Staying SoberIt's a bat-crazy election race, but I am going to stay sober because I don't want to miss the fun and I'm really hoping to make a good choice on Election Day. Please don't follow the advice of the Nickelback song, Burn It To The Ground, that the Progressive Conservatives (PC) used in their kickoff. If you drink everything in sight you are in danger of waking up when it's all over wondering what happened, plus you will miss the laughs. Week one has provided at least one laugh a day for which I am grateful. God forbid we stop laughing at ourselves during this election race.
Demons & GigglesDay one was good for giggles with music that revealed no class and no taste, and that stinky plant named Putrella bloomed at the Muttart Conservatory. What were the odds of having an omen of a stinky election race unfurl on day one? The candidates were barely out of the start gate when the Alberta Party pulled a great scoop of the PC slogan by securing the .com and .ca domain names. That was awesome and I am sure it probably made someone somewhere in PC land scream like a demon. In fact it might have been part of the reason that Prentice used inflammatory language that has come back to bite him harder than the whiskey. Congratulations to those of you who lean to the left or to the right, unbeknownst to you, overnight you became extremists.
Brilliant ExtremismMoving quickly, the NDP picked up on the extremist references and decided to add some humour to the situation while Brian Jean was busy digging himself out from his own inopportune comments. Former Premier Lougheed was named the first Extremist of the Day by the NDP party for having suggested an increase to corporate taxes. It was brilliant and funny. The NDP are selecting a PC everyday and highlighting a quote from that individual that is in opposition to the stance being taken by the PC party today. If by chance you missed it because the lights were kicked out you can Google it, or follow the parties on Twitter and have a laugh a day.
While we were busy laughing at the Extremist of the Day, the Wildrose Party was getting into it with the sheriff at the Federal Building. Apparently they failed to go through the appropriate bureaucratic channels to obtain a memorandum of understanding before they started to set up their sound equipment for a news conference on the plaza. Somehow the NDP pulled off a similar gathering in the same location earlier without sheriff or bureaucratic interference. Maybe the sheriff was pounding back the donuts and drinking everything in sight in the coffee shop.
KudosKudos to the candidates who are all-in for getting out and about, and to those of every party stripe who demonstrated graciousness and class in week one. The election train's going and it won't be stopping until last call on May 5th, and Albertan's are watching to see how you ride the train. Thanks to Thomas Lukaszuk, Brian Mason, David Swann, and Rachel Notley for bringing your best to the race this week. Lukaszuk was named Extremist of the Day on the second day and he handled it with aplomb, by requesting copies for his mother. To each of those named, your ability to interact respectfully on hard issues within the pressure cooker of the media was truly appreciated; we really don't need a campaign with people swinging from the ceiling.
Paying Attention & Resolving DoubtsThis Albertan has some fear that we will fail to pay attention to the important things like the fiscal plans that are being provided, and the personal integrity of candidates. Like many Albertans I have some doubts that I need to resolve by Election Day. But at the end of this bat-crazy election race, when all the laughs die down, I want to see an Alberta that stands strong on the ground and keeps turning. What about you? What are you paying attention to and what are your doubts?
Click here if you are curious about the full Lyrics to Burning It To The Ground