Book suggests former Alta. premier’s wife didn’t want him to quit

EDMONTON — Ralph Klein hung around as Alberta’s premier longer than he wanted to because his wife didn’t want him to quit, contends a just-released book by a former Tory aide-turned-journalist.

EDMONTON — Ralph Klein hung around as Alberta’s premier longer than he wanted to because his wife didn’t want him to quit, contends a just-released book by a former Tory aide-turned-journalist.

“Why did he stay so long?” asks Rich Vivone in his book, “Ralph Could Have Been a Superstar.”

“For the simplest of reason — his wife wanted him to stay.”

Vivone attributes that to “an extremely informed source” and says it meant Klein stayed in politics three years longer than he intended because he led the party into the 2004 election.

Vivone was a minister’s assistant in the governments of former Conservative premiers Peter Lougheed and Don Getty and the long-time publisher of a newsletter called “Insight into Government.”

Vivone, who now lives in Kingston, Ont., criticizes Klein in the book as a one-dimensional figure who retired the provincial debt but didn’t vault Alberta into greatness.

“Klein’s leadership was about himself,” Vivone writes. “He attracted few interesting people into politics. He didn’t encourage citizens to participate in politics. ”

“He had little respect for his enemies or people with different ideas. And he had no grand schemes to lead Alberta into a new era. ”

“Klein made countless speeches but none with vision, inspiration or hope.”

Vivone argues that Klein’s government perfected a system to shut down critics and would punish people in all sectors of society if they spoke out about the party in power.

“The message was clear: you are either with us or against us. That was the tone the Klein government set out early after its election in 1993.”

The author says Klein will be best remembered for paying off the province’s debt but says he squandered a chance to be “a superstar” because he didn’t achieve health-care reforms, diversify the economy or set up world-class schools, among other things.

Vivone concludes Klein’s lack of vision has continued under Premier Ed Stelmach.

He accuses Stelmach of lacking “leadership and passion.”

The provincial Liberals also don’t escape unscathed. Vivone concludes the party is always looking for the perfect leader, winds up self-destructing and will never form a government.

Just Posted

Police say a woman in the Red Deer area may be in danger

Public’s assistance is urgently requested

Cannabis legalization won’t impact one Red Deer pot dispensary

Nothing changes for Compass Cannabis Clinic in Red Deer despite legalization

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

B.C. man accused of swimming naked in Toronto shark tank arrested in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Police have arrested a B.C. man who is… Continue reading

‘Start low, go slow’: Experts walk bud beginners through cannabis 101

With the countdown to cannabis legalization Wednesday ticking towards 4-20, some novice… Continue reading

Most Read