The term given to populist Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, who led the province from 1992 to 2006.
Klein, a former television reporter and Calgary Mayor, was known – and loved – for his off-the-cuff, laid-back, hard-drinking, straight-talking persona. Any negative impressions resulting from his behavior were generally mitigated by the perception that he was leading Alberta to new levels of prosperity with the development of the Oil Sands, and keeping a strong hand on the fiscal tiller.
He was dubbed “King Ralph” because his re-elections were always (correctly) taken as givens. His high-handed treatment of critics and even his own ministers and MLAs also evinced a certain lese-majeste.
Unlike most monarchs, King Ralph’s title has not been hereditary; his two immediate successors as PC Leader and Premier, Ed Stelmach, Alison Redford, and Jim Prentice had troubled – and brief – tenures in office.
Suggested by Parli Contributor?Marcella D.