First of all, let me congratulate all of you for being the first of what will no doubt be MILLIONS of visitors to this Blog as it carves its niche in the blogosphere - your good taste and obvious intellect set you apart from the average web-surfer, and many years from now you'll be able to say that you were THERE at the birth of the mighty ES Blog - you were a trendsetter. Congratulations again. :)
Now that all that sillyness is out of the way - what IS this place? Well, it's one man's attempt to make sense of the political landscape we find ourselves in today. These are great times to be alive and literate, especially if you're into political goings-on. I hope to provide as balanced an approach as I can to the issues of the day, while at the same time making it clear where I stand.
Where DO you stand?
One of my favourite sayings, and you'll be reading this often, is to "Be who you are and be proud of it." So here's who I am: I am a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, and of the Conservative Party of Canada. I am NOT, however, a party hack or automaton, and quite often I see things going on in either (or BOTH) parties that make my skin crawl - you're going to hear about those things as much as you'll hear about OTHER parties, believe me -
I hold my own to a higher standard.It might not be fair, but that's why they CALL it a "double standard". I am an artist, and own a small business that I operate out of my home. I am also a wage employee of the Provincial Government. Because my position with the government makes me privy to certain information that I have sworn (in writing) not to divulge, but may occasionally vent about nevertheless, and because I love my job and intend to keep it, I'm unable to give my name or position with the government - suffice it to say, I get a lot of fresh air where I work.
So I'm a conservative - end of story, right? Not quite... I am, in my own humble estimation, the precise definition of a PROGRESSIVE Conservative - Fiscally conservative, and socially progressive. Many Right-of-Centre politicians these days tend to be more REgressive than PROgressive - they want things to "go back to the way they were when mom & dad grew up". Unfortunately for these folks, you can't turn back the clock, and you can't go home again - times have changed. An inability to see that is a reason that these people should reconsider their career paths, because
I'd consider an inability to accept reality as a pretty major flaw in the character of someone who wants to LEAD me.
As an artist, I have many friends who live "unconventional lifestyles" (in the current nomenclature). Many of them are members of "non-traditional faith communities" - I'll be speaking up for them. Many of them are actively homosexual, or bisexual - I'll be speaking up for them, as well. These aren't bad people, and they're not less worthy or less valuable to society than anyone else. They're different, and "different" scares people - usually, those who are insecure about their own choices, and hide this insecurity by attacking the choices of others. This modern-day bigotry will NOT stand on this Blog. I'm all for healthy debate - provided that debate is grounded in reason, and not Dogma. If someone's opinion is based completely out of a text - be it the King James Bible, the Qu'ran, or Trudeau's Charter - then the debate is over. I'm not going to disrespect those beliefs that someone holds most dear by telling you you're wrong, or stupid - but REASON has to prevail in our society, in my opinion. Dogma-as-law went out centuries ago.
This dual nature - fiscal hawk and social liberal - led me to choose the moniker "The Enlightened Savage", as a nod both to that duality and to the fact that many people who lean left-of-centre are going to be tempted to automatically pass by this blog the moment they read that I'm a Tory. Prevailing opinion, especially in some media outlets, seems to be that to be a member of the Federal Tories, ESPECIALLY in "Red-Necked Alberta", you have to own a tractor, hate women and "dark people", spend 5 night a week at church, and have your brown shirt and armband pressed and ready to go for the party rally. I'd hope that this Blog might help dispel some of those notions.
As I said, I'm going to try to be as fair as I can in this Blog, while still expressing my own opinions. Each party, provincially and federally, has good points and bad points. I'll highlight both. I count myself as a member of the parties I do not because of undying devotion to the parties' policy books, but because those parties come CLOSEST to representing my views, and I insist on having a say in who leads them - which requires party membership. Between you and me, though, I think the Party system is the death of democracy. No man can serve 2 masters, as the old saying goes - if your constituents want you to vote one way, and your party whip instructs you to vote the other, you can lose your job whichever you choose.
Surely, this isn't the BEST we can do after thousands of years of civilization?
The next few weeks are going to be spent mostly on the Alberta PC Leadership Race - the winner of whom will become the 13th Premier of Alberta. The televised debate is tonight, with the first balloting taking place on November 25th. If anything big comes up in the meantime, I'll cover it.
Once again, thank-you for being among the first to join the ES Nation. Y'all come back now, hear?
(p.s. Tell your friends!)