The races have begun, the races for all provincial politicians to make as much capital as possible of the unfolding political scandal over misuse of public funds by former Premier Alison Redford.
One of the races is run by Progressive Conservative Party (PC) politicians currently holding office and PC leadership members to distance themselves from former Premier Alison Redford as far away as possible and save face so that they can stand in the next election.
Another one is among the candidates who want to be leaders of the PC, with each candidate declaring how they will not allow such corruption.
Yet another one, a little bit more crowded, is run by all opposition politicians and party leaders to bash the PC as a party for its culture of entitlement.
Mrs. Redford resigned her position as the Calgary-Elbow MLA to start what she called “the next chapter of my life,” after her use of government money and resources for personal benefit was disclosed in a quite embarrassing fashion.
But we don’t know whether her resignation was voluntary or the result of immense pressure from the leadership of the PC Party as it was clear from the very early stages of the scandal being uncovered that the fallout would be devastating for the whole party and used by the opposition to the maximum possible extent.
In the end it doesn’t matter.
Because it is not only Alison Redford, but the whole PC government that should have taken responsibility for the wrongdoing.
In any parliamentary democracy, the legislature is meant to represent the whole electorate and the council of ministers, as the executive arm of the governing establishment, is held collectively responsible for the actions taken by each and every minister, including the head of the council of ministers, who, in our case, was Alison Redford.
It is interesting to observe why the opposition parties are not calling for the resignation of the whole government and they are appealing only for the dismissal/resignation of Minister of Finance Doug Horner. Maybe it is because they are not well prepared to run an election campaign just now.
It will be even more interesting to see what the RCMP investigation into the matter will come up with after the referral in a big hurry to police of the report unveiled by the Auditor General.
Will the investigation result in criminal charges against any of the politicians? Will any politician stand trial for the misuse of taxpayers’ money?
A thorough investigation would ideally list all the names responsible for the wrongdoing and those who deserve would be penalized under the appropriate provisions of relevant laws and codes.
But could this happen? Most probably not.
Once the political capital has been made, maybe, only maybe, one or two junior staffers could be made scapegoats for the whole thing for not reporting some of the elements in the scandal, and again maybe, Alison Redford could be told to pay more money back to the coffers of Alberta Treasury.
But one can even bet on it that there will be no fundamental review of any of the practices that allowed the “mistakes”, as Mrs. Redford calls them, or that any serious step will be taken to prevent further waste of taxpayers’ money in the province.
Why? Because first of all, Alberta is a very rich province and money is so easily available and expendable, therefore, any crime involving a little waste is easily forgettable.
And secondly, there is a famous saying in the Middle East: “Those who handle the honey lick their fingers.”
You see, there are a lot of similarities between money and honey.