Friday, September 22, 2006

Severely Normal Albertans Go Bye Bye

Ralph says bye bye and still manages to be insulting....Of course it wasn't the PC'st that were in power it was Ralphs Team, which is different from the Getty Team or the Lougheed Team...or the Edmonton Eskimo Team or the Calgary Flames Team....

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, " 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."

Gary Dickson, Former Alberta Liberal Human Rights Critic

That did not stop Ralph from making gays and lesbians his scapegoats to win Martha and Henry's support. He chose to fight to the death to oppose Same Sex marriage. Of course his severely normal Albertans oppose Same Sex Marriage. They still do as Ted Moron another backbench MLA, former deep thinker in the Reform party and pal of Harpers, attempted to rally them with his anti-gay privacy act this spring. A cheap ploy to win support from Martha and Henry for his Leadership bid.

And of course Ralphs fight to the death over gay marriage was a one armed fight because marriage laws are Federal. Like gun laws. Just like they opposed the Federal Gun Registry, which Ralph challenged all the way to the Supreme court and lost. Again.

And lets not forget all those Albertans who suffered at the hands of the Ralph Revolution the one that never completely privatized healthcare instead Ralph kept cutting the public funding, putting quotas on medical students,blowing up hostpitals, privatizing laundry services, in hopes we would all get desperate enough to approve more private healthcare (Ralphs 'Third Way') just because it was well healthcare.

Michael Broadhurst and Deborah Burkhart used to be what Premier Ralph Klein called 'severely normal Albertans.' That was before their 10-year-old daughter Maren died Dec. 4 from complications after surgery to repair a ruptured appendix. Now both Michael and Deborah find themselves mired deep in the quicksand of heartbreak, desolation and despair.

They are also asking legitimate questions that demand legitimate answers. Questions like: did the Klein government's cuts to health care over the past few years have anything to do with the fact their precious young daughter had to spend an agonizing eight hours waiting in the emergency room for help that may have come just a little too late? SEE Magazine:Thursday, January 22nd., 1998

Mr., Mason: “If the third ways is so controversial . . . what do you think normal Albertans will think about it?

Mr. Klein: “I’ll tell you what normal Albertans will think about it. Normal Albertans will think that $100. 6 billion is . . . (interjections) Well they don’t think it's much - $100.6 billion - and the NDs don’t think it’s much. Well their sense of money is a lot different than mine, Mr. Speaker.

Thursday February 23/06, 1:30 pm

Why even the right wing lobby the Canadian Taxpayers Federation the very epitome of Ralphs severely normal Albertans were quick to point out that despite all the self promotion Ralphs World was nothing special just the same old tax and spend government.

After ten years in office, Premier Klein and his loyalists think the money is theirs, to be spent according to their discretion. And they think they can spend it with greater wisdom than the “severely normal” Albertans they once proudly claimed to represent. That’s why Alberta’s spending on government programs grew 58% from 1996 to 2002, while Alberta’s population grew only 12% during the same time period.

If Martha and Henry could keep an extra $88 per month by not paying the health care premium tax, they might waste it on holidays and renovations to their house, and saving for the education of their children or grandchildren. If a single mother had to pay less income tax, she might waste that money on nicer clothes and more books for her children. If Bill and Betty no longer had to pay provincial property tax, they might waste this money by giving more of it to charity, or by paying off their mortgage earlier. Let's Talk Taxes - Alberta politicians keeping $2.8 billion extra ...

And we know that the bubble of joy called Ralphs World isolated as it was from real Albertans had been been finally pricked last election. Despite winning 61 seats a vast majority over the opposition, he lost seats. Thanks to his old pal Steve West who ran his campaign.

“With their lost sense of purpose and vision, Klein and the Tories have gradually been losing support; the Liberals got more seats in the last election because voters didn’t feel committed to Klein, who seemed to lose interest in governing said University of Alberta political science professor Steve Patten.

Alberta Election Results

With the lowest voter turnout in Alberta's history, the Conservatives received 47 per cent of the votes cast, the Liberals 29 per cent, the NDP 10 per cent and the Alberta Alliance 9 per cent. Five per cent of voters cast ballots for independents and small parties who did not win any seats. In the 2000 election, the Klein government had 61.9 per cent of the votes cast, the Liberals 27 per cent and the NDP 8 per cent. The Alberta Alliance which received 9 per cent of the vote fielded candidates for the first time.

Which is why the prick we call Ralph was forced to finallly resign, despite all his kicking and screaming....and we can go back to being Albertans no longer the cartoon characters; the severely normal inhabitants of Ralphs World's .



One Party State


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Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

In the end, this Supreme Court nonsense will probably go down in history as one of Ralph's great blunders. At least when he backed down after some small protests by the professional hemp-wearing rent-a-mobs, it was a temporary setback: bothering to fight the feds in their own hand-picked neopotistic backyard was foolhardy. Call it the "Gary Mar play fair" playbook, rather than the "Eleanor Maroes results through agressive action" playbook, which basically would have used Quebec tactics with western earnest and Alberta leverage to far better affect.

the artist formerly known as... said...

"As the sponteanous mass demonstrations opposing Bill 11 showed.

Those demonstrations were neither spontaneous nor "mass". Millions of CUPE dollars greased the wheels on that fiasco.

Of course, the shrill predictions of "the slippery slope" or "the thin edge of the wedge" didn't quite come to pass. But that's neither here, nor there.

steve stamps said...

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