Jean Chretien got forced out a few months ahead of schedule, and so will Ralph Klein:
What a way to go out -- the bloodied loser in a gigantic game of chicken.
Premier Ralph Klein fell in a big way Friday night, when one of the biggest gambles of his political life blew up in his face.
Nearly half his party told him the gig was up. The game was over. Ralph, close the door on the way out.
Delegates to the Tories' annual general meeting signalled conclusively and resoundingly the Klein era is over. One of the most glorious rides in Alberta political history has ended in a smoking heap.
Reporters and delegates knew the news was bad as time counted down to midnight. Results were supposed to be available by 11 p.m. As the minutes ticked away, rumours set in. The buzz was 62 per cent, then 55. No one believed 55 per cent -- it was way too low. Except it wasn't.
It was an inglorious finish for a premier who took the province to great heights, but didn't know when to quit.
In the end, Klein either didn't have the people around him to tell him the hard truth, or he refused to listen.
When a leader's time is up, he cannot strike a bargain with time. Those who want him out, will want him out even faster. And those who might have fought for him, will not, because their future in the party suddenly matters more than keeping the old boss in office for just a few more months.
Ralph Klein will have to go quickly now, not in the fall of 2007, but at least a full year earlier.
It didn't have to end this way for him, but he has none to blame but himself for his disgrace.
Source: Calgary Herald