Blue Heron and Government

This morning I am experiencing writer's block.  I have tried the usual tricks to get the creative neurons firing including just writing random stuff, browsing photos and headlines, checking Twitter, and drinking gallons of coffee.  Nothing has worked.  Part of me wanted to write about the Great Blue Heron that has returned to the swake for another year of nesting.  Another part of me wanted to write about the need for the NDP to be deliberate and thoughtful in any decisions they make.  Then I went down a creative path trying to hook those two thoughts together but after two hours of trying I erased the whole lot and thought I would just confess to being blocked.

Not only was I blocked but I was totally distracted.  Other items kept popping into my mind and the whole lot just got blurry and weird.  I kept wondering about the headlines regarding the banning of menthol cigarettes and whether we would be witnessing a substitute "Organic, locally grown, spring rhubarb" flavor instead.  That would translate into healthy tasting, very bad for you still, cigarettes.  To me the effort to ban a specific flavor of cigarette seems like a misguided effort that doesn't address the true root problem.  However I admit to that not being anywhere near a complete and compelling argument for not banning menthol cigarettes but I question whether we are putting our energy into solving the right problems.

Then I thought about using pictures to point out that the government had instituted a province wide fire ban because the shredding ban wasn't broad enough.  Between the urge to be sarcastic and poke fun, I was continuously reminded that Albertans are waking up nearly every morning lately to hear about another young man being shot.  Nowhere in the election platforms of any of the parties was there mention of the growing drug related crime and violence that is manifesting itself in our midst.  In between all that I wondered tongue in cheek, when we are going to see photos of groups of heterosexual and asexual MLAs posted - not because I am anti LGBTQ, I am not.  But frankly I think our province is past that point and there are far more important things to focus on.  It struck me as a little like when women were finally allowed into government; the attention was on our gender not on our expertise and experience.  Here we are repeating that nonsense by focusing on MLAs sexual orientation instead of their ability to fulfill their role.

That brings to mind more nonsense in the announcement on the radio this week that Alberta is heading for a recession.  My gut reaction was to laugh out loud as I drove.  I admit to it being a worried laugh because I have lived in Alberta long enough to have seen this phenomena occur several times.  We aren't heading for a recession; we are already peering into that abyss.  Mounting job losses, longer lines at the food bank, and bankruptcies are on the horizon.  Unfortunately we are in this position because we have failed to establish a diversified economy that would buffer us from the wild swings of the price of oil on the world market.

The NDP has promised in their platform to diversify the economy, and I for one, hope they can pull it off or at the very least move us closer to that goal.  Whatever our political stripes, Albertans need to pull together to get through this economic downturn and begin to build an economy that allows us to thrive now and into the future.  We need to move past our personal partisan blocks to make decisions that are wise and forward-thinking.  My hope is that all the elected MLAs are vitally committed to that end.  If they are, Alberta will survive this crunch and come out the other side stronger and better equipped to face the future.  Our government will need to behave like the Great Blue Heron, flying slowly and deliberately, surveying the habitat for opportunity and danger, before making swift and calculated decisions.  There you go, it did come together!  Blue Heron and government -