Tuesday, October 22, 2019

An allegory

Normally one isn't supposed to warn the reader about this, but modern readers are in a hurry, and often are an unsubtle lot. Look at this photograph.

Yes, you say, a black and white photo of what I think is a burl.

It is indeed a burl, but the black and white part is a common misapprehension. There is no pure white, and only a tiny bit of pure black. The rest is shades of grey. Lines, swirls, shapes, textures, and complex patterns, all shades of grey. Way more than 50. In my Lightroom version of the photo, there could be 65,536 shades, although I can't tell how many there actually are. They all go together to make up an image that I hope you think is interesting at least, and beautiful at best.

As a side note, I've taken photos of this burl almost every time I go past it, going on several years now, and this is the first one that I've been somewhat satisfied with. I can do better. I have high hopes for a lens I'm renting on the weekend.

There is no easy way to describe it. Even the photo doesn't really show it as it is. There is more depth than the photo shows, and there really is a bit of colour. Real life is complicated.

So are our politics. If there was one thing I heard over and over again it was that we were a divided country. It isn't that simple. That's sound bite journalism compounded by a tweeting rage mentality. The world is more complicated than a tweet or a sound bite. More complicated than a third the page black, a third the page white, and the middle third a couple shades of grey. Anyone who is telling you so is lying to you. Reject such simplicity and demand more detail.

Albertans need to face up to the reality that the glory days of the oil and gas industry are gone. We still need the products, but they aren't in short supply for at least the next while, so the price will stay low. That is out of our hands, always has been, and likely always will be. We need to be smarter about our provincial budgeting. No matter what pipelines get built, all they do is deliver products to a world awash in them. That doesn't lead to a price increase, or even a better price differential.

Albertans need to realize that separatism is a stupid idea. It makes a 2 year old threatening to hold his breath till he turns blue look sensible. It's worse than cutting your nose off to spite your face, more like cutting your head off to spite your body. There is much to be said on this topic, but it's been done and need not be done here.

Albertans need to realize that voting Conservative in a bloc is dumb. It takes our 34 seats and marginalizes them even more. The Conservatives know they can count on those votes so they campaign elsewhere, and more importantly, craft policies that appeal to other voters. The Liberals know exactly the same thing! And no, a new reform party that thinks the Conservatives are too left wing is not the answer, we did that and it didn't work well. We need an actual centrist party. The Liberals say they are that party, but the name is tainted beyond redemption.

Canadians outside Alberta need to realize we are breathing different air here, and that the rage isn't going away any time soon. I don't have any advice on going forward, other than going forward with the science, and reacting to reality. Climate change is happening, and we need to deal with it.

I'll take these bets:
1- While minority governments typically last just under 2 years, I'll bet this one goes closer to 4, IF Jagmeet Singh can take the long view and bend with the wind a bit. He is in a great position to influence Liberal policy, and even with more seats there is no guarantee of having this much influence. Plus, there is zero appetite for another election, and won't be any time soon, in spite of the primal rage of Conservatives who believe they've been robbed. They don't quite believe that a Trudeau minority government supported by another party is legitimate. The answer to this is some form or proportional representation.

2- Andrew Scheer gets shanked by Jason Kenney in a back alley mugging before the next election. Kenney is a single-minded political animal, and his goal is personal power to inflict his views on the rest of us. He is a repellant toad (I've seen him in action up close and personal) but he is a smart, hard working toad. Scheer is vulnerable. The problem with this is that Kenney can play to the base better than just about anyone, but he can't grow the base. He has more than enough seats in the Prairies, but he needs seats in Ontario and Quebec. I don't think he's the guy. They need someone a little closer to centre.

Lynx of the Day

Deadwood of the Day
Fish Creek near Mallard Point.

1 comment:

  1. Great analysis, Keith, and I completely agree. The NDP is broke so they won't be forcing an election anytime soon and I doubt the Bloq will either so I think the government will go four years unless there's some drastic change to the landscape. Ditto about Kenney. BTW, Love that burl image! Nicely done.


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