Sunday, October 19, 2008


Well, this was a very amusing week to be a follower of politics.

Here in frozen Canada I was very busy earlier this week covering the election. I was assigned to cover Gerry Ritz at his election office in the Battlefords-Lloydminster electoral district, and that was amusing because of all kinds of well-publicized nonsense that went on behind the scenes. First they were going to keep the reporters out of the victory party in the campaign office, and then they changed their minds and let the media in (after a few phone calls, I understand, by one of the other reporters I know).

Anyway I found it interesting that a number of people I had met in my more political days in Ontario went on to win seats. Such as Bob Dechert in Mississauga, for example. I met him during the Tony Clement provincial leadership campaign in 2002. In fact, it's scary how many provincial political people from Ontario have decided to go federal. I noticed a guy named Dr. Benson Lau ran in Scarborough-Agincourt for the Tories, and that was interesting because I met him when he had helped out on other campaigns as an organizer.

I kind of missed not being a part of the political scene in an active way. Being a news reporter is different because, well, you need to be non-partisan. That is something I have been striving to do. Actually it's pretty easy, because I am kind of ticked off at the antics of everyone in politics right now. I have issues with everyone. So yes, that makes it easier.

Having a campaign background is really helpful because you can see what campaign strategies are being employed by the parties. You kind of know why the Prime Minister isn't bothering to show up in Saskatchewan -- because he's creaming everyone in Saskatchewan, so why not go campaign in Toronto to try and win seats there. Anyway, it was a lot of fun covering this election. I have to say that it is good to see so many people interested in the campaign here in Saskatchewan. When I lived in Toronto I got the impression people didn't care at all.

Fallout from the election is expected tomorrow as Liberal leader Stephane Dion is set to resign.

Now it's on to the US election and what looks more and more like a certain victory for Barack Obama. Let's face it, angry-man John McCain has run a terrible campaign. You can tell which way the wind is blowing just by looking at the people jumping on Obama's bandwagon. I notice Christopher Buckley resigned from the National Review, a magazine founded by his father William F. Buckley, because he was supporting Obama. His dad has to be turning in his grave. Just today, Republican Colin Powell went on Meet the Press to announce he was supporting Obama. I can't say I am surprised, he's kind of on the outs with the Republican Party anyway.

I plan to rant a little more about the American election, which is increasingly being dominated by discussion of Joe the Plumber and the appearances of politicians on late-night talk shows. Here where I am, the ads on late-night TV from the States are all littered with political ads from Michigan, Al Franken ads from Minnesota, and that ugly New Hampshire race for the Senate where John Sununu and Jeanne Shaheen are slugging it out. I fully expect more of this nonsense for the next several days.


PROGRAMMING NOTES: Don't expect much blogging from me for a few days. I am looking at a number of late nights on assignment this week, and then I have my regular much-read movie column on Thursday night.

So something has to suffer, and it might as well be this blog. But don't worry, I should be back with more ranting later on this week. In the meantime, you can read my rant on this weekend's box office results. Now I must head off to tune in to the Tampa Bay-Boston Game Seven.

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