I haven't seen this much flip-flopping since a Gull Lake trout hit the bottom of the boat. Or, as an old friend of mine once said, "He's trying so hard to avoid looking at the problem he looks like a tweaking rooster watching ping-pong."
With the Syncrude trial underway and attention focused on recently released April 2008 photos of ducks stuck and dying in tailing ponds, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach was asked by reporters if he had seen the pictures.
His surprising 'no' created a buzz. How could the Premier not have seen them?
Questions of honesty and motive arose. The opposition alleged that Ed is playing the 'plausible deniability' card in an attempt to avoid having to answer questions (read: accept any responsibility) on the subject.
Now under fire, Stelmach tried to explain himself in the Legislature.
"The reference here is to the pictures that are evidence in the trial that's before us and I was very frank to the reporter yesterday. I did not see those pictures at all prior to them being delivered to the court as evidence," Stelmach said during question period.
He's seen pictures, but not necessarily these pictures.
It just begs to be a comedy routine, doesn't it?
"Yes, I've seen pictures before. Oh, the duck photos? Have I seen them? Those ones over there, not these ones. Which ones? This one, no, not that one. Maybe that one…I think the ones I saw were smaller. Not those, but these. Let me see that one. I don't recognize that duck at all. This one? Um….You heard I'm re-doing the Royalty thing, right…?"
Yes, Ed. We know that you have lifted yet another idea from your inevitable replacements. Albertans are fully aware that the only unique ideas you and your government have implemented are such overwhelming failures as the Health Care 'superboard' and your economy-poisoning Royalty program.
When erroneous and unpopular policy is delivered by someone whose public image has deteriorated into a mix of one part aloof - one part pathetic, it kills any remaining trust the people have in the abilities of their government.
That is the point Alberta has now reached.
Drop the writ, Ed.