Some Political Quick Hits: Szarka, Link, Chartier, and Enough Games From Harper and Ignatieff

When we went to Moose Jaw for Noah Evanchuk's nomination a couple weeks ago, someone mentioned that they hadn't seen a lot of politics on my blog recently. 

I have no idea what I babbled as a response but the truth is that this blog was never meant to be a political outlet and that focus on all things political only came about as I got more and more involved in the Ryan Meili campaign.  Once that was over, I explained that it was only natural that I'd fall back to my pattern of posts on libraries, technology and various assorted other randomness that caught my eye. 

Or at least that's what I thought… 

I'm not consistent with how I tag entries but I took a quick look at my list of keywords and this is how the Top 5 rank (with a tie at #4):

Internet – 263
LibraryRelated – 247
Politics – 190
LibrarySchool – 188
List – 188
VideoClip – 187

Hmm, colour me surprised.  I never would've guessed that Politics would rank so highly as a keyword for posts on this blog, even after three months of pretty much using that tag on every single entry I did.   

Okay, so the whole premise of this post – to talk about what it's not – has been shot to hell. 

So let's do some quick hits on what's been happening lately in politics, quit denying that I'm not a political blogger, and keep boosting that “politics” keyword count until it's #1, baby!   

Chris Szarka running for City Council
– Longtime Roughrider and Grey Cup Champion, Chris Szarka has announced that he's running for Regina City Council in Ward 10 (which happens to be my riding.)  His bio is at the bottom of this City of Regina election page but it doesn't give any great insight into his platform.  For example, you'll likely never hear a candidate say they want to raise taxes and Mr. Szarka doesn't disappoint – he wants to lower taxes too!  He was interviewed on the evening news tonight and said he's in favour of a domed stadium for Regina, a fairly contentious issue in the city these days.  Hard to say how he'll do against a well-established Councilor but one would suspect that the name recognition will be a huge boost in a city without a lot of celebrities.  The incumbent, Frank Flegel, is a local realtor and although I have nothing against realtors per se, we do seem to have a lot of them on our City Council so should Szarka win, it's probably worth it just to have someone else in that chair – especially someone who will bring new blood and new ideas. 

Dwain Lingenfelter and Danielle Chartier Win Their By-Elections
This news is a couple weeks old too but as widely expected, both NDP candidates won by-elections in their respective constituencies.  Dwain Lingenfelter, as new party leader, got the bulk of the ink on this so I'd like to shine the spotlight on Danielle a bit. 

I first heard about her when there was talk that Ryan Meili was going to run in Saskatoon-Riversdale and she was a potential opponent.  I visited her campaign web site (now redirecting to her MLA page on the NDP site).  I was a Ryan supporter but looking over her bio and other materials, couldn't help but think that she seemed like an ideal candidate for this riding.  (And there was also potential for a familial rift as Shea was really excited by her candidacy.) Luckily, I should've known better than to doubt Ryan's political instincts and it all worked out in the end.

Shea and I met Danielle in person at the NDP convention and both came away even more impressed.  I know she doesn't want to be a one-issue candidate but she is an extended breastfeeding mother and for Shea, still nursing Pace at 2 1/2 years, that's a pretty big deal.  In fact, I don't know if this is the case but would suspect that Danielle might be the first breastfeeding MLA in the Legislature.  But as I said, she's not a one issue candidate – she's a very intelligent, thoughtful, community-minded person who appears to have a very bright future in politics (and winning the riding that was home to the last two NDP Premiers probably doesn't hurt if you're a believer in luck/karma/lucky charms!) 

Death of the Provincial Liberal Party
A lot of the commentary after the by-elections focused on the very poor showing of the Liberal candidate in Saskatoon who almost got less votes than the Green candidate and the fact that the Liberals chose not to run anyone against Link in Regina at all.  I'm an NDP supporter but I find this a sad turn of events – there are people in this province who aren't having their views represented with a weakened Liberal party and that's quite unfortunate.  I'm also nervous that this moves our province even more towards a US-style, two-party system – something that's long been the underlying dichotomy of this province – the socialists and the, uhm, not-socialists – but which becomes more overt in the current political climate. 

Federal Politics
'Nuff said…

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