It’s been a busier week than I anticipated (although the thing that’s kept me busiest these last 24 hours has been shovelling snow, again and again and again!).
So herewith, some superficial headline treatment of a number of topics to which I should have got before this (I’ll put up something more substantial early next week).
Ho Ho Frickin’ Ho:
US Politics – Obama Wins and I STILL Don’t Know What to Make of America:
Yes, I’m pleased that President Obama was re-elected, carrying the cities, women, the under-30, African-American and Latino votes along with the occasional places in America where people of all ages, genders and colours think like Canadians – the entire Pacific Coast, the US Northeast, and pockets of Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Chicagoland area and chunks of New Mexico and Colorado. But I am dismayed at how divided America remains along urban/rural, North/South, female/male, young/old, and white/everybody-who-isn’t lines.
Personally, the US election result that pleased me most was the decision by voters in Michigan to not throw roadblocks in the way of building a new bridge between Windsor and Detroit. That new crossing is desperately needed for two-way trade to flow between Canada and the US. It is the busiest international crossing in terms of trade in the world, and right now it all has to squeeze across the Ambassador Bridge, which hasn’t been able to handle all the traffic for over a decade now. But the Michigan billionaire who owns the Ambassador Bridge doesn’t care; he tried to trick the voters of Michigan into voting for a proposition that would have maintained his monopoly at the expense of millions of Canadians and Americans. In the end, though, the voters smacked him down.
Nenshi Decides to Run for Re-Election:
Okay, who didn’t see that one coming? Look, I’m almost certainly going to vote for him again and I think he’s done a good job in his first term. He’s brought the airport tunnel in on time and on budget. He’s bringing in his predecessor’s West C-Train line in on time (and over budget). We’ve got food trucks. He lost the battle on secondary suites, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him stick around and bring that one back. He’s brought us a few bike lanes which in turn have emboldened the miniscule bicycle lobby in Calgary to such an extent that they’ve got some of the “you can have this suburban assault vehicle when you pry the wheel from my cold dead hands” crowd acting as though they truly feel threatened – and you’ve gotta like that for the comic value if for no other reason. He’s cool, he’s charismatic, he wears purple, he’s The-Mayor-Toronto-Wishes-They-Had, and by all accounts he’s a shoe-in for a second term.
But two questions: (1) Given all that, did he really need to play coy about whether he was going to run again? I’m reminded of Sally Field on Oscar night years ago – “You like me! You really like me!” And (2), if, as he indicated a few weeks ago, “it would be fair to let people know of my decision one way or the other, so that people have time to plan and prepare”, why didn’t he just do that this week? Why did his announcement come in the form of a new “Re-elect Naheed Nenshi” website?
This is the city of Calgary, not the United States of America, and the Mayor is not the President. The next municipal election is nearly a year away and beginning the re-election campaign now is unnecessary and a bit unseemly, in my opinion.
Then again, maybe I’m just cranky ‘cuz it’s time to shovel again.
One More Thing – I’ll be hosting the Rutherford Show on CHQR 770 Calgary (and 630 CHED Edmonton) starting Friday, November 16 for the rest of this month.
That should be fun…