Juvenile stupidity behind the wheel is baffling

The Pipestone Flyer office received a rather disturbing call this week from a Leduc-area reader. A reader phoned...

The Pipestone Flyer office received a rather disturbing call this week from a Leduc-area reader. A reader phoned to pass along a story that’s so disappointing, it’s difficult to describe.

This reader was enjoying an evening in Leduc in his convertible, cruising around with his dog and listening to some music. As he sat at a red light, a lifted diesel pick-up truck pulled up beside him. As the light changed, the truck’s driver nailed it and disgorged a black cloud of inky pollution that a convertible car would offer little protection from.

The reader went after the truck to get a license plate number, and apparently the immature motorist used whatever driving skills he possesses to make good his getaway.

Our reader did a little research about this juvenile behaviour, and some of those with lifted diesel trucks apparently call this “rolling coal,” and it’s not unusual for such truck drivers who obviously have too much spare time on their hands to do this all over Alberta. Apparently, the goal of “rolling coal” is to gas someone and get a good laugh in return. If you’re thinking, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of,” this writer agrees with you.

Our reader posted his experience on a Facebook page, Leduc Rant and Rave, and received some interesting responses. The reader noted one fan of “rolling coal” stated, “If you don’t like it, move to another province.”

Open message to those who are into “rolling coal:” since you obviously have a lot of spare time and are a major embarrassment to the rest of Alberta, please find something to do which contributes to society such as employment.

Much ado about nothing

The announcement last week of Jason Kenney seeking the Alberta PC leadership and a quest to “unite the right” would’ve made a good Shakespearean sequel, “Much Ado About Nothing II: This Time It’s For A Corner Office.”

While NDP Premier Rachel Notley provided much amusement herself about the announcement (she said Kenney is “out of touch with Albertans,” ha, look who’s talking), the literal icing on the cake was former Prime Minister Stephen Harper endorsing Kenney’s leadership bid. Again with Harper. Those interested in rational, intelligent and effective conservative governments must forget Harper. His time is over, as any leader who suffers a monumental electoral defeat must surely realize. Politics is a popularity contest.

Likely the reason Kenney is throwing in the Parliamentary towel is, simply put, his opposition seat in the House of Commons. Kenney used to sit at the adult table, a minister, a Big Wheel. That is no longer the case. Now he sits at the kid’s table. No ministerial portfolio anymore, and likely never again in his lifetime. No more Big Wheel.

This appears to be a problem not just with Kenney but with Harperians in general fleeing Ottawa seemingly in a search for power and influence. A little detail that your everyday Albertan might not know was the struggle for ministerial portfolios in the Harper government. Apparently, simply being sent by voters to Ottawa was not enough for some MPs; some of them apparently felt their vast talents were wasted if they weren’t the titular head of a federal department. One wonders if this shoe fits Kenney’s foot.

Also, Harper was notable for his heavy-handed, top-down leadership approach. The Government of Canada wasn’t even allowed to call itself thusly; it had to be referred to as “The Harper Government” in official press releases. This style of leadership tends to attract a certain kind of assistant or deputy sheriff, the fawning, sycophantic “Yes-man,” and these were the men and women running the federal government under Stephen Harper’s watch. Was Jason Kenney his own man? Or, like a true Harperian, did he do exactly as he was told?

Alberta doesn’t need this. There’s been a deplorable lack of leadership in the province since Ralph Klein left office. Alberta deserves a strong leader who cares about this province more than he or she cares about getting their face in front of a camera or reserved parking.

Uniting the right in Alberta is obviously the way to go if Albertans want an intelligent, effective and rational government that bases decisions on what is best for all citizens. Albertans deserve nothing less.

But retreads, sycophants and yes-men from the Stephen Harper era, all players in a legendary electoral collapse, some of them with questionable leadership abilities in the first place, are not the answer.