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Thursday, November 06, 2008

yee-haw! rodeo as alberta's official sport.

In what should be described as one of the more light-hearted moments of the Fall Session of the Alberta Legislature, Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft will be introducing a motion into the Legislature calling on the Government of Alberta to adopt rodeo as this province's official sport.


As the Canadian Finals Rodeo kicked-off in Edmonton yesterday (which I am excited to be going to tonight!), Taft's announcement this afternoon was timed-well, and received a surprising amount of media attention, as witnessed by the media presence at Taft's announcement (even Edmonton Sun columnist Neil Waugh was able to find his way to the scrum before it ended).

There was a bit of confusion when Taft entered the Assembly in his western gear this afternoon, as Speaker Ken Kowalski nearly kicked Taft out for his clothing choices. In a bizarre move, Kowalski asked for the consent of the MLAs present to allow Taft to stay while wearing his western wear. Most of the MLAs, both PC and Liberal seemed a little more than quite confused as to why a pair of jeans would pose such a threat to the decorum of the Assembly. They unanimously voted to let the jeans stay, and democracy lives to fight another day.

The motion is scheduled to be introduced on the floor of the Legislature on the evening of Monday, November 24.

Here's some (albeit, rough) video footage of Taft's announcement (the Legislature Rotunda can be a bit of an echo chamber sometimes):

*In the interests of full disclosure, I believe that it is important to inform my readership that I have accepted a short-term communications contract position with the Official Opposition Caucus at the Alberta Legislature. But don't worry, I'm going to continue writing this blog, and I'm hoping to earn my chance to sit at the cool kids table in the cafeteria by the time my job is complete.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm telling ya, daveberta, get your man Tweeting, Ed's there now.

daveberta said...

Is he? I know their election campaign set up a twitter account, but it's been inactive since March 3, 2008.

Anonymous said...

http://twitter.com/premierstelmach

daveberta said...

wow, I hear that Twitter is pretty hip with the youngsters...

Anonymous said...

I like this idea. Rodeo is a true party of Alberta's heritage.

Anonymous said...

Communications position with the Libs... Guess that explains why the blog has moved from substance to political pot shots re benito et QP.

Libarbarian said...

Kevin has lost his mind methinks. Obama showed us how a smart, professorial guy from a city makes a success, and it isn't by wearing silly hats. And anyway, the official sport of Alberta is hatin' Liberals and votin' Tory.

ch said...

I have to say I kind of cringed when I saw this story on the front page of the Journal. It's such a blatant attempt to play to rural Albertans. I think preserving the maverick, Conservative, do-it-yourself "heritage" of Alberta is ultimately going to work against, not for the Liberals.

Anonymous said...

Rodeo is retarded. - Roman

Nastyboy said...

Thank you Mr. Taft for re-enforcing the notion of Albertans as hicks and redknecks to the rest of the country.

Anonymous said...

Interesting proposal by Taft. And why not? It is part of our western heritage, and is a pretty big tourism draw to boot (Cdn Finals Rodeo in Edmonton and of course the Calgary Stampede).

Yet, why am I thinking that this post would be completely different, had Premier Stelmach made this proposal? Then it would have been written up as proof positive of his rural rube-ness, and how we are failing to move on to being a cosmopolitan society.

Congratulations on the contract... and I do mean it - you do have the occasional flash of brilliance (Eye of Layton comes to mind). No sense to not get paid for something you would do for free anyway.

Anonymous said...

Well, uh, are you suggesting that Benito does not deserve it? Is his spirit that frail? Is he crying in Ed's arms right now, sobbing about how he wuz made fun of?

Grow up, dude.

Simon said...

Let's see: Alberta is home to one of the key elements of the global climate change crisis, there hasn't been a vibrant democracy in Alberta, oh, let's say EVER, and the leader of the Official Opposition is busy declaring rodeo to be the official sport of the province.

Whatever.

SD said...

Wow... I think Mr. Taft needs to get it together, the main page of the Journal website is not winning him any votes. Imagine the fun you would have if it were Premier Stelmach who suggested this, might there be a double standard Mr. Cournoyer?

daveberta said...

SD said: "Imagine the fun you would have if it were Premier Stelmach who suggested this, might there be a double standard Mr. Cournoyer?"

I spent a lot of time in my younger years going to rodeos, so I hope I wouldn't be presenting a double standard on this one.

Anonymous said...

From the front page of the Edmonton Journal:

Culture and Community Spirit Minister Lindsay Blackett said he would support Taft's motion.

"We're more than just rodeo, but at the same time, rodeo is big to our heritage and history in Alberta, and lots of communities support it," he said. "So I have no problem supporting that motion."

But he said even if Taft's motion passes, it's a long haul from that step to becoming an actual bill and Alberta's official sport.

Not surprisingly, one group perfectly happy with Taft's idea are the contestants in this year's Canadian Finals Rodeo -- more than 70 per cent of whom are Albertans.

"I think it's a great idea," said Traci Dawson, a barrel racing contestant from Erskine, Alta. "It's a part of our heritage."

mike in ponoka said...

I read that the crazy vegan PETA types are attacking the rodeo on the news. Only lends cred to Taft's motion that they are. This a private members motion, right?

I love rodeo.

Anonymous said...

For anyone actually paying attention, Taft raised a great point in the Herald today:

"I put in bills all the time on serious issues and nobody pays any attention," he says, "but I put on a cowboy hat and it's front page news."

Says quite a bit more about the state of the media than it does about the rodeo motion.

k. kennedy said...

Get serious people, it's not a serious motion he's having fun. The opposition MLAs spend 99% of their time raising serious issues in the Legislature and the media barely pays attention. But Kevin Taft puts on a cowboy hat for 10 minutes and all of a sudden the media is gaga.

I wish for a day when the media will give us serious journalism again.

Bastard out of Stettler said...

That would mean Waugh, Bell, Markusoff and Fekete would have to pull their heads out of each other's asses. It just ain't gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

simon said:
"Alberta is home to one of the key elements of the global climate change crisis"

Holy hysterics, Batman! Are you getting your talking points from I-Never-Met-A-Protest-I-Didn't-Like Mike Hudema?

Alberta merits some attention for Canada's GHG emissions, but if Canada accounts for what - 2% of the world's GHGs - and Alberta is maybe 20% of that, my math says 0.4%... and that is if we go right to zero emissions... on everything.

Hardly a "key element of the global climate change crisis". Why don't you spend some time attacking India's and China's low-tech coal-fired industries, or the immense deforestation in the latter country. I guess it is safer to sit in your comfy abode in Canada, well-fed and comfortable, casting stones at the industries that keep you in good stead.

Ignorance advertising as self-righteous indignation seems to be a national sport these days

Arthur said...

How many Albertans actually particpate in rodeos? As particpants, not spectators.

How many people play hockey, soccer, curling?

Taft is pandering. If Stelmach came up with this, I'd mock it because it's a dumb idea that plays to Alberta's redneck image.

Anonymous said...

Sad commentary on the credibility of Alberta's Liberals indeed!

When critical issues like child poverty, social services' neglect of children in care, hunger and homelessness, massive toxic lakes of poison spewing from the oil sands, scandalous and dangerous health care practices, etc. etc., continue to go unchallenged, and this midnight cowboy comes out with this childish attention-seeking stunt, I can't wait til Daffy Taft rides off into the sunset... (now let me double check - I don't use any profanities, did I???)

BTW, I am neither a PC'er nor a ND'er.

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

And because Kevin Taft in a cowboy hat looks like a combination between "Kemosabe" from Bubba Ho-tep and the worst audition tape for Brokeback Mountain ever.