Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Martha's Monthly launches in Alberta 

This was received from a group of severely normal Marthas from Southern Alberta who seem a tiny bit upset. Here's what they sent.

June 8 is the start of a revolution! Join in...

Martha's Monthly is a grassroots non-partisan political action movement aiming to have input into policy-making at the provincial level in Alberta. Using the idea of St John's (Newfoundland) Status of Women Council’s "Feminism Fits" we will send a monthly mailout to you about a certain topic in Alberta. If you wish to participate you will find a sample e-letter attached to which you add your name, address and phone number and then e-mail directly to the premier, the Opposition leader, the ND leader, and us. We track how many letters get sent on the one day (the 8th of the month) and we let media outlets know. Ralph Klein wants to hear from "the Marthas and the Henrys" of Alberta and we think it is about time he heard from some Marthas who have a problem with high car insurance rates, a flat tax, the lowest per capita spending in Canada, large classrooms, low welfare rates, lack of affordable childcare, increasing tuition costs, deregulated electricity, the lowest minimum wage in Canada, crumbling infrastructure, and billions of dollars of surplus!

June's topic is Accountability. Here is the video clip from CBC that shows Premier Klein's behaviour when he appeared before the Public Accounts committee for the first time in 10 years in May 2004:

His boorish answers to MLA Laurie Blakeman's request for a receipt were well publicized but it seemed to overshadow the issue at heart...accountability. Mr. Klein is a public official and he was being asked to produce a document that should be provided, one which he carried in his pocket, and one which the Public Accounts Committee should request. The public still does not have access to records of questionable travel before April 1, 2004. Mr. Klein is willing to let the public see expenses after April 1. Why not those from before? In any other province the public would have access to these as a matter of course. Albertans deserve to be treated better.

Let Mr. Klein know how you feel about it. Email the attached letter to him at premier@gov.ab.ca. CC it to Dr. Kevin Taft, Official Opposition leader at edmonton.riverview@assembly.ab.ca, Dr. Raj Pannu, leader of the New Democrats at edmonton.strathcona@assembly.ab.ca and us at marthasmonthly@yahoo.ca

We hope you will participate and pass this forward this email to other "Marthas and Henrys" in Alberta. We are aiming for 200 emails to go to Mr. Klein's office on June 8, 2004. Watch for the next Martha's Monthly on July 8th. Topics are being gathered. To add your voice email us at marthasmonthly@yahoo.ca.

Here is a copy of their first letter for you to copy, paste, and send to Mr. Klein.

The Honourable Ralph Klein
Premier of Alberta
307 Legislature Bldg
10800 97 Ave
Edmonton, AB
T5K 2B7

June 8, 2004

Dear Premier Klein:

I am writing to you as one of the women involved in Martha’s Monthly. You often refer to us common Albertans as the “Marthas and the Henrys” and you say you listen to what we have to say. We are pleased about that and so we have decided to write you on the 8th of each month with our comments on what we see as important in our province.

This month, our inaugural month, we wanted to let you know our disappointment with you during your appearance in front of the Public Accounts Committee in early May. Much has been made of your behaviour towards Ms. Blakeman, and though that was unnecessary and reminiscent of schoolyard bullies the world over, what I am upset about is deeper than your behaviour. I am concerned that after many years in office you have begun to behave as though Albertans are not entitled to have public officials who are accountable to their electorate. Why are your travel expenses not public information? Why are you making them available from April 1 onward but not retroactively?

Mr. Klein, I work hard for my income. I am willing to pay my fair share of taxes, just like every other Martha and Henry in the province, but I am unwilling to see you spend my money on expensive trips, meals, and golf holidays. This is not a legitimate business expense, as you claimed. It is lavish and unnecessary. When I travel to meetings I use car pools, public transportation, and other forms of economical transportation. I think you should too. If you need a jet plane or a car service then prove it. And show me, and the rest of the Marthas out here, how much it cost me to let you have that service. Open your books Mr. Klein. We expect accountability from you.


Your name
Your address
Your city and postal code

Hmmmmm. The natives appear restless.

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