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I’ve made a decision.

No more frozen pipes.

No more potholes.

No more windrows blocking off driveways.

No more mosquitoes.

No more cold weather.

No more bad days.

No more itchy knees.

No more two drops of milk left in the carton someone stuffed back into the fridge.

And no more “business as usual” at city hall or at the Pita Pit. You know I want extra pineapples on my pita. Deal with it.

So vote Regan for Mayor.

Because I’m the only candidate who honestly doesn’t want to be mayor. Like, at all.

The idea of having to be in charge of Winnipeg fills me with such a terrible sense of dread. So much dread.

More dread than I’ll have checking my bank balance after Spring Break.

So again, vote Regan.

Not a criminal. Not a crony. Just a little creepy.

Yes. That’s my slogan.

Vote Regan.

So it’s really hard to resist feeling good about being Canadian.

Especially when as of this post, Canadians are second in gold medals at Sochi. But you know what makes me even happier? Knowing that these great results are due to the success of Canadian women, who happen to also be my favouritest people. Fun fact: did you know I’ve been involved pretty much exclusively in romantic relationships with Canadian women? And now they’re best in the world in the winter Olympics? So that probably means that, by relation, I must be best in the world in something.

But Canada isn’t perfect.

We have a serious problem with government interference in science, we’re in the middle of serious backslides in both environmental and foreign policy, and most worrisome, far too many Canadians are still in the midst of serious epidemics of poverty, disease, and racism.

Canada needs to be better.

I think about this quite a bit. I love Canada, but I’m always angry about things happening in my city, my province, and pretty much every other city and province. I’m angry about how it’s still okay to most people to speak down about First Nations, to be ignorant of just how much privilege most white Canadians have. And I’m angry at myself, for looking at the negative when I should be working for the positive.

Because Canada can be better.

Canada can earn the right to call itself the best nation on earth, not just rest on our laurels because we’re blessed with natural resources, economic stability, and good governance (for the most part). We need to ensure that every Canadian has the opportunities that 90% of Canadians take for granted. And we need to start working on that today, before the final medals are awarded and everyone packs up and goes home.

So here’s what I’m doing:

1. Learning more about the future. There are significant changes coming, from increased automation to environmental degradation. It’s close to impossible to plan for the future if you don’t have any idea of what’s happening next year.

2. Learning more about economics and social programs. I want to be a part of the effort to improve the economic and social health of Canadians, but I’m still not sure of what that means. There are very exciting ideas being talked about, things like Universal Basic Income, and I want to know more about them.

3. Working on my soft skills. I’m a bit of a jerk, and definitely not a political animal. So I definitely need to think about what I do, in my personal and professional life, and how I can improve my behaviour and my results.

4. Planning my eventual “triumphant return” to somethingAm I running for office? Maybe joining an organization that does stuff. Heck, maybe I’ll just run for mayor. Who knows?

It is with great vigour, excitement, and simulated frisson that I announce the start of the start of my run for the leadership of the Manitoba Liberal Party.

I am the perfect candidate. Smart, but not too smart. Attractive, but not too attractive. Rich, but not… well, not rich at all, really.

There is no reason why we can’t have a province to be proud of, where solutions are actually based on rational thought and discussion rather than talking points and partisan orthodoxy.

You know, I used to run around saying that the NDP in Manitoba were ethically bankrupt. Now, thanks to so many years of NDP “leadership” I can say that the bankruptcy has spread to cover every aspect of the NDP in our province, like the ever-reaching tentacles of our dark lord Cthulhu.

from http://squeakybonbon.deviantart.com/art/Cthulhu-Girl-2-303981491

So in order to take back our province, I need to raise $2,500 and gather a hundred signatures with ten signatures each from at least six regions.

So I’m basically unstoppable. Like Cthulhu.

from http://cthulhucrochet.blogspot.ca/2010/05/cuddly-cthulhu-with-free-pattern.html

For media inquiries, please email me at wolfrom@wolfrom.ca, fill out the contact form below, or tweet dirty pictures at me.

Is there really any point in talking about it?

Almost every blogger I’ve read in Manitoba who’s covered political issues had mentioned that the NDP has been up to something. Manitoba Hydro Smash-and-Grab, Public Utilities Board Gouge-and-Grab, WRHA Mad-Cow-Expansion-and-Grab, PST Change-The-Law-To-Take-More-Money-and-Grab

But what’s the point in talking about it anymore? So we keep whining about it, and then maybe if we’re “lucky” the NDP will lose and the “Progressive” Conservatives will win and we can start complaining about the upcoming Hydro Privatization-and-Switch, or the Health Care Slash-and-Switch, or the Education Blah-Blah-and-Switch

It’s gangrenous turtles all the way down, folks.

The system rewards parties who polarize. The system rewards candidates who focus on politics at the expense of leadership. And the system rewards the non-partisan bodies that help to maintain it.

So let’s change the system!

