Alberta Politics

photos: alison redford sworn-in as alberta’s 14th premier.

Premier Alison Redford at her swearing-in ceremony on October 7, 2011.
Premier Alison Redford hugs Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell at her swearing-in ceremony on October 7, 2011.
Premier Alison Redford at her swearing-in ceremony on October 7, 2011.
Premier Alison Redford and Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell.
Premier Alison Redford at her swearing-in ceremony on October 7, 2011.
Premier Alison Redford recites the oath of office.
Premier Alison Redford at her swearing-in ceremony on October 7, 2011.
Premier Alison Redford signs her official documentation of her oath of office.
Premier Alison Redford following her swearing-in ceremony on October 7, 2011.
Premier Alison Redford mingles among the crowd of people packed into the Legislature building to witness her swearing-in ceremony.

See more photos of Premier Alison Redford’s swearing-in ceremony on Flickr.


11 replies on “photos: alison redford sworn-in as alberta’s 14th premier.”

I suspect that Redford is an Angela Merkel type politician. Which is to say that she is unlikely to fight especially hard for any particular policy that would involve heavy rowing against the current of popular opinion. We’ve seen some elements of this with Christy Clark as she backs away from the most controversial policies of her predecessor in B.C., but it may be even more pronounced in Alberta.

I could point to the reversal on the fall sitting, where the opposition gets to the high ground first and Redford quickly decides to give way, but the best example is the land use framework. Ted Morton put his foot down and accused Wildrose of demagoguery on that issue, indicating his willingness to do battle, but Redford, who is supposedly more hostile to Wildrose than Morton based on ideological pigeon-holing, decided it was too tough a fight and indicated that her government would concede in the face of the populist attacks from the right.

For what it’s worth, she’s also rolled over for Raj Sherman on a healthcare inquiry.

Finally, early indications are that it is the most hard-headed or least “conciliatory” who are likely to end up outside her cabinet: Morton, Liepert, Snelgrove, etc

Perhaps someone could correct my impression by pointing to a Redford policy that would be a risky political sell (e.g. something like Mar’s musing about private healthcare).

I would say her decision to restore $100 million in funding to education, during a time of large deficits, is a risky political sell within fiscal hawk circles.

Thankfully Albertans are starting to realize there is more to politics than just a single-minded focus on the budget. Some things, like education, provide such a solid long term return on investment, that they are worth spending borrowed money on.

Dave: Great photos, as always. Also, an astute comment by Brian Dell, who I think got it right about Ms. Redford’s disinclination to row against the tide where it’s not specifically required. That said, don’t sell her short on toughness. I believe that we’ll see she has an iron fist, whether or not she turns out to wear a velvet glove. And speaking of cabinet choices, I note that rumours are circulating tonight that Thomas Lukaszuk will be back in cabinet, possibly in his old post. The Journal has been pushing the idea Doug Griffiths will also be in cabinet as a sop to Tory “youth” – no such thing, of course, in a party where no shirt’s too young to stuff.

Lukaszuk spent the entire leadership election night running around telling every media outlet he could find how terrible it was that the “third place finisher’s voters second choice” were going to decide who won. I thought it was incredibly embarrasing and damaging to the party (not to mention disingenuous). Having watched him effectively slam Redford’s legitimacy as the winner, I think it will be a big mistake if she returns him to cabinet.

Both Thomas Lukaszuk and Jonathan Denis will be back in but mostly because of their age. Don’t expect either in senior portfolios however.

Mostly, what Redford has done so far is to backpedal on the Stelmach government’s most egregious policies: the most recent education cuts, the land bills, the holy roller Bill 44. Good on her for that!

But can we ever actually move FORWARD in Alberta, or does the hard-line right-wing always get to define the issues? In 2010, both Danielle Smith and Ted Morton, conceding that other provinces have beter social programs than Alberta, claimed that this was because Albertans are bled white paying federal taxes that are then redistributed to low-income provinces. Those provinces then have the nerve to use that money to provide better homecare, daycare, education, and health services than Alberta.

In fact, the provincial tax take in Alberta as a percentage of provincial GDP has fallen to about half what the rest of the country experiences. That’s fine if you don’t think that governments owe their citizens anything, that the mentally ill, the handicapped, the physically sick, the elderly, etc. should be buried in wild roses. But it’s time for the political parties in this province, and not just the Tories, to draw up real budgets for what they would do in terms of expenditures and savings.

Otherwise, you end up with the kind of whistling in the wind that is the stock and trade of most political prattle in Albera, including much of what appears on this blog.

I’m not exactly sure how the public health inquiry is rolling over for Raj Sherman,
considering most Albertans want it. It was Stelmach, Zwoz and Liepert who vehemently opposed it.

If Redford reopens the Bill44 debate it will be a big mistake. The public supports Bll 44 and that was evident in 2009.

I agree with Alvin, above.
We need to distinguish between Maggie Thatcher and the progressive camp. Will Ms. Redford hit up the higher income strata for more royalties and taxes in order to pay for her “new, progressive” programs of all kinds (or roll-backs to what we had before)? When she answers that question, we’ll know which camp she belongs to.

Guys, just because Redford is a woman doesn’t mean we only have to compare her to other female politicians.

Also, Chris, what world do you live in? Bill 44 had a lot of opposition from the public.

Yes, Taras, I couldn’t give a fig whether Redford is a woman or a man, but members of the media have been falling all over themselves to point out that she IS a woman, and doesn’t that make Alberta suddenly “progressive” and at the forefront of Canadian political movements?

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