mass demonstrations opposing Bill 11 showed. When he could not defeat his opposition in the streets he labeled them special interests.
In Ralphs World severely normal Albertans are not poor and out of work.If they are Ralph would kick them while they were down.
Drunk in charge
The man who stumbled into the homeless shelter late at night was well dressed, and had obviously indulged in too much Christmas cheer. Slurring his words, he got into an argument with the residents, demanding to know why they were unemployed. Just another drunken rightwing jerk? Actually, it was Ralph Klein, the premier of the Alberta, dropping by for an unofficial visit on his way home from a party.
And his severely normal Albertans are not disabled
"I'm sure that none of you want to talk to me about AISH, do you? No, because you're normal - severely normal!"
Irony of ironies one of the leadership contenders for Ralphs job is; Gary McPherson. an Edmonton businessman who has led the Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities.
Severely normal Albertans are MLA's in the Klein government, no others need apply. In the 1997 election Ralph used the severely normal Albertans line whenever he could. Since his original messaging He Listens He Cares was met with collective guffaws and ridicule. When Dr. Raj Pannu was elected NDP MLA in 1997 he was to find out that he was not welcome in Ralphs World.
As I wrote in See magazine guest column at the time:
Stephen West spoke out in the Legislature full of moral indignation and self righteousness that only ‘heterosexual’ Albertans were ‘normal’. He later apologized but the truth was out of the bag.
Then the Premier gave it his best shot. Infuriated that anyone would challenge his regime over its treatment of the working poor, Ralph demanded that the University of Alberta kick the Parkland Institute off campus. Noting that their crime was to be a left wing think tank (as opposed to his pals at the taxpayer funded Fraser Institute a ‘right wing’ think tank) he claimed that Parkland was ‘factually’ challenged for daring to say that amidst wealth and plenty some of Ralph’s ‘severely normal Albertans’ had forgotten the less fortunate.
Not to be outdone Tory MLA Ivan Strang then took a kick at the cat and blurted out in the Legislature that New Democrat MLA Raj Pannu should ‘go back to India’ for daring to challenge the Premier in the house over his Parkland letter.
So now we finally have a definition for what is a ‘severely normal Albertan’. A right wing, heterosexual, white, able-bodied, male’. In other words a bigot.
And severely normal Albertans in Ralphs World are defintely not queer.
Queer Youth in the Province of the "Severely Normal"
Which is why in Ralphs World homosexual rights (sexual orientation) were not included in the provinces revised Individual Rights Protection act until the Supreme court forced them to be.
"Premier Klein's reaction was that he would ignore advice he received from the Coalition or the Liberal Official Opposition. He would only listen to "severely normal Albertans." The arguments by Conservative MLAs opposed to my amendments were interesting, if not entertaining. Government House Leader Stockwell Day suggested that some of the Liberal amendments, "...fly in the face of 2000 years of development of human rights," and stated that Alberta's human rights laws should be limited to only clearly recognized inalienable rights consistent with the "divine law of nature."