I see Alison Redford made some headlines today.
She's seeking to tackle the important problem of reviewing MLA compensation, and possibly cutting or removing some MLA entitlements.
According to the Calgary Herald:
"This is all about transparency," Redford said Tuesday on the campaign trail. "I want to show Albertans they can trust the party and they can trust the government."
Oooh. What a rebel she is.
And, of course, other MLA's jump in line to "kiss babies" along with her. You know - make symbolic efforts that do absolutely nothing to help the citizens, but make for good public relations.
Which is all this is.
When Judges are appointed in Alberta, once surviving the judicial selection process to narrow down candidates, Ms. Redford has shown that she is no different than any other PC Minister of Justice - she hands out plumb judicial appointments based primarily on service and connection to the party.
Tell us about your plans to reform that Ms. Redford.
Meanwhile, when asked about why she hasn't raised the issue of Gar Mar's plumb allocation of untendered contracts to his former executive assistant to the tune of $484,000.00, a cat has got her tongue.
She has nothing to say.
Nor does any leadership candidate asked the same question, other than Doug Griffiths, who did respond:
At least Doug responded, though I think that saying, basically, "No one has asked me about it" isn't the most helpful response.@GriffMLA re debate, why no discussion re Gary Mar's diversion of over $400,000 tax dollars in untendered contracts to his former EA?
And there's the rub.
These people work for us, the taxpayers.
Yet - on the inside, behind the doors, in places that you don't see - they make their decisions, award contracts and positions of significant importance to Albertans, spending Albertans tax dollars - based upon the degree of connection and support for the party.
And Alison Redford can kiss as many babies as she wants, but what I am still waiting for is someone who shows a willingness to really change the culture of cronyism in the PC Party of Alberta.
She talks a good game - but when the rubber hits the road, its all talk, no substance.
Something to think about, taking a quick look at the 2011 budget:
Total Provincial Budget - 2011: $38,400,000,000.00
Total Spending on Health Care - 2011:$15,000,000.00
Total Spending on MLA Compesnation - 2011: $16,950,000.00.
See what a "big deal" MLA Compensation is, in the big picture?
What this, essentially, tells you about Alison Redford's big announcement, is that, effectively, she's doing nothing more than, well, kissing babies.