So, in honour of Ralph's induction, I am very pleased to list my all-time top 10 favourite Ralph Klein moments:
10. Saying Goodbye: Ralph reflected on his time as Premier this fall: "You get a lot of free dinners, but after that you get sort of tired [of being Premier], especially when you quit drinking and then it's no fun at all. I don't know why they would want to do it other than the power and the glory I guess and the free dinners and the very few perks that go along with it.""
9. With Friends Like These: Ralph Klein muses about private health care in the dying days of the 2004 election, helping Paul Martin crawl to victory.
8. One Final Flight: Notorious for using the government jet for partisan purposes, Klein flew from Calgary to Edmonton and back again, on the government dime, to say 11 words at the PC leadership convention.
7. Just Shut Up! Following the mad cow scare, Klein told farmers that they should just "shoot, shovel, and shut up" if they found other cases of BSE.
6. He Did Wander Aimlessly: There are so many great Ralph Klein quotes to choose from, but I did enjoy it when he compared himself to Jesus Christ. I also particularly enjoyed it when he called MacKenzie King a pervert, said Bob Rae was a dumb politician, predicted Harper's loss in 2006, and blamed dinosaur farts for causing global warming.
5. AISH: When greeted by protesters on AISH disability insurance during the last campaign, Klein yelled back that "severely normal people" don't want to talk about AISH. He later said that the protested "didn't look handicapped".
4. Liar, Liar: The moment a lot of people began to think Ralph had lost it, occurred in a public accounts review when Laurie Blakeman asked Klein to provide receipts from trips he'd written off as government expenses. He proceeded to lash out at her over a dozen times with "You don't believe me? You don't trust me? You're calling me a liar? You're calling me a liar?".
3. Throw the book at them: Then there was the time Ralph Klein threw a book at a 17 year old girl. It's exactly how it sounds, so I don't think I need to elaborate or add commentary to this one.
2. Helping the Homeless: After having a few drinks, Ralph instructed his driver to pull into a homeless shelter in Edmonton where he proceeded to berate the residents, scream at them to get jobs, and throw money at them.
1. Ralph's Essay: This one comes in number one, just because it's so unbelievably weird that if you saw it on a TV show like the West Wing, you'd roll your eyes and say it was too unrealistic, even for TV.
The whole thing started in 2004, when Klein was asked about public car insurance and responded by musing that Pinochet was "forced to mount a coup". He then tabled an essay he'd written as part of a correspondence course he was taking. However, it turns out he'd plagiarized massive parts of the essay. Ooops!
Labels: Ralph Klein