Back in 2008, myself and a couple of young Liberals launched “Edspedia.ca“, a mock website to poke fun at some eyebrow raising travel expenses by members of the Ed Stelmach cabinet. The list included Mark Norris’ $50,000 Vegas vacation, and Rod Stevens Hawaiian stop-over to “study their gambling system”.

If I hadn’t received a cheerful letter from the Expedia lawyers back in 2008, now would be a good time to launch “Redspedia.ca”, because Alison Redford is facing a barrage of criticism over her travel expenses.

The controversy started with a $45,000 flight back from Nelson Mandela’s funeral (plus $3 for headphones), and has since spread. The latest revelation is that Redford invited along a friend of her daughter’s on a few government trips. Redford has said that “upon reflection” this wasn’t an appropriate use of taxpayer funded dollars, to which taxpayers have responded with a collective “duh”. For Redford, this is yet another scandal she has no one to blame for but herself.

After what happened with online polls in Alberta last election, I feel guilty even quoting numbers here, but Leger has the PCs free falling to 25% support – 13 points back of the Wildrose Party. What’s most interesting about these numbers is not the Wildrose lead, but that the Liberals and NDP are both up substantially since the last round of polling, and since the last election. Clearly, many Alberta progressives who lent Redford their vote in 2012 are feeling burned.

Whether or not they go back to her in 2016 remains to be seen. But with each passing scandal, asking them to do just that will become a more and more daunting proposition.

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4 responses to “Turbulence”

  1. Yes I think a fairly broad amount of the odd coalition that came together to give Redford her government last election are fairly unsatisfied with the result… I know that organized labour feels pretty betrayed by Bills 45 & 46 and the sentiment it exemplifies, and centrists/left-center by the swath of cuts she’s tried to implement, everyone dislikes the public purse issues like the Mandela trip.

    I think Redford has gotten some bad political advise as I see her alienating the folk that helped deliver her victory. That would be fine if it could deliver her enough conservative votes to offset it but I haven’t seen any Wildrose types rallying to her banner in response.

  2. This was refreshing:

    “Nenshi says while he disagrees with some of the things she did, Redford was trying to do good things for the province as leader.

    [[ Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told reporters outside old city hall that Redford was a good person who was chewed up and spit out by the system. (CBC )
    “I want to remind people that this is also a human story,” he said.

    “It’s about a real person. A good person. A person who loves this province and has worked hard and made incredible sacrifices for this place. And it’s the story of a system that takes somebody like that, chews them up and spits them out.”

    Nenshi’s sentiments were also echoed by Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason.

    “The polls are bad for her and the government right now and that’s what matters to the PC party is power,” Mason said.

    “I have to say I thought she was a very intelligent premier with her own vision … on a day like today you kind of forget the reasons why this happened and you just feel kind of bad for the person and their family.” ]]

  3. After what happened with online polls in Alberta last election, I feel guilty even quoting numbers here

    Why single out online polls? The live interview ones weren’t any better.

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