The finish line of the federal election is in sight, but we’re no closer to seeing a winner than we were weeks ago. The latest polls indicate that support for the NDP is beginning to fall — turning their famous Quebec ‘orange crush’ into an ‘orange crash’ — while support for the Liberals is rising. Or at least that’s the way it seemed on Thursday; Friday’s polls put the Conservatives in the lead, and looking good to get the most number of seats. (It actually makes me physically ill to write this.) And a poll on Saturday put the Liberals in the lead. The one emerging trend is that the election is shaping up to a two-horse race between the Conservatives and the Liberals as the NDP begins to fade, particularly in Quebec. But, with a little over two weeks to go and the situation as volatile and unpredictable as any in Canadian history, any conceivable scenario is possible, although a minority for any party seems almost certain. And if the Harper Conservatives win, you can expect another election within weeks, since neither the Liberals or the NDP will prop up a minority Conservative government. In fact, barring a majority by one party, we can expect to be going through this whole process again with a year, two years max.

Worst possible news from the sports front: the Toronto Blue Jays appear to be legitimate World Series contenders. This means faux baseball ‘fans’ will dig their Blue Jays caps out of storage, and all of Canada will be allegedly in the grips of Blue Jay fever. There are two things I hate (well, there are lots of things I hate, but let’s restrict it to just two): baseball, and any Toronto sports team. So a winning baseball team from Toronto — with the attendant hoopla and boosterism from the Toronto-centric media, who will crown the Blue Jays ‘Canada’s team’ — is the worst of all sports worlds. Let us hope they do a face plant right away to spare us from Blue Jays ‘mania’. Speaking of baseball, the girls in this viral video from an actual baseball game are doing exactly what I would do if forced to go to a baseball game.

This week’s atrocity occurred at a small community college in an isolated Oregon town, proof once again that craziness can happen anywhere. It’s just a lot more likely to have in the U.S. of A. Ten people were killed by a lone gunman who went on a rampage at a college with the unlikely name of Umpqua Community College, in the small city of Roseberg, pop. 22,000. President Obama, speaking about the crime, said “thoughts and prayers are not enough”, expressing his anger at the inability of congress to do anything about gun control. And it will be that way forever, at least as long at the National Rifle Association tells the U.S. Congress what laws it can or cannot pass. Another victim of this latest terrible crime is Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, who said this Friday when asked about the shooting: “I had this challenge as governor because we had — look, stuff happens,” he said at a forum in South Carolina. “There’s always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.” Yes, stuff happens. Like a presidential candidate shooting himself in the foot.

Pope Francis is back home in Rome after a triumphant visit to the U.S. However, after the visit, it was revealed that the pope had a visit with that religious fanatic from Kentucky, Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licences to gays. The ‘visit’ was revealed well after the Pope had left, leaving everyone to wonder why the Pope would meet such a divisive figure in America. Well, as reported in Esquire, it looks like some skulduggery on the part of an American conservative bishop. The magazine wrote that it looks like the bishop, unhappy with the Pope’s liberal ways, invited Davis to a meeting (along with dozens of others), and it is unlikely the Pope knew much, if anything, about her.

Edmonton, my home town, has a lot going for it. One thing it seemingly does not have is a well run bureaucracy. City staff gave the OK for a basement suite to a landlord well known for his, shall we say, less than ideal accommodations. When the provincial health inspector came by a few days later, the suite was found to be not fit for human habitation! Brilliant.

RIP: Michael Burgess, 70, Canadian tenor best know for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.

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2 thoughts on “Stuff Happens, week 38: Too close to call; ‘stuff happens’ in Oregon; what was the Pope thinking?

  1. I am at my pub. Day off…Usually music and I read the paper, catch up on news and read my book. The Blue Jays are playing and they have commentary on and just overheard two blue hatted guys talk about it being Canadas team. Just as I read your article.

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