It is the honest truth, the first thing I saw this morning when I walked in my office was this photo from 100 years ago of me interviewing federal Conservative party leader Robert Stanfield during a campaign swing through Cranbrook, B.C. — and I am guessing it was 1974. Bob didn’t win
that year either.
(Just for the record, neither of us have changed that much in the past 41 years, although Bob died in 2003.)
That photo of me and Stanfield made my Mom proud. Before moving West, I grew up in an Eastern Ontario Tory stronghold, where they always said even a Conservative dog could get elected. But I believe times have changed there too.
Here we are in October of 2015 with another Trudeau taking over as prime minister. I well remember being part of the original Trudeau mania in the late 1960s. I was in high school in those days and to be honest probably had little interest in politics, but regardless Pierre Elliott Trudeau was THE man to run this country at least as far as me and my friends on the school bus were concerned. And thanks to our too-young-to-vote support he went on to run the country for many years.
And now another charismatic Trudeau is at the helm. We will see how he does. I am in a odd position this morning. I am not disappointed that Justin Trudeau and the Liberals will form a government, although I did vote Conservative yesterday. And the Conservative candidate in our northwest Calgary riding did get elected.
At the polling booth yesterday I fully expected the day would end with a Conservative minority government. It was only in watching the election results last night that I began to appreciate obviously a lot of people in the country were ready for a change.
I don’t think Harper and the Conservatives did a bad job. My main objection is that he never came across as a warm, personable guy. I think if he had sat at the piano and sang a few Beetle’s tunes a bit more during the 78 day campaign it would have helped his personal appeal greatly. Maybe I was jealous because he had a full head of hair… I don’t know.
And I don’t like politically-motivated stupid stuff, that doesn’t mean anything to anyone except for a few hard working ag media types — once the election is called there is a gag order placed on Ag Canada (probably all departments, but I am primarily interested in the department of agriculture). So during the election campaign you are out of luck if you want to talk to a research scientist about weed control, soil bacteria or anything. Here we have a big strong, open, transparent federal government that’s there for the people, but they are worried about a research scientist saying the wrong thing about foxtail barley or dandelion control during the campaign? It only tells me that politicians are afraid of their shadow, and perhaps every political party today is the same.
I think the Conservatives did okay, but now we will see what the Liberals have to offer. We all have personal agendas. One of my friends also had mixed views this morning. He wants the “oil patch” to be strong so he can get back to work — what will the Liberals do there? And on the other hand he was excited because he figures legalized marijuana will be a top priority for the new government.
He and I obviously have widely different interests, but apparently have some common ground when it comes to talking about “Weeds”. Maybe I should switch over to his area of interest and then “whatever man, everything is totally cool.”
Lee Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]