Less than a week to go until election day, and far too many days have gone by since I last ranted on this page. But I’ve been busy trying to retire from politics, and like everything else in government, it’s a process.
But on to the campaign, and some brief thoughts on it from the last few days:
I did not watch the leaders’ debate.
The impression I got is undoubtedly different from watching the debate on TV. That said, I have to tell you none of them impressed me. Above all else, I’m gobsmacked that Brian Mason and Raj Sherman gave Danielle Smith a free ride!
We all knew they’d go after Alison Redford, because she’s the Premier and in a leaders’ debate, the challengers always go after the title-holder. But you would have had to be out of the country not to know that Danielle Smith looked poised – as of debate night – to become the next Premier. Any person in that position has a lot to answer for, let alone someone whose only experience in elected office was 15 or so years ago as a rookie trustee on a dysfunctional school board – maybe it wasn’t her fault that she was ineffective, or maybe it was – leading a slate of candidates, most of whom have no experience whatsoever in government or opposition.
By the way, nobody ever said life – or politics – is fair. And like it or not, Danielle Smith has to answer for the sorry way she has handled the issue around Allan Hunsperger, the Wildrose candidate in Edmonton-Southwest.
He was the one who blogged that gays and lesbians are going to spend eternity in a lake of fire if they live the way they were born.
(I suppose we should consider that some progress is being made, in that he accepts gay people are born that way, as opposed to making a conscious decision to adopt an alternative lifestyle that offers, oh, I don’t know – better taste in clothing along with the opportunity to get bullied and beaten up at school? So in a sense, he’s farther along than his leader, who still has doubts about the science around climate change.)
I confess, I grew up in the United Church, and we don’t much believe in the Lake of Fire theory of Hell. It seems to me that plenty of good people of all races, creeds, colours, genders and sexual orientations go through plenty of hell right here on Earth. What I do believe in is the clear separation of Church and State and the secular supremacy of the Charter of Rights, and my vote goes only to parties that share that belief.
Danielle Smith should have cut Allan Hunsperger loose yesterday, and she didn’t.
One more note: if you haven’t done so yet, read Andre Picard’s Second Opinion column in today’s Globe and Mail. He nails the health-care debate in a way that most politicians will not – and I wish they would.