Um…

Do we really care enough to do that? To do more than write the occasional diatribe on the Free Press website, more than show up at the occasional reverse-the-decision-now-that-it’s-too-late-to-change-it rally, more than whine at McD’s or Timmies or Sals about those stupid politicians with their heads up their asses?

Not really.

You see, I know this first hand.

I have a blog. And I’ve organized those kinds of rallies more than once. And I can bitch and moan with the best of them. But I don’t think I care enough to see things through…

…because my kids are still healthy, my wife occasionally lessens the pressure of her heel on my throat, and I can still afford to spend lunch at Polo Park sampling thirteen different varieties of steamed white rice at the food court.

So what can I do to change that? What can I do to care more?

Not much. I don’t want Winnipeg to start looking like an exploding slice of Syria just so people start to give a damn.

I’ll take the complacency.

It’s like our lovely Conservative government in Ottawa. I know that Stephen Harper is destroying the Canada I’ve gotten somewhat fond of, tearing down the things that make us special, like our (almost) even-handed foreign diplomacy, our public broadcasting system, our once sacred separation of Stupidity and State.

But all I can do is bide my time and wait for him to screw this country up enough that people finally start voting Liberal again, whether or not the Liberals actually deserve their vote. (actually, this time I think they might deserve it again, but that’s another post that I probably won’t write)

I don’t even have that hope in Manitoba.

I’m worried (and I’m at about one step short of being totally convinced) that Manitoba has fallen into the trap of two parties taking turns screwing things up. The NDP know that no matter how poorly they’ve messed up the books (and I’m getting the impression that it’s as bad as I’d thought), they’ll be re-elected again once the PCs mess things up (probably with the books, too — poor books).

So the NDP raise the PST, so we get angry and vote PC. The PCs don’t end up lowering the rate, and mess up some new stuff. So then the NDP get back in and finally give into the super secret demands of the WRHA to build an 80-story Fortress of Bureaucracy that’s mostly made out of parking garage. So then the PCs take over and pour money into a Pro Skeeball Team, Arena and Condo Complex to “revitalize” Assiniboine Forest. This could go on forever, until finally we look back and say “hey, it doesn’t seem so ridiculous by comparison that the NDP thought they could just change all the laws they didn’t feel like following”.

I’m Canadian. I don’t plan on changing that, like, ever. But I don’t think of myself as a “Manitoban”. Sure, I could make idle threats about moving away, as if I have any real say in the matter (married with children, you see)… but that’s not really the issue. The issue is that I haven’t been a Manitoban for a few years now… I don’t follow local news as much as I should, I let my work deadlines get in the way of my community obligations… and I’ve given up hope that I’ll ever think of myself as a Manitoban again.

To me, that’s sad. Meanwhile, to my neighbours — who think I need to mow my lawn more often — it’s a hopeful harbinger of me finally packing up and leaving forever.

Don’t let my (reasonably justified) neighbours win. Show me that this province is still alive and kicking.

It’s Launch Day!

After a few technical hiccups from Amazon, the eBook version of After The Fires Went Out: Coyote is now available. (the paperback version will be out on Feb 6th)

For you website aficionados, I’ve posted a 19,000 word excerpt on my other blog.

So do your part to support people writing stuff instead of making durable goods with tangible value by buying a book today (preferably mine).

In the wake of the terrible events in Newtown, Connecticut, there has been an outpouring of opinions and anger, but mostly grief. Obviously Winnipeg has been affected less than New England, but more than other places, with one family having lived in Winnipeg before moving to Newtown. But even if we had no connection aside from the basic feeling of love for the children in our lives, it would still have hit us hard. It did hit us hard long before we knew much about what happened at all.

But the biggest problem with the tragedy in Connecticut is the feeling of complete helplessness. You can hug your child or say a prayer, but for many people that doesn’t feel like enough. For my wife, that didn’t come anywhere close to being enough. So she decided to do something about that.

27 Acts for Newtown began as a way for my wife, Christine, to do something. She knows it won’t help the families in Connecticut, but she knows it helps her cope with the pain, and she knows that it does a little something for other people, too.

The idea is simple: commit 27 acts of kindness, one for each victim. These acts don’t have to be big, but they have to be something that you feel makes the world just that much better.

If you’re interested, you can join the Event on Facebook, or you can just start doing something kind for someone else.

It’s good.

Yeah.

But it feels strange. We spent years fighting to keep Kelvin Community Centre open, and then the community spent a few more years after that trying to keep the land from being sold.

It was long and hard, and it always seemed like it was just a matter of time before the land was sold and the chance for a new Kelvin was dead.

Things look better now. Hopefully this will work out.

The fight to save Kelvin taught me and gave me a chance to try and help out my community, but it wore me out.

But I’m happy.

It’s good.

If the people of Elmwood hadn’t fought in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, we wouldn’t have this today.

Congratulations, Elmwood. You deserve it.

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