Redford's ruinous legacy
Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 10:45 am
It seems that every time Alison Redford steps down from something political, there’s another scandal tossed into the pile. Having resigned from premiership with a load of expense-related problems, among others, in her wake, I figured that was the bottom of the barrel.
Now, as she resigns from final her political bastion, her position as MLA for Calgary-Elbow, a mound of new incriminating evidence floods in.
We all know as well as we did when she resigned as premier, that these abdications were meant to save face. Obviously, she left both times, because she knew what was about to surface –a smart, but untrustworthy, move.
At this point, Redford is awash in scandal and has very little credibility left. I’d call these latest developments tragic, but the definition of a tragedy implies a fall from grace. Her time as a politician in this province has been turbulent and full of bickering and disapproval at best.
Between the arbitrary use of government planes, irresponsible reporting of travel expenses, “undisclosed” travel arrangements, the buying out of seats with fake passengers, or her “sky palace,” there are a lot of problems.
There is one thing that’s clear, and that’s that Alison Redford has made a fine, and irrevocable mess of her political career. There’s no salvaging that train wreck.
The only thing more troubling to me than Redford’s own blatant abuse of power was the direct refusal by anyone part of the party she once led, to step forward and admit any knowledge of what was done.
Finance Minister Doug Horner, who has been getting a lot of heat over the matter, has been denying ever knowing about the vast misappropriations going on with Redford’s finances – particularly related to travel.
Certainly, I’m sure a lot of it was due to Redford’s own irresponsibility, but to categorically plead ignorance is to cover your own butt, so to speak.
As an added bonus, it makes you look ignorant. I’m not sure what the mandate of a finance minister precisely entails, but one would think he’d be aware of the kind of irresponsible things his premier was doing with that money he’s supposed to be looking after.
I’ve heard the PC candidate Jim Prentice talk of the need to restore the trust of Albertans in the PC government, but he sidestepped any specific talk of how he’ll deal with problems if he becomes their leader.
There’s a lot to be done to restore that trust.
The PCs are washing their hands of scandal the best they can, but the corruption and disorder that we’ve seen in the upper levels of our provincial government are appalling. Even though Redford was essentially chewed up and spit out by her own party for her blunders, they can’t easily wash off the stains she’s left.
They’ve got their work cut out for them.