The great license plate debate: Kiss from a rose

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 “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”
-Ghandi

In a show of good sportsmanship, rather than shoving legislation down our throats with its overwhelming majority, the Progressive Conservative Party is holding a province wide vote to determine which new license plate design is to be implemented.

The designs themselves are as controversial as they are unique. The first one is a depiction of a blue skied mountain backdrop behind a field of wheat. Number two (currently leading) depicts beautiful mountains and a blue sky with a field of wheat in the foreground. And number three (the least popular) has a wheat field at the bottom and behind it a gorgeous mountain range, all underneath a blue sky. The contest has been the subject of widespread debate, more often than not devolving into vicious brawls where the only vote that counts is a tube sock full of nickels and thumbtacks.

While there are obvious vast and worth-our-time differences between the redesigns, they all share some things in common. All will include a special reflective coating made of goat’s blood to make roads and communities safer, and they replace the slogan “Wild Rose Country” with “alberta.ca”. Members of the PC have brushed off allegations that the slogan is being removed because it is the namesake of the official opposition by saying

And now that your rose is in bloom

A light hits the gloom on the grey

Ba da da Ba-dadada Ba-da Da-de-da. Ba da da Ba-dadada Ba-da Da-de-da.

Rather, this is an attempt to reach out to the elusive Young People demographic, who, according to several $90 000 government funded focus groups, like webpages. Alberta.ca is positioned to overtake http://www.nudephotoesofmargaretthatcher.com as the most visited website in the world with province wide advertising. It boasts a diversity of content, with articles such as “Up-to-date Wildfire Informaton”, “Submit a tick”, and “16 ways to know you’re a 90s kid. I laughed so hard at #8 I puked up purple stuff!” written by premier Dave Hancock. The site also includes a social network where you can review the profiles of provincial ministers and rate them according to policy and hotness.

These are exciting times, and no doubt the Progressive Conservative leadership will be equally riveting the closer we get to September 6th. The party’s choice of leaders, and therefore choice of our premier, consists of Jim Prentice, an older white male and former MP. Ric McIver, a former MLA and older white male. And older white male Thomas Lukaszuk, a former MLA.

It’s not often we, the dirt stained peasants of Alberta, are afforded such power of choice. We should feel lucky, while other provinces such as British Columbia and Ontario have held referendums in the past ten years to resolve boring issues such as electoral reform and treaty rights, we get to pick out license plates.

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