Yesterday Alison Redford did what she has said for over a month now that she would not do. She paid back nearly $45,000 for the costs associated with her trip to South Africa to attend the funeral of Nelson Mandela.
For over a month the Premier has steadfastly claimed that the expenses were government business and that she would not be paying back the money. She even went so far as to tell us what we were thinking on the matter, that we (Albertans) were ready to forgive her and that we were ready to move on from this matter.
Was she ever wrong. Albertans were not ready to move on from this and in fact the outrage continued. Even the tried and true PC method of waiting it out or waiting for the next screw-up to take over headlines so Albertans forget about the previous one didn't work. Although it may have worked had the next 'screw-ups' not also involved the Premier's questionable use of the government air fleet; the issue continued to simmer and the outrage over the incident(s) continued among the electorate.
But what changed yesterday. What was it that made Premier Redford do a complete about face and pay back the money that for over a month she absolutely refused to do.
It wasn't the outrage level from thousands of Albertans who were angry about the waste of tax dollars by the Premier. That has been pretty much constant throughout so that did not change
No, the difference was not the thousands of Albertans upset over this but rather it was just 18 - 20 Albertans, who also happen to be PC MLAs within her caucus who voiced their outrage over the incident, that made the difference.
The fact of the matter is that Alison Redford could not have cared less about what thousands of Albertans thought about this. Their (our) opinions meant nothing to her because there is nothing that we can do about it for at least 2 years until the next election, but she does care about what 20 very specific Albertans think because they can do something about it today.
It is all about self preservation for Alison Redford and what those 20 people thinks matter to her more than the opinions of thousands of Albertans.
And that is the ugly truth.