... have been exaggerated. But not by much.
I am, however, back to the grind, Nation... and that includes getting back on the blogging horse.
Summer is a time that many politicos dread, because of the usual lack of anything to cover after the legislatures dismiss... pancake breakfasts abound, and there's the usual "swing through Alberta in July" tour that federal leaders make, but other than that, summer is usually pretty tame, politically.
THIS summer, I think, will be FAR from boring.
On the immediate horizon, we have the Wildrose Alliance AGM coming up on June 25th and 26th. Now, not a lot of people have been paying attention to this just yet, but I don't think it's overstating the fact to suggest that this very well may be the party's "make or break" moment. They have released a booklet of the policy resolutions that they have had submitted from all over the province, and the party membership will vote to either accept or reject the resolutions as official WAP Policies.
THIS, as they say, is when they separate the wheat from the chaff. The membership of the WAP is either going to show itself to be a collection of even-minded folks with an understanding of the nuance required to govern a 21st-century Alberta... or they won't. As much as any MLA, any Leader, or any Executive Director, the Wildrose membership itself is going to show us, this summer, whether or not this party has a legitimate chance at governing.
The long-awaited battle for the soul of this new party is upon us.
And I think we'll all be watching to see how it turns out.
This is not to suggest that the WAP AGM is the only political event going on this summer... let's recall that in July the Electoral Boundaries Commission will release its final report on the recommended boundaries and names for Alberta's 87 provincial constituencies. The report is non-binding, however it's at their own peril that MLA's would tinker with the final recommendations before codifying them as law. The new boundaries would not officially take effect until the next provincial election, however as nomination races begin to take place (and as the Wildrose and the Alberta Party work on establishing 83 - no, make that 87 - constituency associations), many constituency associations will be working off the maps they see in July from the EBC.
Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the municipal election "silly season" will be upon us this summer as well, with the "heavy hitters" doing their opposition research, stumping and mud-slinging while the lower-profile candidates (or candidates in lower profile races) struggle to get any sort of coverage at all. If only Calgarians and Edmontonians had a place they could go to for local analysis of their municipal races...
There will also be big news coming from the Enlightened Savage this summer. Trust me - you won't want to miss it. ;)
Nation, I think we're all familiar with the old curse "may you live in interesting times".
Summer 2010 is going to be interesting, indeed.
Please fasten your safety belt.