You may remember, a couple of months back, I did a survey on Canada’s worst premier. It wasn’t a surprise to me, of course, that Dalton McGuinty of Ontario won that one, nor that Alberta’s Alison Redford came in third — mainly because Ms. Redford is not one who’s a particular favorite of Alberta’s Tory bloggers, and had just earned a fair amount of BT animosity for defeating the Wild Rose Alliance.
I mention this because, a couple of days ago, the National Post’s Matt Gurney did a write-up on a meet that Mr. McGuinty had with Ms. Redford. Of interest is this:
Ms. Redford is doing exactly the right thing, for Alberta and Canada, in making sure that the other provincial leaders are on board with Alberta’s continued energy development, and in reminding us that what’s good for Alberta is good for us all. And if she can convince Mr. McGuinty, she can convince anyone.
It occurs to me that Ms. Redford is doing exactly what a premier of Alberta should be doing: standing up for her province in the face of the tradiitional bullying of the Ontario government. This gives me an opportunity to run our survey again, but this time with a different question: which premier do you most respect?
There is a fairly big difference between “respect” and “like.” “Respect” means there’s a quality or qualities in the subject that you recognize as a virtue that you appreciate, and that’s important because that respects allows you a more realistic assessment of your chances for successfully opposing said subject. For example, it’s obvious that a lot of people don’t like Premier McGuinty, but he’s pretty intelligent, he’s got good discipline over his caucus and he’s been fairly candid about his errors and backpedaling. That, combined with a clumsy Opposition, is why he’s managed to stay in power for this long. It’s also why people who ignore Mr. McGuinty’s virtues (or try to dismiss him as not having any) tend not to have their candidates elected in the long run. That’s something you should bear in mind when answering this poll: you need to do a fair appreciation of the premier you pick.