Paucity of pranks from politicians this Alberta April Fool’s Day

April 1, 2012 | By | Reply More

Danielle Smith and Wildrose win first prize

Treebeard the Ent reluctantly accepts offer to run Calgary EverGreen campaign.

By Markham Hislop    

Update: this afternoon the NDP re-released an old spoof video readers might enjoy. Pretty lame, democratic socialists, wasn’t that Climenhaga character available to write a witty poem?

After a fractious first week of the Albert election, a little levity is a good thing. This being April Fool’s Day, even a few of the politicians are getting into the spirit. But only a very few, it should be noted.

The best one is Danielle Smith’s proposal to merge Alberta and Saskatchewan into Saskberta. Allowing our eastern neighbour pride of precedence might give a few Albertans heartburn, but imagine the alternatives. Smith’s alternative was Alatchewan. Yuck.

The capital of the amalgamated province? Lloydminster, to be be renamed Regimonton. I’m not sure which would annoy the rough and tumble oil town more, gaggles of politicians descending on it or the ridiculous new moniker.

Poor Lloydminister.



Wildrose says the merger offers a number of important economic benefits for Alberta, including access to a deep-water port to facilitate export of Alberta’s energy products, access to Canada’s largest oil can in Rocanville, SK, and significantly expanded parking.

Who wouldn’t want a giant oil can in their province? Saskatchewan should be ashamed for hogging Rocanville’s all these years.

But the sleeper in this deal is more parking. Finally, a solution even the Calgary Parking Authority can’t screw up. Imagine turning all those waving fields of golden wheat into parking lots.  It does this old heart glad.

“Alberta and Saskatchewan are both blessed with abundant natural resources, which is clearly an area we can better pursue as a single province,” said Smith.  “We also have a shared commitment to eliminate pirate activity on the North Saskatchewan River.”

Who isn’t in favour of eliminating pirate activity? Unless you mean the pirate activity in the Alberta legislature, in which case Premier Alison Redford has a head start with her order for all PC MLAs sitting on the “committee that never meets” to pay back their ill-gotten plunder.

Wouldn’t it be funny if PAR tweeted today that she’s rescinding the demand and her MLAs can keep the $1,000 a month? Can you imagine the consternation in PC election offices across Alberta as MLAs wondered, Is this a prank or is she serious?  Now that would be a punk!

Alas, the Tories are not as puckish this April Fool’s Day.

“Alberta is home to two outstanding NHL hockey teams, while Saskatchewan does not yet have a franchise.  The first priority of a Wildrose government will be to secure a third NHL team which represents both provinces – I think the ‘Saskberta Grain Elevators’ would be a great name.”

That’s rich. Has Smith watched the Flames lately?  They’ve looked like grain elevators out on the ice lately, with their dismal late season swoon. But let’s not horn in on Regimonton’s potential good fortune. If Winnipeg can get an NHL team, there’s no reason Saskberta/Alatchewan can’t have another one.

Kudos to Danielle Smith and Wildrose for a sly bit of humour on a slow campaign news day.

The second political prank comes from a Calgary EverGreen politician who regularly fills my inbox with press releases that will never see the light of day. William Hamilton ran for the Greens in the last federal election and this time around is running in Calgary-Elbow.

His press release of this morning caught my eye. Hamilton has appointed Treebeard as his new campaign manager. We all remember Treebeard, right? The eldest of the Ents, a tree-like species from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

“Really, I’m surprised that no-one else running for office in Alberta has gotten around to hiring someone of Treebeard’s stature and prominence in the Ent community to run their campaign,” said Hamilton.

Indeed. After the lacklustre Tory campaign this past week, if you spy Alison Redford in dark glasses meeting with a 14-foot chap with branches and a leafy haircut in a back booth at the Arden Diner, don’t be surprised.

“I only accepted this categorically crucial role in the William Hamilton EverGreen campaign for Calgary-Elbow after coming to the careful, definite, and defensible conclusion that he was not, in fact, an Orc,” said Treebeard in an exclusive Beacon News interview.

Orcs are those awful creatures who were slaughtered by the gajillions in Peter Jackson’s movies. Nasty, brutish fellows, I’m told.

“Orc behaviour is inconsistent with EverGreen values, anyway,” added Hamilton.

There you have it. Two Alberta political candidates with a sense of humour. 87 ridings in the province, five political parties vying for your vote, and only one party leader and an obscure Calgary green could muster up an April Fool’s prank.

May I suggest that if a political candidate arrives at your doorstep this afternoon, you ask him or her if they support the idea of Saskberta. And if you’re feeling particularly mischievous, ask the candidate how they feel about Ents as campaign managers.

You could do worse than vote for the politician with the biggest funny bone.


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Category: Alberta Election, Analysis

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