Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Alberta Dictionary: Oberging

I'm still wondering where Lyle Oberg's skeletons are. When he got kicked out of the Government caucus he was widely quoted:

The premier does'nt want me as a back bencher, I know where all the skeletons are buried.

Oberg is about as good with metaphors as he is with running government departments. Skeletons are not buried, they're hidden in closets. Why would you bury a skeleton? Some cultures in Africa put their dead ones in caves then come back years later and gather the dried out bones for burial. I'm sure that's what Oberg was talking about. Africa. But lets not get all Cliff Claveny.

The comment almost screams for an enquiry into Alberta Government corruption. But only Federal Liberals are corrupt, correct?

Not long after he made this flippant comment Graham Thompson of the Edmonton Journal asked him about the skeleton comment and got a stupid answer. I have to quote the whole exchange to give the full picture of Oberg's shallowness:

Oberg: First of all I want to make something absolutely, 100 per cent clear here. The integrity of this government and the integrity of Premier Klein can never be challenged. When I was talking about skeletons, I was talking about gaps in policy. I was talking about being the back bench member that was going to go out and talk about weaknesses in policy, talk about policy in general and bring forward constructive ideas about how we can change policy.
Reporter: Usually the word skeleton is not used in that context.
Oberg: Hey, I'm a doctor.
(laughter in the room)
Reporter (me) looking for clarification: Would you care to help me out here?
Oberg: The bottom line on this one is as a previous backbencher I went and looked at policy, I went and looked at policy that would make Albertans better, that would make Alberta better. That's what I saw at that time, I saw my role as a backbencher, as a government member, to bring out gaps in policy, to be able to show Albertans what direction we can go. As a member who is no longer a government backbencher, I will be doing the same thing, I will be offering constructive ideas on issues that I feel affect Albertans.
Reporter: Then what are some of the gaps?
Oberg: I'll give you a good example. Highway 63 (from Edmonton to Fort McMurray) which is one that was in my particular portfolio. The policy is that we will not twin a road until there are 10,000 vehicles per day. Highway 63, according to the last count, had a vehicle count of about 38-hundred. Quite simply, we know, you know, Albertans know that Highway 63 has to be twinned. So, we went ahead and did it, we changed the policy, we took the policy and we basically said this policy does not affect Highway 63. And those are the types of ideas that need to be brought forward, that need to have good, open discussion in Alberta.

Yep absolutely 100% clear. You wonder why Oberg did'nt just say, I know where all the gaps are, and as a back-bencher I sure will find them all and fix them because thats what we backbenchers do. Gap-finding, gap-fixing all day long. Did I say skeleton's in the closet? Well obviously you all know that means policy gaps. When I use a metaphor I choose it to mean exactly what I want it to mean. Mangling metaphors is a solid step towards good open discussion. The integrity of Premier Klein can be challenged quite easily, just not by ambitious boot lickers. So I guess he's half right. But in order to challenge him, I guess you would have to find him.

Meanwhile..according to the Alberta Infrastructure website only preliminary studies have been started on twinning Highway 63. They do not know yet how much it will cost. The Government has not allocated any money to this 6 year project. The website notes that surveying will go on well into the winter, but they do not say which winter. This huge multi-billion dollar project was all Oberg's doing. He single handedly found that skeleton gap.

An aside: The main reason Oberg requested a return to the Conservative side was because he did not want to sit next to Paul Hinman (of the AA party) any longer. There is a chance that if Mr Hinman rises to address the Legislature with one of his boiler plate anti-gay speeches that God Almighty might strike him with lightning on account of the well known fact that God does not particularly care for bigotry. If that happens Hinman's head could explode and spray cream cheese all over one of Oberg's $2000 suits. Oberg believes it would be very unfair for the taxpayer to have to pay for all that dry cleaning. And we all know that he always puts the people first. He's just that kind of guy. He finds and fixes gaps.

Where were we?

As a result of this unfortunate semantic retardation I've added the term Oberging to my Alberta Dictionary Project.

Oberging means to falsely imply that you could be a whistle blower in exchange for personal gain, but then renege on the promise because you don't really care about the integrity of Governement, just about yourself.

I think i see a gap... Please recommend this post

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