The summer is a slow time in the news business in Calgary. Aside from the odd spat on city council and the usual crime- and weather-related stuff, things can be pretty sleepy in Cowtown, post-Stampede.
I’ve been trying to get interested in the one hot political story in the dog days of summer, which is just who is going to succeed Ed Stelmach at the helm of the Alberta PC party. But I just can’t.
I honestly didn’t think it would be possible to have a more boring, sleepy succession to one of the most boring, sleepy politicians to ever run this province, but I was wrong.
There’s no fire, no grit and no drama. Maybe this is a good thing, considering that flashy political showmanship really means nothing in terms of being a good leader, but I can’t help myself from feeling that this multi-horse race is just flat out … dull.
Is it because we’re living in a post-Ralph Klein world where we find ourselves missing an off-colour comment or action?
When the Progressive Conservatives went to find Ralph’s successor, there seemed to be a real political power struggle. A good old blood-and-guts knock-down-drag-out fight, pitting the financial brains of Jim Dinning versus the angry, snortin’ Ted Morton. Then both heavyweights collapsed, and Steady Eddie was handed the keys to the office.
Morton is back, but he’s nowhere near his old cranky, fired-up self. We have former health minister Gar Mar, who seems to be best known for his massive bus, which bears an equally massive photo of his face. There’s two guys named Doug, a guy named Rick, who kind of looks like the Nabob coffee guy, and the lone female.
Ask most Albertans what they think of the potential candidates and you’ll be lucky if they can even name one of them. It’s a snooze, a snore, and it’s not even a provincial election. But if the latest polls are to be believed, one of these people will likely be the premier when the votes are counted in the next election.
I know we’re supposed to remain engaged in our political process, whether it’s within a party or during a provincial election, but I just wish these folks would spice things up a bit. Who wants to talk dry politics when there are patios to sit on, hotdogs to roast, concerts to go to and cold beverages to consume? Get controversial or at least get on the offensive. We can’t actually be expected to take an interest in politics if they’re merely practical, can we? I guess we really do get the government that we deserve.