My crystal ball

Let me start by saying I don’t believe the polls. We’re hours away from an Alberta provincial election and throughout the entire campaign, the release of polling data has been a daily sport. From the beginning, all of the polls have been pointing to a majority or minority win by the upstart and unproven Wildrose Party. With all due respect to my market research friends who do good, solid work, I struggle to wrap my brain around the poll results. I don’t think this struggle comes out of denial or a desire to see a different result, but simply because [...]

The Old Boys Club: A Memo to Members

Dearest Club Members: Recently there has been discussion in the media about the Old Boys Club. I write this memorandum to reaffirm the rules surrounding your membership so the Club can continue to be a thriving, secretive force dedicated to upholding tradition. For all communications with non-members, you are asked to dispute the Club’s existence. When asked about, or when you hear reference to, the Old Boys Club, casually state, “The Old Boys Club no longer exists. The times have changed”. The presence of women of various ages and younger men in business, government and community circles provides us with [...]

We are a city in denial

It is usually warmer than this. This cold is not typical. The Oilers are poised for greatness. Our murder rate is an unfortunate anomaly. Edmonton is safe. The snow and ruts have never been this bad. All this road construction is a sign of progress. We never get this much snow. We never get this much rain. They say the mosquitoes aren’t as bad as in the past. Compared to the average (snow fall, rain fall, mosquito count, crime rate – take your pick), we are doing pretty good. Our summers are always really nice. I love having four seasons. [...]

Put on your big girl panties and vote

Or your big boy shorts, whatever you prefer. On a regular basis, I hear from otherwise very smart people that they don’t vote. Why? Because they don’t care. They don’t know enough about politics. They don’t know who to vote for. Their vote doesn’t matter. They are disillusioned with what is happening in parliament, the legislature or their city or town council chambers. Only in Canada, only in a free democracy, could you be allowed to come up with excuses for why you don’t want to do something your country asks you to do. I will take an ignorant vote over no vote [...]

Are politicians made of Teflon?

While the rest of us common folk are accountable to our boss, spouse, kids and conscience, politicians seem to repeatedly skate out of controversy, scandal and bad ethics without a scratch. No matter what their ideological stripe, politicians often get themselves into trouble yet come out unscathed. Bill Clinton’s “sexual relations”, Ralph Klein’s men’s shelter rant and Gordon Campbell’s “had one to many” Hawaiian vacation are just a few high profile examples of politicians who have crossed the line but live to tell about it. Christy Clark has just been elected the leader of the BC Liberals and the province’s [...]