Looking for the Bogeyman… A fulfilled promise I tweeted to @ppilarski

Such is the “heading of my blog site”.

As most of you my faithful readers, ie the 6 or 7 of you who show up on “site stats” everyday know, I’m a proud member of the new #abparty, Alberta Party for you non twits. Up until the Policy Convention for said political party I was a “non-twit” as well, or is it tweeps, I’m still not really sure. Haha again my faithful readers (perhaps the reason there’s only 6 or 7 of you) I digress. For those of you that follow me on Twitter I have tracked down the bogeyman, his name is Piotr Pilarski, @ppilarski and he’s not that scary. I made him a promise today, I would describe what a “Progressive” is to me.

The dictionary, you know the one that is named after a VERY FAMOUS and scholarly old town in England, who now because of admitting Sarah Palin’s word “refudiate” into its hallowed pages as “word of the year” (Bill Gates hasn’t caught up yet to the dictionary, THANKFULLY, spell check isn’t claiming “refudiate” is spelled right. Finally spell check does something right!) probably has a whole town full of velvet robed Bogeymen floating ethereally around at night; describes PROGRESSIVE as:

  • in favour of new ideas, modern methods and change;
  • happening or developing steadily

So @ppilarski if you can truly point to the current government and its machination federally and still claim ownership of the above; I congratulate you and applaud such forward thinking. Notice I said YOU. I also wish you tremendous success on the very difficult road you have ahead of you changing the inside of a slowly leaking tire on a rim that has been permanently welded on to a very large piece of industrial machinery. The mechanics are all sitting around trying to figure out how to do it. Ah ha lets blow it up with hot air and then go to Wal Mart (even my old hometown of Okotoks has one now, what with the need to desecrate rural Alberta small businesses in favour of a “Progressive American Corporation” whose labour and retail practices are carefully gleaned from the pages of Industrial Revolution Factory handbooks) and pick up some super patchy, that will work well. Then we don’t have to actually figure out what to do with the tire it will just get fixed and we can ride around on it a while longer. In my opening statement I referred to you, because there is absolutely no way that you can tell me that the statements coming out of Edmonton and Ottawa are in any way resembling the meanings prescribed by the great tome of wisdom above, refudiate being a momentary lapse in judgment. The wheel by the way has got to come off. More importantly the whole axle has got to come off. Chances are the other permanently welded on rim on the other side is wrecked as is that wheel and the others… well you get the picture. Sounds expensive doesn’t it? Well yes typically when someone goes and welds their rim directly to their car, it makes it difficult to change the tire, as in put on NEW TIRES. Moves like that usually mean you’ve got to get rid of the whole vehicle. Ok I’m starting to stretch my analogy.

Raj Sherman was the subject of an earlier blog by me, “Looking for a Saviour”. Again, let me reiterate we should be proud of Dr. Sherman standing up for what he should know is right and quite frankly, he has far more experience than I will ever have in commenting on issues such as ER wait times, etc as he is a frontline doctor. Being that I get light headed when I get a flu shot I never aspired to be a frontline Doctor. HOWEVER, let me say with all due respect I am somewhat cautious of the motives, and it goes to the very heart of our discussion of “Progressive”. If Dr. Sherman thought he would somehow get elected and change the Party from the inside, he was grossly naive, and misguided, and his attempts as we all have evidenced, failed miserably. If this is your plan, and he is described as a PROGRESSIVE Conservative, might I suggest to you he is your canary in the coalmine. His health care amendment died, a slow agonizing debate ravaged death. What did he think would happen? Or was it something a little more sinister. I will run as one of the paper bag puppets with a smiley face that the PC Party could run and win anywhere, use the Party for my personal gain, go along with it, and then when the time is right; get my Warholian (take that Oxford Dictionary) 15 minutes of fame, 15 days now probably. Or the third is just plain troubling, that upon being sworn in as a PCAA MLA Dr. Sherman ACTUALLY BELIEVED in the policies, bought into the policies, espoused the policies and had no issue with them. Did a stint in ER lead to his Damascus Road experience? Look at the options. They all lead to something that really isn’t quite positive, as his lawn signs all had a PC Party logo on them; and I imagine, although I wasn’t in the Tweetosphere (is that a word in Oxford?) at that point, that @ppilarski would have been chiming the praises of this Progressive of Conservatives. It makes me think, I trust it does all of you as well. More importantly, I trust it makes this Progressive of Conservatives, Dr. Sherman think.

