Here’s the joke (and riddle, too) of the season: the guy this political party offers Edmonton-Whitemud voters in the forthcoming by-election is (verbatim): “a proven leader who builds for the future and knows how to get things done.”
Not only that. His is a “strong voice for Edmonton. The right choice for Alberta.”
You have three guesses who (and which political party) could come up with such unsupported (and unsupportable) drivel. If three guesses aren’t enough, read through the following text and find the revelation at the bottom (which is where this guy and his party belong, anyway).
If elections and by-elections weren’t such important parts of our democratic society, one would have to just laugh reading through the literature individual folks and those who support them publish to drum up custom.
Alas, this is a serious matter. Still, it’s worth a laugh or two.
Such as: a physician, a university-educated person, that is, tells us that, should we elect him, he would “stand up for” (what a lovely turn of phrase, eh?) better management of public health care. In addition, he’s all for equality and respect for all students in our public schools. As if there were no laws on the books covering that issue with much vigour. He would also push “infrastructure needed to promote a vibrant Edmonton,” whatever THAT is supposed to mean. So far as he and his party are concerned, electricity rates ought to be regulated. By whom, pray tell? Besides, long-term care for seniors needs improvement, and he’d provide it. Generally speaking, he would deliver a “fresh approach to government in Alberta.” And Tooth Fairy’s deliveries ought to be included forthwith in the provincial general health care plan – oh, he didn’t say THAT.
Which party could the good doctor represent?
Let’s re-phrase it: which party says openly government knows best and the rest of us, the masses of the unwashed, are a bunch of illiterate hicks?
Then, of course, there’s a candidate who says Alberta belongs to Albertans, or (at least), so it should, and individual legislature members should be responsible to those who had elected them. A rather innovative approach in a country that puts discipline along party lines at the top of its political values.
In any case, this particular idea isn’t really new. One of Great Britain’s greatest leaders, the late Margaret Thatcher, used it within her parliamentary caucus, and it, unfortunately, ended up costing her her leadership job.
On the other hand, the idea that Albertans have no fuzzy feelings toward helping pay for the Vancouver Olympic Games doesn’t require special public opinion polls to confirm it. Most Albertans, it seems, think that the event was one of the stupidest extravaganzas of our time.
Besides, it seems many would agree with the sentiment expressed decades ago by the late Ralph Klein. Some impositions forced upon Alberta because some Eastern provinces have more electoral votes should be scrubbed. Granted, Klein used a language much more colourful than that, but it’s the idea that counts.
So, the Alberta to Albertans crowd can expect anguished howls, bitterly accusing them of xenophobia and other unspeakable crimes. Besides, they can expect a chorus of jeers that would be telling them this was not fair. As if fairness had anything to do with Albertans having to pay for some perfectly and shamelessly misguided policies that have brought some of the Eastern provinces, and British Columbia, too, close to the poor house.
Whether the Albertans for Albertans’ time has come yet, who knows. But the idea is not going away any time soon.
Then, of course, we have the clowns who haven’t decided yet whether, and if so, how to, ride the coattails of a former Prime Minister’s son.
Of course, said late Prime Minister is not really a fan favourite in Alberta, what with his National Energy Programs, a.k.a. NEP, and other, similar absurdities. For the potential voters might want to remember that the late Prime Minister’s path to power took him all the way from Nazi beginnings, through Communist sympathies, Socialist memberships, to the top of the party that could deliver him to 24 Sussex Dr. in Ottawa. His son is a less sophisticated (and even less educated) version of his father. For that reason alone, he hopes to attract masses of young and naïve voters. The provincial wing of the party just loves their federal leader’s demagoguery. It’s the memory of his papa’s deeds that keeps them undecided.
And then we have the guy who says simply it’s about the right time to teach the governing party a lesson.
Considering the governing party is trying to push through a guy who had already cost Edmontonians untold hundreds of millions of dollars, both the governing party candidate and his party deserve a firm kick in the areas where it hurts the most.
It’s not known whether the guy who said the governing party needs to be taught a lesson meant exactly that, that is, physical punishment to remember. One is almost certain that, if asked, the guy would shrug his shoulders and laugh.
In any case (here’s the riddle from above revealed), anyone who thinks of voting for Stephen Mandel, the guy who (with a straight face, too) claims that he’s a proven leader, should ask the good doctor who preaches that government knows best for an urgent referral to a shrink.