Saturday, 2 May 2015

Extreme Entitlement, Alberta Style: Conservative Christine Cusanelli Pounces on the Public Teat

Extreme Entitlement, Alberta Style: Conservative Christine Cusanelli Pounces on the Public Teat

Oh well, I’ve had little to say on the Alberta election—who ever would, since governments change in Alberta in more or less the same way as they did in the Soviet Union or under the PRI in Mexico.  No dictator, anywhere, could ever look down more fondly and patronizingly ("math is hard, Miss Notchley") upon the Alberta electorate than a Tory leader.  Even Robert Mugabe must have taken a lot of notes, over time.

Still, I’m writing this post because I just have to say that it really stuck in my craw, big time, when I actually got a call from a semi-English speaking member of Cusanelli’s “team.”  Oh I’d like to believe that he was just one great big idealist who loved Cusanelli, but, after nearly ½ century, I think I can be excused for kind of doubting that he was just there for the stale doughnuts and warm coffee (sorry, scotch and steak, if you’re a PC).

Tory robo-calling is all-out now, with voters in Alberta getting nearly constant taped fright calls (what, couldn’t they actually find a warm body?) about the possibility of electing a party other than the PCs.  If you know you’re losing, and you have no volunteers, and you resort to canned scare calls. . .well, just sayin.’

Cusanelli, though, of Calgary-Currie, probably will win on May 5, and thus score her lifetime pension by being elected twice.  She could face a bit of opposition from the right, but it’s not all that likely.  No, all probability suggests that she will be re-elected (visit her site, I guess, to find out what she did in her first elected term) and score that automatic lifetime entitlement that comes automatically along with being elected twice for the PCs.  Frankly, I’m amazed the PCs would have elected her to run as their candidate again, but so they did, for entitlement runs deep.

You wouldn’t have heard of Cusanelli, because, well, why would you have, unless you’d noted her very first actions in public office: to start sucking madly, voraciously, like some kind of bionic polyp, on the public teat.  She instantly took her mother and daughter to the London Olympics on taxpayer money (yours and mine), and charged up an astounding amount of expenses billed to—you and me—taxpayers, including a $100 Starbucks gift card.  I kinda doubt Christine ever bought a $100 Starbucks gift card for herself, or anyone else, before she was elected as a PC and instantly introduced into cabinet by Alison Redford, but as soon as she could start sucking on the public teat like a crazed woman, she let loose with all barrels.  It’s all there in black and white, or at least the parts the public are allowed to see:

I think Cusanelli’s actions say things about her, and her party. 

 First, it is amazing to me that anyone would be elected to public office and so instantly start sucking on the public teat as urgently and as vigorously as she did.  Yes, I guess it happens, especially in entitled Conservative circles, and especially in Alberta ones, where winning the nomination to be a PC candidate is infinitely more important than anything you’ll ever go on to do afterwards.  Christine knew that.  I’ve worked in at least quasi-political circles, and I know how careful I and my colleagues were to avoid even the slightest hint of spending others’ money.  But we knew people could come in and go over our files—Cusanelli, and her backer Alison Redford, clearly never had such thoughts on their minds—Redford wouldn’t have instantly begun building her sky-palace (, once elected, if she had thought otherwise.  Who knows, maybe Alison was just, as Christine suggested she herself was, a little dumb, and didn’t really “get” the rules.  I suspect, though, that if you asked them, both Christine and Alison would react a little vociferously to the suggestion that they were somehow a bit slow on the uptake, on anything.  Oh, I’m sure they aren’t.  The evidence is in, well in; they knew exactly what they were doing, and if they want to prove, in a court of law, that they were just momentarily, serially, brainless idiots, then they are free to pursue their cases.


[Funny thing, Cusanelli was supposedly a school administrator before she sought the Tories.  Interesting.  She might have had a good pension in that job, but the allure of the public teat and Tory entitlement must have been overwhelming—the carte blanche of the PCs was irresistible even to someone who _had_  what would look like a fulfilling and well-pensioned position.  So much for smelly, runny-nosed kids—Christine had her eye on a much bigger prize she could bag in 8 years or less, forget 25.]

Further, Cusanelli’s sense of entitlement must go back to her family and her upbringing.  It may be that she coveted the Tories and the lifetime pension it brings and is about to bring her, and it may be that her good family just kept supporting her.  Good.  But if I just got a new job, and I told my family, “hey, folks, we’re all going to Disneyland!!  And I’ve kind of maybe got a meeting a little bit related to my new job while we’re there, but we can all go, and I’m paying,” you know what—do you know what—I’m going to say that again—DO YOU KNOW WHAT—MY family probably would have said, “er, Christine, can we afford this?  It sounds fun and we’re grateful, but, uh, can we do this now?  Maybe we can wait a bit and have a nice vacation sometime. . . .”  But oh no, not Christine Cusanelli, and not her family.  They were ALL eager to start sucking on the public teat like crazed maniacs.  Thus, while I do not believe that all parents should always be made to take total responsibility for the actions of their children (even 30-year-olds), I do swell with disgust at Cusanelli’s family, who, if they did not know they were sucking money out of taxpayers’ wallets, at least allowed themselves to go along with Christine’s charade.  They could say they didn’t know, but to say they didn’t know better would, once again, ask them to have to prove, in something like a court of law, just how it was that they so remarkably did not know better what pretty much most all normal working people in the world do.

For shame, for shame.

Second, the Alberta Conservatives took Christine’s attempts to gouge taxpayers in stride.  Sure, she wasn’t in the cabinet anymore, but hey, she’s our gal, is what the Alberta PC government and the good burghers of the Calgary-Currie riding association had to say.  Who knows, maybe the executive of the Calgary-Currie PC riding association had already done, over their lifetimes, a little of the ol’ public “gouging” themselves.  I don’t know.  But it says something about the Calgary-Currie PCs that they’d get behind an MLA whose first actions in office were to start sucking, egregiously, on the taxpayer teat.  Ask yourself—would you have done it?  And if you would have, why?  Had you done it yourself and found it to be enjoyable and rewarding behaviour?  Only PC executives can answer that one.

So anyway, desperate, fearmongering PCs, quit calling me.  I wouldn’t even have been stirred to write this post if I hadn’t gotten so many paranoid PC calls.  Who are the PCs afraid of?  The people? Christine will get in again and get a gold-plated pension for less than 8 years of work (since T-Bird Jim Prentice busted the PCs’s own legislation about “fixed” elections).  When she retires, years and even decades before many, she’ll be able to do many London junkets, on taxpayer money.  Albertans will have reassured themselves, as they have for nearly a half century, that they’d done the right thing, and that, in the interests of investment and job creation, Christine’s flying around the world with her family really and truly were tremendously worth it.  I’m sure Christine Cusanelli’s contributions to public life will, by that time, have been absolutely legendary.


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