In addition, progressive thinking, in essence Renaissance thinking doesn’t favour the “one trick pony” either. I would ask our friend Dr. Sherman for his views on energy, the economy, research and development, agriculture, trade barriers, etc etc etc. Galileo didn’t just gaze up at the stars and say, “Bravissimo, completo!!”. Da Vinci didn’t just paint the Mona Lisa pack up the easel and yell “Ciao bella”. These are PROGRESSIVES. They looked at the WORLD AROUND THEM not just Vegreville, Spruce Grove or Airdrie and wanted to make a difference. They wanted to change things, turn things upside down. Rip the rims off the cartwheels and design a car. They’d look at the rumbling, plodding machine of our government and society and want to dismantle it and start again. It is the kind of thinking that must occur if we are to truly change and it is the kind of thinking that is NOT occurring in Edmonton; in the Legislature, by any of the Parties that hold seats. Partisan politics CAN TRULY BE THE BOGEYMAN if it categorizes and ultimately breeds dogma, dogma does not yield Progressive thinking.

Cut taxes, cut taxes, cut spending cut spending. Increase spending, increase spending, increase taxes, increase taxes? Really? This is new? This is Progressive? This is nonsense. Why do we need to raise taxes? For what do we need to cut spending or raise it? For innovation, for competitiveness advantage, for legacy programs that will benefit all Albertans, etc etc etc. This is the debate that needs to occur and isn’t occurring. We have an abundance of natural resources, 10s of decades of hydrocarbons. So we do it the old way, with acrimony and codependent relationships between foes that breeds the energy industry we have today (see my Opera, Kumbaya). OR we dismantle the whole thing and build it back up again in partnership with industry to make Alberta a global leader in green hydrocarbon production while at the same time increasing our consumption of renewables and making us a global leader in those areas as well. For even there, the Renaissance thinkers of old would laugh at our Quixotic mix of windmills scattered hither and yon and geothermal thrown in, and solar panels patchworked all over the place, why? because there is no plan! Again, Renaissance thinkers didn’t just bang out a machine for that day. They wanted to revolutionize the world that they knew and the world of the future. Ever been to Pienza, Italy? It is an amazing place, an incredible place and it was built by the Pope Pius II 550 years ago as a “model Renaissance town” after gutting the Pope’s old town of Corsignano. It survives today as an example of town planning still emulated. That, was progressive thinking. Another big “Group of Progressive Thinkers” that I’m proud to be a member of, is SLOW FOOD. It is progressive in its thinking by “looking back” at food production, distribution and agricultural techniques, and taking a long hard look at our over subsidized, overburdened, over industrialized food system. A system that by the way, the Renaissance thinkers would tell us; is as big, if not worse a contributor to Greenhouse Gasses and destructive water practices as the O&G industry. That system needs to be overhauled and changed for economic health, BUT FAR MORE CRITICAL for the health of our citizens, with huge emphasis being placed on our children.

All of this is Progressive thinking, and none of this is impacted or SHOULD be impacted in any way by which church you go to on a Sunday, or if you even go at all, or if you attend a mosque or temple or synagogue. Unless asked to do something illegal or immoral, why would or should  your personal views on morality have anything to do with the above. It is 100% about governance, good governance, responsible governance, creative and progressive governance. If government is not daily making pronouncements on all of the above and more, they aren’t progressive at all. If the Opposition isn’t daily hammering away as to why the government isn’t discussing, prioritizing and enacting the above and so much more I’ve not got room to touch on; they aren’t doing their job, and they can be as “Liberal” or “Left leaning” as you want to label them, who cares? It doesn’t make a bit of difference what side of the political spectrum you come down on. If this isn’t how you are thinking, you aren’t Progressive at all whether Liberal, NDP or despite the fact that it appears as a precursor to Conservative on your lawn signs at election time. And about that Conservative moniker, good, so we should be. Fast and loose with the hard earned dollars of the citizens of the Province, absolutely not. Raising taxes for unbridled, NON PLANNED spending, FOR SHAME! Investments as we have heard in the various “schemes of the early to mid 2000’s” FOR SHAME! Playing eeny meeny miny mo with taxpayer dollars to fund essential services like mental health and ADEQUATE HOUSING for low income earners coupled with REAL JOB TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT when we find out the bank machine isn’t spitting out all the cash we had hoped, FOR SHAME! Throwing the economic baby out with the crystal clear environmentally friendly bathwater, FOR SHAME! Tell people how progressive you are when you completely displace an entire economic system which is a the financial lifeblood of the vast majority of our citizens WITH NO ALTERNATIVE OR TRANSITIONAL PLAN. Without a TRUE RENAISSANCE in our thinking which ALWAYS LOOKED TO THE PAST for clues of how to improve the future IT NEVER disregarded it as irrelevant, we are destined to never truly PROGRESS.

