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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Democracy Marches On

Monday's election results were pretty discouraging for Liberals, but the provincial party has been working hard to renew itself for some time now. Today I travelled to Red Deer for the Alberta Liberal Party Board of Directors meeting to represent the constituency of Edmonton-Meadowlark. This is the first time I've attended a meeting of this sort as a board member - really a proxy, since our constituency president couldn't make it.

You really feel the weight of responsibility on your shoulders when you suddenly realize that your voice and your vote matter on a very real and immediate level. At the meeting, directors were asked to vote on rules for the upcoming Alberta Liberal leadership race, and as might be expected, there was some spirited - but very polite - debate about some of the details, such as timing of the race, entry fees and so on. I spoke up on a couple of issues and probably annoyed some folks, but that's democracy - everyone has a duty to speak out for what they believe in.
It was a particular thrill for me to officially move that David Swann act as interim leader until the race is concluded. That motion passed unanimously. Over the last few months David has done an admirable job of holding the government accountable for its failures to manage public health care properly, and I admire his spirit and commitment.
In the weeks to come, the various Alberta Liberal leadership candidates will start reaching out to woo supporters and explain their vision for a better province. I'll be watching with interest. 


A Eliz. said...

Interesting article in Sunday's Toronto Star, Perisichilli, whom I usally do not agree with, is bang on today!

Earl J. Woods said...

You're right, A Eliz, that was a good article. Thanks for pointing it out!

"The Jeffian Web" said...

A singular opportunity missed:

The long, wide-angle shot of the delegates' table. Earl, directorially posing the sitters with verbal commands -

- Dr. Swann, please sit at the middle of the table.

- The rest of you twelve in groups of three.

- Kevin, you're on the left, hold both your hands up like "Stop In The Name Of Love". Perfect!

- Liz, hold up that butter knife, now.

- Someone please get a larger plate and put it in front of Dr. Swann.

- Ken, Dave, Colin, group closer together on the right and look concerned. Arrrhh!

- Corey, you stand behind Dr. Swann. Hold your hand in front of your face, point your finger upwards, yes that's it, lean in. You're all like, "What, me?"

- Dr. Swann, hold out your hands, palms up. You're like, "Yes, you."

The Liberal Last Supper!!

But then again, serious politics and religious satire very seldom make a good mix, so maybe if this was indeed a missed opportunity, it's all for the best.

Earl J. Woods said...

Jeff, check this out:

Anonymous said...

Hey The Jeffian Web, Jesus Christ rose from the dead so perhaps the comparison is a good mix except the Alberta Liberal Party ain't dead yet nor is it ever going to be.

"The Jeffian Web" (a) said...

How exciting! An eternal Alberta Liberal political legacy will be something to look forward to, and will be a hallmark for all mankind, I believe. Forget about the nasty Nazis and their Thousand Year Reich (which lasted only 12 years, due to popular aclaim), let's really set the bar to its maximum possible limit: infinity.

The first five billion years or so are the easy part, I would think. Then, it will be interesting to see what the Liberals will do, as the Sun runs out of hydrogen fuel and slowly expands to fill the orbit of Jupiter, swallowing the Earth, all the inner planets, and presumably Alberta in the process.

The first thing I though of was some kind of perpetual Alberta Liberal Space Pod Command. Some kind of self-sustaining orbital station that could be converted to deep space duty once the solar cataclysm begins. That way, the Alberta Liberals could escape into space much as the surface of the Earth will when it burns away as it falls into the Sun. If that's the case, Alberta Liberals had better start fundraising for their space pod, as space pods don't get cheaper as time goes on.

With absolute seriousness, I have read that there has been a commission to study the problem of what to do in 5 billion years when the Earth gets destroyed by the Sun. One plan is to strap massive engines onto the planet and jet ourselves to safety. Likely, the engines will have to be placed equatorially. Alberta NIMBY-ists will be pleased to know that the engines should probably be bolted to some backwater, useless continent like Africa or South America, somewhere far from Edmontonian voters in any case.

A more elegant plan is to strap the engines onto the Moon instead, to send it into a slingshot orbit around the Earth. The periodic pull from an eccentric orbit ought to be able to gently tug the Earth out of the way of the enlarged Sun, given a few thousand years of attempts, again thus saving Alberta for perpetual posterity.

The Alberta Liberal Party will, of course, need to be at the forefront of this effort to save Alberta forever. After we have removed the Earth from the ravages of the Sun, frozen Alberta can safely drift in interstellar space along with the rest of the planet until the collapse of the Universe into a network of supergiant black holes. That problem will have to wait for another day, though.

One last option might be the HPLD contingency. Stanislaw Lem postulated the existence of the HLPD, or Highest Possible Level Of Development. The idea runs like this: even though the Universe may or may not be infinite, it does have a discrete beginning, i.e. the Big Bang. At that point, everything in the Universe had the same starting point. If one significant part of the Universe consistently developed successfully at the best possible rate, then it would be the HPLD race. Presumably, the HPLD would be so advanced that they would have godlike powers, and so issues like saving your homeworld from falling into the local sun or creating a political party that never dies would be absolutely child's play for them. Perhaps the Alberta Liberals could look into HPLD status.

First, though, they would have to win an election, and to do that, they'd have to get past my Dad.

You'd need to be an HLPD to do that, I'm afraid.