Roundup: Farewell King Ralph

Former Alberta premier Ralph Klein passed away yesterday after a battle with dementia and a chronic lung condition. Harper, Mulcair and Rae respond here, as to Alison Redford and Naheed Nenshi here. Colby Cosh offers a must-read clear-eyed look at his legacy, and cuts through the myths and distortions that grew up around it – and offers something of an explanation for Alberta itself in the process. Don Martin, who covered him during his days as mayor, reminisces about his years covering the former Calgary mayor and premier. Michael Den Tandt writes about Klein’s sense of authenticity, which is sorely lacking from political leaders today. The Canadian Press offers a collection of some of Klein’s more colourful phrases and moments.

The responses of Liberal leadership candidates to Kady O’Malley’s question of how they would handle the Mark Warawa drama now includes Justin Trudeau’s, who seems to agree that MPs shouldn’t talk about abortion, or as Dan Garnder puts it, “Some MPs should have the freedom to shut up.” As for Warawa, he’s seen as an unlikely leader of this wee rebellion that he’s started on behalf of Parliament – and the abortion debate as a whole. Andrew Coyne laments the mob-rule mentality of MPs who colluded in their own servitude to party leaders rather than having the self-respect to speak for themselves, and notes that this is about more than structure, but the quality of individuals we’re electing.

The government has just heard back from a special advisory committee on how to reform the public service into a faster, more flexible and efficient workforce that has more room for creativity than currently exists in the rather rigid, staid and repetitive bureaucracy that exists currently. The biggest hurdle to this reform will be the public sector unions, as major negotiations come up next year.

Here’s a deeper look into trail of emails and untraceable BlackBerry PINs that led to the findings against ACOA when they were found to have improperly hired a former ministerial staffer.

The editor of a Filipino-Canadian magazine resigned over what he considers Conservative influence. In particular, the publisher became a party member and started putting much more pro-Conservative slants on things, but this is no doubt part of what becomes of the Conservatives’ aggressive “ethnic outreach” push.

And over in the Liberal leadership race, Martin Cauchon emerges from the time tunnel to 1995 to take umbrage with Justin Trudeau’s approach to national unity and Quebec. Curiously, he considers Trudeau’s approach – that it’s time to stop trying to buy Quebec’s affections – to be outdated, which is a bit hilarious considering that he’s been running his campaign based on twenty year-old anecdotes.