No Good News – Wildrose Sand

I‘m as surprised as you are that Alberta has elections. I’ve always considered their opposition to democracy very progressive, or at the very least, honest. Ontario, on the other hand, is  like a bowl of Froot Loops where the Froot Loops have been replaced by lies.



It’s like we hadn’t figured anything out yet. And speaking of not figuring it out, all it takes is for Alberta to have an election for Toronto’s titans of non-news, The Star, to type about how awful Rob Ford is until carpal tunnel syndrome prevents any further typing. What is their end-game? Could it be proving once and for all that Canadians are right to hate Toronto for only ever thinking of itself, and even then, only in the worst possible terms?

As Torontonians, we can only look to Alberta and shake our heads. Despite all predictions to the contrary, this week the good residents of that province rejected right-wing fundamentalism and opted to remain in the real world.

A strong start by strip-club enthusiast Christopher Hume. I mean, what better way to inspire good will than to compare a city to an entire Province? Toronto isn’t tut-tutting Calgary or Edmonton, but both and all the things in between and around them. Mostly oil fields, I would imagine. Perhaps some dinosaur excavation sites. Here’s a delightful graph of some poor bastard about to get completely eaten by 4 dinosaurs.

Though comparisons are unfair, says Hume, allow me to make cheap comparisons.

Though comparisons are unfair, Ford is our Danielle Smith, an opportunistic reality-denier who appeals to our worst instincts, our most self-serving impulses, the lowest common denominator.

I actually had to Wikipedia the reality-denial movement. Turns out, every journalist is a card-carrying reality denier. Does that feel like a baseless and bold claim? Does it insult your intelligence with an untestable generalization? Why don’t we leave it as a case of the kettle calling the pot black, agree to disagree, and settle our differences in the baseball ring.

When the truth is inconvenient, you simply ignore it, or better still, insist it isn’t true, the louder the better.

Don’t want to have to worry about climate change; no problem. Intone, as does Smith, that the science is inconclusive.

In Ford’s case, it’s the War on the Car, which he has declared many times to be over.


Or, in Hume’s case, to state that a comparison is unfair and then continue to make it. Not only that, but also to continue making it while dodging his own status as a pundit:

The now-discredited pundits, all of whom predicted Smith’s Wild Rose Party would win Monday’s election, now tell us that a homophobic outburst from one of her more ridiculous candidates, Pastor Allan Hunsperger, helped sink the party.

By contrast, many Torontonians have happily refused to hold Ford accountable for his unabashed homophobia.

It looks like Hume’s building up to some kind of a point here – and we all know how much I like a good, solid point – but I am obliged to ask: if not a pundit, what is Hume? Is he admitting some lack of any expertise whatsoever? Is he some casual observer, like Uatu, The Watcher?

Hume’s exciting conclusion goes something like this: Torontonians don’t care as much about Toronto not being a laughing stock as much as Albertans do about Alberta not being a laughing stock, and therefore made a terrible, terrible mistake. But he doesn’t put it that way. He says it like this:

A popular recent video shows a number of young Albertans describing how they held their nose to vote for Alison Redford and the PC party rather than let Wildrose win, something that would have made Alberta the Alabama of Canada. They voted as they did because they believed it to be in the best interests of the province.

How interesting that Smith’s coziness with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Tories did her no good.

Torontonians, on the other hand, weren’t interested in much beyond removing bikes and pedestrians from the roads, getting even with city unions and paying less tax.

Every thinking voter knew Ford’s gravy train nonsense was just that, but his promise to deliver more for less was irresistible. Sadly, two and two still make four. In Alberta, they did the math. In Toronto, we didn’t think we needed to, or perhaps we’ve forgotten how.


Is he saying Toronto forgot how to vote for Smitherman? Because I’m pretty sure that’s not how that went down. Surely, he doesn’t mean Rocco Rossi. Those two Uatus would have been terrible, terrible mayors that the Star would have exerted itself denouncing. And what is this “Every thinking voter” business? That seems pejorative. Is Hume agitating “thinking Torontonians” into rising up against their mouth-breathing idiot overlords? What is he trying to say? Is he trying to say he’s smarter than everyone who voted for Rob Ford? Is he saying all of Alberta is smarter than everybody who voted for Rob Ford? Is he saying that politics are as simple as the first math equation you remember learning? Is he saying politics can be represented by pure abstraction? That seems over the top.

Oh, I bet you think he’s out of analogies. Not for a minute. Not even for this article.

And so it should come as no surprise that power, political and economic, has started to shift away from Ontario and west to Alberta. Out there, sand is where they extract oil. Here, it’s where we stick our heads.

What we clearly need is something better to do with our sand.


About Matt Collins

Matt Collins is a musician (Ninja High School), cartoonist (Sexy), jock (Manhunt), and comedian (Matt Collins) in Toronto, Ontario. Please buy more Matt Collins. [Other Posts By Matt]