Alison Redford’s First Mistake

Alison Redford is seen to have won the Alberta PC leadership on a policy-heavy campaign. She promised change, so one would imagine she’s eager to get going and introduce herself to voters through a bold agenda.

After all, here’s what she said after winning the leadership:

“I am not going to unnecessarily delay decision-making,” she said. “I believe that Albertans have said that now that we are through this leadership campaign they expect this party to govern. They expect this government to get back to business, and we are going to do that.”

Turns out, not so much.

Redford has cancelled the legislature’s fall session. When MLAs return to their seats in February, it will have been 9 months since their last sitting, and over 4 months since Redford’s election as Premier.

The argument being advanced by Redford is that she needs time to settle in and draft legislation. That may be true, but the optics of this are horrible.

Here you have a newly elected leader promising change…but then taking a 4-month vacation before enacting the change. I fully recognize that’s not the case, but as we learned in the prorogation fiasco, Canadians interpret going to Parliament as showing up for work – it’s not hard for the opposition parties to spin this as Redford not being ready for her new job. It also doesn’t help that members of her team are now on the record as saying: “If you have nothing else to do, you can’t really call the Leg into session for an hour or so, so the opposition can rake you over the coals“.

The criticism writes itself. She’s not showing up for work. She promised change…after a 4 month vacation. She’s afraid of criticism. After 40 years in power, the PCs consider democracy a nuisance.

Take your pick. Redford, who came to power on a wave of goodwill, has now hand-delivered talking points to her opponents. Even if they won’t get a chance to use them in the legislature until February, that’s not a wise move.

UPDATE: It didn’t take long for Alison Redford’s first flip-flop. The fall session is back on!

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Alberta Politics

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at and online at the National Post.

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