Does this sound Progressive enough for you @ppilarski? I trust it does, because this BEGINS to tell you and your PC colleagues what I think a PROGRESSIVE society should look like. Interesting though, Da Vinci was thought to be a lunatic. Galileo, we know full well how things went for him with the church and the establishment of his day. There are countless more examples, and there are many more  students of history far more qualified than I, a graduate in Theology from a CONSERVATIVE institution to give creedence to their lives’ work, I trust my point has been made.

You sir, are our Conservative bogeyman. We love to taunt you, I believe it fair to say you relish the opportunity to do the same. I’ve said to many of my fellow #abparty members to “choose our hill” adding in jest “not one controlled by CNRL, the ERCB and #pcaa say nothing dies there”. If we are going to go out in a blaze of glory it certainly won’t be on many of the trite matters that arise on the Tweetosphere. I applaud you sir, and respect you for the day when faced with the barrage of ER & healthcare crisis related issues you apologized for remarks you made obviously out of anger when memories of your mother’s death in ER surfaced. It is only natural under such a barrage, that they should and we out of respect should allow you that right. That took courage. That’s why although we may be tempted to categorize you as a “bogeyman”, you aren’t that scary.

So my friend I kept my promise, rambling as I am prone to do, but that’s my definition of PROGRESSIVE. If you are truly thinking on the things I’ve outlined above and trying to build a far better place, a more progresive thinking place like I’ve described, again I applaud you. There certainly would be a welcome mat put outside the door of the #abparty tent for you, I can assure you of that. If you can honestly tell me that your Party, The PC Party of Alberta of which I was for years a card carrying member is after tea and COOKIES pursuing diligently a course as outlined above. If you can tell me that the Flanaganesque Conservative Party of Canada, of which again for years I was a card carrying member when it was the PC Party of Canada, was truly just cracking manly jokes the other day and actually is actively pursuing the kind of society I’ve outlined above, then might I suggest a dramatic change in your Image Consulting firm. Fire them immediately!! I can guarantee you, that this is not the image your party, MY OLD PARTY, for most of my voting life, is portraying to Albertans or Canadians. If it is truly your goal to make real Progressive change within your Party I do truly wish you all the best, your task is Herculean to say the least as I ‘m convinced it has nothing to do with your image consultants and everything to do with your leadership, all leadership not just Uncle Ed or Stephen “Father knows best” Harper.

The above hasn’t worked for me, so on November 13/14 I sat and listened, and sometimes debated with a gathering of 150 strong in Red Deer that talked about a society that looked a lot like what I’ve been describing, PROGRESSIVE. A Renaissance so to speak, that would see this incredible place we all call home; plan to be something different. Not just for the next year or 5 years, but for the next 50 years and 100 years. This is what the great progressive thinkers of the past did, they built something that would last. It is why engineers looking for NEW ideas still look to the past to see the way Da Vinci would have done it. It is why I can say from the very depth of my soul that I’m proud to be Member #3393284 of The Alberta Party. The Renaissance is beginning, I plan to be an active part of it.

~ by lotsofenergy aka Chris D. Tesarski on December 2, 2010.

One Response to “Looking for the Bogeyman… A fulfilled promise I tweeted to @ppilarski”

  1. […] response to @cdtenergy’s blog about what “progressive” means to him.  You can read his blog HERE.  There are some areas where Chris and I agree – I will get to them shortly.  However, when I […]

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