Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fiscal Four, Thrifty Three, Tightwad Two...

Fascinating development coming out of the PC ranks; the Fiscal Four or is it Five.

If they add more are they still being fiscally responsible?

On Twitter the predictions are that it goes the other direction. @justin_archer quipped
“When Fawcett loses his seat to Danielle Smith, the Fiscal 4 can be the Thrifty 3! Nice!”
To which I responded
“and when the third falls, they will be down to the Tightwad Two.”

Kidding aside, Daveberta has an interesting perspective and speculates this might be a staged undertaking.
This brings two questions to mind.

1) Is the PC party even intelligent enough to pull something like that off without having it completely backfire? And really what benefit is there from creating, for what, by all intents and purposes, looks like a mini internal revolt? Some Albertans may even say it just four youngsters having a tantrum.

2) Are these four truly spineless? I mean if you believe that this is a staged operation; then you must also believe that they are completely operating under the direction of Stelmach and company.

It is that second one that leads me to believe that this is not a PC staged maneuver. I don’t know Rob Anderson or Doug Griffiths; but I have never heard anyone who does know them, speak ill of them. Jonathon Denis and I have crossed virtual paths and spoken on the phone; I believe him to be principled, I think we have more in common than different.

That leaves Kyle Fawcett. He and I first faced off in the 2008 General Election. Those who have seen that exchange would likely be surprise to learn how things have changed. Since then we have shared late night banter; we have had lunch a couple of times and as a resident of Calgary – North Hill, I am a member of the Community Advisory Panel.

One of the things I have learned about Kyle is that he does care; he takes the time to listen and understand the local issues. In fact he spoke out about what he had been hearing. Unfortunately, this type of vocalizing is not tolerated.

This brings us to why (in my opinion) the Fiscal Four exists. They have seen what happens when “one” speaks out. Perhaps they feel there is safety in numbers. Perhaps they feel by being a group, it will give others the strength to join them.
Sadly though, I think they might also believe they can make a difference.

We have seen over the years that change from within the PC’s is not possible. This past weekend’s leadership result also demonstrates they are quite happy with the course of they are on. Since March ‘08 Stelmach has been saying “we have the overwhelming support of Albertans”; now he can change that to “we have the support of our members.” And he will use that to down play any MLA(s) who are not singing from his song sheet.

Stelmach and his band of merry men have not figured out that the role of an MLA is to represent their constituents; with the overall wellbeing of the province and nation in mind. They cannot get past the narrow minded mentality that if you are not with them you are against them.

It will be intriguing to see how this plays out. Will the four (or 5) be strong enough to speak their minds? And at what cost? Will it even make a difference? Will they bend under pressure from the more senior members and end up silenced?

I will close with this.

Don't worry if you don't get it, it's a lame reference that only some of my friends will get.