Election season features a mix of no-names and conservative throwbacks
If you haven’t already, buy some shares in popcorn because this year’s election season is heating up and it looks to be a doozy.
I have to say, the Edmonton Public School Board election is surprisingly tense. If you had asked me six months ago, I would have thought that the Catholic Board race would be the spicy one. It seems like the dog-whistle conversation about parents’ rights is enticing some unsavoury characters to emerge from their hermetically sealed 1950’s living rooms into the bright light of 2017.
By now you have likely heard about Tyler Duce, Ward G candidate and unsavvy social media user. Back in 2010, Duce wrote, “I didn’t choose to be homophobic, I was born this way,” in a Facebook post.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty clever rebuttal to the, “I didn’t choose to be gay, I was born this way,” argument.
Naturally, this ruffled some feathers, because how can we trust someone to run a school board who isn’t capable of a basic pre-election social media scrub?
Duce, demonstrating that intelligence is also a choice that has passed him by, told the CBC in his defense that, “anyone who hasn’t written a sarcastic social media post before, let them cast the first stone.” A+ work on the gender-neutral pronoun there, but no one is upset because of your poorly played, “sarcasm.”
But really, I’m happy this dude has come out to play: It gives voters in Ward G a clear choice instead of the usual ‘ho-hum’ choice between who loves schools and families more. I remain eternally optimistic that once these jokers lose enough elections, they will go away forever.
Fortunately, the United Conservative Party is here to provide a home for all of these wayward folks. Its leadership election takes place on Oct. 28, even though, as of this publication, there is no official race yet. Also not official? The party’s definition of “conservative.”
For proof, just look to former rumoured leadership contender, Derek Fildebrandt—everyone’s favourite tax maven whose antics are now costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. There’s Brian Jean’s one-man crusade to remove “ideology” from school curriculum. If you take that at face value, (instead of as the anti-LGBTQ call to action it is) makes Jean an anarchist: Formal education systems are, by their very definition, places of ideological indoctrination. A call to remove ideology from school is, what? A call to destroy the entire education system? Gotta love the big ideas this campaign is bringing out.
My favourite so far, and this is a doozy of a big idea, comes by way of Jeff Callaway. Haven’t heard of him? Don’t worry, no one has. That’s all about to change because Callaway is ready to play in the big leagues.
Here’s the plan: Alberta produces oil and so far we’re having difficulty getting it to tidewater, to more markets than just one. There’s a rail line in Manitoba that connects to the port of Churchill that is being sold because the current owner can’t afford to keep it up.
Callaway’s suggestion is that the Government of Alberta should buy both the railline and the port. It’s a win-win: Industry gets access to tidewater and new international markets and Albertan taxpayers get a nationalized (provincialzed?) rail system!
Wait, what? Isn’t the government buying infrastructure to facilitate the transportation and sale of natural resources kind of like socialism? It sure is. Welcome to the UCP, where orange is the new blue.