Two backbench PC MLAs have spoken to the media about the results of the Calgary-Glenmore by-election and their concerns about a hostile political environment in Calgary. Calgary-North Hill MLA Kyle Fawcett told the Calgary Herald that he believes Premier Ed Stelmach has:
“done very little, I believe, to instil confidence in at least people in Calgary that he has the leadership capabilities to lead this province.
This is quite the stunning change of opinion by Fawcett, who has developed a reputation as a Stelmach-evangelist on the floor of the Legislative Assembly. Here is an exert of Fawcett’s speech in the Assembly on February 12, 2009:
Our Premier is a man of extraordinary vision, someone who fails to fall into the trap of regressive thinking during challenging times. He is a steady hand at the wheel of the ship in turbulent times. When others retreat, he has the optimism to search for the light at the end of the tunnel, the beacon of hope that all Albertans aspire to. He has the dogged determination to push forward to establish this province’s place in the new world paradigm when the negativity of others is enough to stop progress dead in its tracks.
It seems very likely that both MLAs were either asked to or given permission to speak to the media to counter accusations that backbenchers speaking against the Premier will be ‘Boutilierd‘ and to temper any anti-Stelmach sentiment that clearly wasn’t understood in a recent media release. I have been told that a similar tactic of external criticism only after internal permission was adopted by the Deep-Six, of which Premier Stelmach was a member.