So, here it is … the inaugural blog of the BigCracker website. I’m hoping to provide politically astute and intellectually provocative discussion, but I’m sure it will really become “Man, you won’t believe this …!” with responses like “Dude, I know! Like this one time (at band camp) …!” But, hey, it’s worth a try.

I’m going to start off by listing my Big 3 of Canadian politics. And it’s kinda funny that they’re hot right now.

  1. National Defense, i.e. the army, peacekeeping, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
  2. Urban Municipalities, i.e. the way only a handful of mayors and other government officials (at any level) have even the slightest idea of what to do with Canadian cities
  3. U.S. – Canada Relations, i.e. 87% of Canadian exports are shipped south and we really don’t need it sitting at the border for upwards of 8 hours en route, because the Americans don’t trust that we’re not allowing terrorists to exist comfortably in our decriminalized pot/gay marriage/socialized medicine society

I mean, I can’t fathom most of the right-wing shite that Americans spew, but 87% of exports, that’s a lot of money to a lot of hard-working Canucks. And if a couple of harmonized regulations make Uncle Sam feel safer, well, let’s humour him.

And defense, yeah okay, how long have our Sea Kings been falling out of the sky? And do we really need to grovel our way back into the good books of the American government because we didn’t buy into their “Weapons of Mass Destruction/Regime Change” lies? You see how these 2 points sort of come together? Anyway, we should have a National defense policy that answers the questions before they’re asked: “Our National defense policy is such that our military strengths are in peacekeeping and policing in unstable areas, as well as providing highly mobile equipment and people for times of national or regional domestic emergency.” “So you won’t join our idiotic war against a weirdo who happens to control a lot of oil? That’s fine. We’ll let you know when we’re ready for you to do your part.” Whew, that actually sounded politically astute, to a certain degree.

The cities? Well, I don’t know where to start. Having spent most of my life in Saskatoon, maybe I’ll start there. Over the last 20 years, the city council has let the South Downtown deteriorate to the extent that there are now about 4 full blocks that are completely empty. All the while they were planning and negotiating and performing the standard bureaucratic ballet, but there’s still nothing happening. At the same time, they made a quick and dirty deal with the University to make land available to an armful “Big Box” stores, well away from downtown. So what’s to bring people downtown? And, now that I’m in Toronto, we run into a similar problem: a multi-million dollar project to rejuvenate the waterfront, but, hey, let’s throw in an airport running over 100 turboprops and small jets every day. Yeah, that’s what I need when I’m relaxing at the lake, airplanes overhead. Good call! So while planning multi-million dollar upgrades to specific areas to get people to go there, they make multi-million dollar upgrades that keep people away. Hmmm … how does this work?

Anyway, I’ll get back to all of this in a little while…. In the meantime, take care of yourselves.