So, what do you think of the new PC party slogan, ‘New Conservatives’?
Pretty catchy, eh? You can take that into an election.
What do you mean, you’ve never heard of ‘New Conservatives’? Surely, it is in common use, since the Edmonton Journal’s lead editorial in Wednesday’s paper used the phrase. In case you’re unfamiliar with it, here it is, the birth of an idiom:
“And we can only guess at the kind of government Premier Alison Redford will demand, deliver and enforce if her New Conservatives do the expected later this spring and extend a four-decade run of Alberta PC power.”
Yes, the New Conservatives! The Edmonton Journal’s editorial board is so convinced that a new era has emerged in Alberta politics, that it has arbitrarily decided to give it a proper name in the hopes it will catch on with the electorate.
Ever since Redford won the PC leadership, the Journal editorial board has been doing handsprings of delight. Wednesday’s editorial is a low point (or high point, if you’re a PC supporter) in the editorial board’s campaign to lionize Redford.
In today’s editorial, the Journal gushes over Redford’s handling of the Hector Goudreau fiasco. Goudreau, as you may recall, is the backbench MLA who sent a letter to a school board in his constituency telling it in no uncertain terms to shut up about its deteriorating schools, or it wouldn’t get a penny. The letter was the smoking gun the opposition has been looking for to prove the PCs have been operating a culture of intimidation for decades.
Everybody in Alberta knows the Tories use the public purse to bribe voters and keep them in line. It’s been going on for years, and Goudreau’s letter simply confirmed it. Elsewhere in the world, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In Alberta, the squeaky wheel gets the goose egg.
According to the Journal’s editorial, Goudreau just doesn’t understand that under the New Conservatives government, this kind of thing isn’t going to happen, dammit! Redford accepted Goudreau’s resignation as chair of a policy committee on community development, whatever that is. According to the Journal, Redford saying she was “pleased” to accept his resignation was a telling sign that the New Conservative era is the real deal! The Journal also calculated that his “dressing down” could cost Goudreau $46,000 in additional salary. Oh, please. There will be an election called within weeks, so Goudreau’s “dressing down” likely won’t cost him a penny, since committees dissolve when an election is called.
Goudreau’s actual sin was in getting caught. He stupidly put his threat in writing, instead of the traditional Tory method, a well-placed word in someone’s ear at a PC party fundraiser.
The Journal editorial goes on to praise Redford for her “ethical consistency” which “Albertans have come to know as one of her trademarks”. Well, she has been consistent, I’ll give her that. She promised a full judicial inquiry in intimidation of doctors, and reneged. She promised fixed election dates, and reneged. That’s consistent, all right. That’s the New Conservative way — make high profile promises, then shrug it off when you don’t actually keep them.
I hope the “New Conservatives”, as the Journal has christened them, are as successful as the last old, tired product that tried to reinvent itself.
Anybody remember New Coke?