Alert readers will recall that on Monday of this week, the Reversidex ™ – the index of embarrassing reversals by Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach’s reversal-prone government – had risen to a record 11.
This was astonishing news all on its own, but who could have predicted that even before Friday, the Reversidex ™ would stand at an unprecedented 14? (Of course it’s unprecedented. I only invented the thing Sunday night.)
There was one reversal Tuesday, and two more big reversals yesterday, catalogued along with some other junk by my friend Dave Berta over at Daveberta.ca. No, wait! Dave Berta is the Mayor of Salineville, Ohio. I’m not making this up! I meant Dave Cournoyer, the guy who my other friend Neil Waugh, the fisher guy, once observed “isn’t some obscure fat frat boy with a sticky-up haircut.” (That’s the trouble with frat boys. They always end up being the president of the United States and stuff. Then the sticky-up haircuts disappear.)
Anyway, Reversal No. 14 came in the form of a news release from Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky yesterday that stated “consultation on new Alberta health legislation is underway and Albertans are urged to provide their ideas on recommendations for the forthcoming Alberta Health Act.” Yadda yadda. For the official reaction, go here, or here….
But, gee whiz, wasn’t it just two years ago, almost to the month, that then Health Minister Ron Liepert stated: “We have studied the issue to death. … There will be no more studies, no more commissions, no more roundtables. It’s time for action.”
Whoops. Did he mention consultations? I call that a reversal, and the Reversidex ™ does too!
Reversal No. 13, of course, was the decision not to hold another fake Senate election any time soon. This is actually a good idea that can save some money seeing as the Senate is (whisper this part) an appointed body. I guess that was sort of a problem back when the appointed ones were all Liberals. Indeed, the idea of the fake elections was to press the Liberals to appoint Conservatives from Alberta so as to be more democratic. But, uh, now that the prime minister’s a Conservative, and he’s appointing his pals from Ontario to the Senate… … uh … never mind. There won’t be any more Senator-in-Waiting elections. Got that?
Senator-in-Waiting Link Byfield will just have to wait a little longer. He’s been waiting so long that there hasn’t been a sighting of him for months, anyway. Folks around here are starting to call him the Missing Link.
The Wildrose Alliance calls this a reversal. (I don’t know why they’re complaining. Isn’t Bert Brown one of theirs?) The Reversidex ™ does too.
Reversal No. 12? Security guards at rural hospitals. They’re keeping them.
So, just to keep score, here are all 14 reversals since the dawn of the year:
14) Another health care study, commission, roundtable, whatever (April 29)
13) No more fake Senate elections (April 29)
12) No overnight security at rural hospitals? C’mon, we were kidding! (April 26)
11) OK, the Liberals can send emails from the Public Accounts Committee without checking (April 26)
10) No means test for seniors’ prescriptions after all. (March 31)
9) OK, we didn’t mean it about not funding foster kids (March 25)
Jails closed at night? Sorry, didn’t mean that either! (March 21)
7) Centralize the province’s ambulance dispatchers? Where’d you get the idea we were going to do that? (March 17)
6) Have the energy industry pay it’s fair share? You’ve got to be kidding!? We certainly were… (March 12)
5) Of course we’ll build a new cancer hospital in Calgary (March 9)
4) Pay for performance? Say what? (March 9)
3) You know how we were going to cut health spending? Well, we actually didn’t. Maybe next year, though (Feb. 9)
2) Close 300 acute care beds? NOT! (Jan. 21)
1) We’ve studied our plans, and we’ll be keeping Alberta Hospital open after all. Thanks for the thought, though, Dr. Duckett! (Jan. 18)
Those of you who feel governments shouldn’t flip-flop may find this alarming. Speaking of which, the Alarmidex, the index of everything alarming that makes alarming things seem more, well, alarming, is set to rise soon. Maybe tomorrow!