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Archive for April, 2012

I live in a very strange Canadian province. Since 1905, Alberta has had only 4 political parties rule. And all of them were in power for decades. Today, we go to the polls with a very likely chance of a ruling party change after 41 years of Progressive Conservative government.

The strange part of all this the party that could take power, the Wildrose, is right of the Conservatives. One comment on a media website summed it up nicely; “only in Alberta could you have two right-wing parties fighting for control”. I have lived here since 1975 and while I thought the province was becoming more cosmopolitan, it is moments like this that have me shaking my head. The Wildrose party talks of putting a “firewall” around the province to shield us from outside influences. This was one of the party planks the Conservatives used in 1993 and the Wildrose wants to bring it back. The Wildrose want to elminate the Human Rights Commission and cut the civil service by a third. They promise cash payouts for all citizens (once we have a surplus) and don’t believe that the science of climate change is settled. They have dragged out the Conservative platform from 20 years ago and are presenting it as the way to the future.

These are scary times. The media reports that only 18 of the 87 Wildrose candidates have any experience in government. They have lofty ideas but the reality is that change will come slowly and the world isn’t slowing down. The province can’t exist in its own bubble and the concept of isolating Alberta in a connected world just will make things worse.

Governing is no longer about governing. Governing for the sake of the “public good” doesn’t seem to apply in political races anymore. It is all about winning and retaining power. The election process is now more concerned with making your opponent look bad rather than what you are going to do to make my world better.

I believe that negativity is one of the biggest roadblocks to progress. In a competitive world we lose the goal of the moving ahead as a group – there has to be a winner – and no one wants to lose. A cooperative society will go much farther to make life better for all, but I don’t see that  happening anytime soon – especially around here. We all lose on that front. Going to be “interesting times”.

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Spring Snow

The previous post on April Fool’s Day was a reminder that we can get snow well into May in this part of the world.

Five days later we got another reminder. This time over 15 cm of heavy wet snow. I woke up around 5:45 in the morning to a green flash and the power going out.

An early morning shot of our spring storm

The green flash was heavy snow bending the power lines until they touched something and short circuited. The power came back on relatively quickly and then went out again around 7:20 for about an hour and a half. By then time, I had e-mailed my boss saying I didn’t think I was coming in – she replied that neither was she.

View out of the front window

Driving Snow

The snow had started to lessen around 11, so I went out and slowly shovelled out the walks for my neighbour and us. It reminded very much of what we used to call back east – ‘heart attack snow’. Of course, this will all probably be gone in a week. But there is a high probability we will have another one before the end of spring. Still, after a relatively dry winter, this is a good snow to add moisture to the ground.

How much did we get?

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On Saturday (March 30), it was +10 C with sunny skies.

Today – April Fool’s Day – it snowed for a good part of the day with a high temperature of +2 C.

Tomorrow is forecast to be sunny and +12 C.

Just shake your head and realize this is spring in Alberta!

Penny looking for a spot for her morning constitutional

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