Why I went to Reboot Alberta 2.0

I live in Edmonton, Alberta. I’m proud to call myself a Canadian.

I don’t consider myself a progressive. To be honest, I’m not even sure I know what that label means.

I enjoy the mountains.

I reject partisan politics. If you look through the archives here, you’ll see that I have voted for every major party in Canada at one time or another, for various reasons.

I yearn for a leader. Even if that leader belongs to a party.

I like learning. I know more about politics (and life) now than I did a year ago. Time marches forward.

I love meeting new people and reconnecting with existing friends and acquaintances. You never know what will come of a relationship.

I care about the future, and I try to approach it optimistically.

I believe I can help to create the kind of the world I want to live in. The kind of world I’d be happy to leave behind.


For a few hours at the end of February, I was in the mountains, meeting new friends and reconnecting with others, discussing the future of Alberta, and learning a great deal from some very smart people.

It’s true that my expectations going into Reboot Alberta 2.0 were pretty high, but in retrospect, I think they were misplaced anyway. I was expecting outcomes of some kind, deliverables even, but instead was presented with the opportunity to think. The chance to slow down for a day, to really consider things. To listen.

Maybe if I had gone to the first Reboot Alberta I’d feel differently. I completely understand why those who did might have felt like they were rehashing the same thing again.

I agree that action is important and necessary. But so are conversations. I don’t know where Reboot Alberta will go from here, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to take part.

You can see my photos from the event here.

Reboot Alberta 2.0Reboot Alberta 2.0

Recommended reading:

Reboot Alberta: Tweets & Blogs

A very interesting event took place in Red Deer this weekend called Reboot Alberta. Participants discussed the state of politics in Alberta, and explored ways to “reboot” things. I was invited, but decided to stay home. I’m not as well-versed in provincial politics as others and I was unsure what I would be able to contribute. Perhaps it would have been a good learning opportunity for me, but I got the impression that Reboot Alberta was (like ChangeCamp) looking for participants rather than observers. That said, I think I’ll start participating now!

There were a lot of tweets and blog posts written over the weekend, and during the week leading up to the event. I counted 1243 tweets with the #rebootab hashtag from November 21 until last night around midnight. After removing the hashtag, RT, and usernames, this is what you get if you combine them into a Wordle:

Likewise, there were a lot of blog posts written, with many more on the way I’m sure. Here’s a Wordle for them:

And here are the blog posts I included for that:

Watch for many more posts from participants and others, and be sure to check out Reboot Alberta.

Following the current Canadian political drama on Twitter

As I’m sure you’ve heard or read by now, we’ve got an interesting situation unfolding here in Canada. Essentially the Liberal Party, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois have joined forces to propose a new Liberal-NDP coalition government that would replace Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada. You can learn more about the sequence of events at Wikipedia.

Back in September, I wrote about Canadian Politicians on Twitter. My guess is that our political leaders created accounts in reaction to what was happening south of the border, particularly with Barack Obama’s campaign. So I’m not surprised that none of them have updated their accounts with news about the issue at hand, with the exception of the newly launched LiberalHQ account.

Canadians are definitely talking about the news on Twitter, even if our politicians aren’t. At the moment, the hashtag #coalition is the second most popular topic according to Twitter Search. Other hashtags being used include #canadarally, #canada, #democracy, and #libndp.

Click here to see all related tweets.

There are also a bunch of new accounts being created to cover the news. You can follow both @yes_coalition and @no_coalition if you like!

In addition to some really thoughtful, funny, or otherwise interesting comments from fellow Canadians, you can find links and other resources related to the coalition on Twitter. Here are a few of the things I found:

Also found via Twitter – the news made The Huffington Post today! You’ll find dozens of other news articles, but one that caught my eye is the Globe and Mail’s list of Harper’s ten options.

I’m sure even more interesting things will surface over the next few days. The mainstream media will do a fine job of covering the news, but they can’t match the speed of Twitter. If you want to track the situation in real-time, keep Twitter Search open at all times!

Defending Canadian Democracy

Post ImageI signed the Green Party petition seeking to have that party included in the televised debates because I strongly feel they should be! I didn’t vote Green last time, and I may not this time either, but I still think that any party with a candidate in every riding should be allowed to take part. If the Bloc Québécois can take part, certainly the Green Party should be able to. Here’s part of an email I got today:

Thanks to the participation of people like you, we now have over 40,000 signatures on our online petition for Green Party of Canada leader Jim Harris to be included in the televised leaders’ debates. The broadcasters are taking notice, but still have not reversed their decision.

Now we need to push that number to over 50,000 people before the final televised debates start on Monday evening. Only 10,000 people submitted questions for the other party leaders in the first debates, so this would mean that five times more Canadians are asking for all five leaders to be in the debate.

Can you help us achieve that goal by asking friends, family, and colleagues to sign on too? Remember, this is not necessarily about supporting the Green Party of Canada, its about defending Canadian democracy!

The easiest way for you to help is to use the new page we set up for this at: http://www.info-greenparty.ca/petition/forwardmsg.asp.

If you’re in Canada and you agree, please sign the petition. I am skeptical that the television executives will change their minds, but stranger things have happened.

China and the US

Post ImageMost of the articles I read about China (and to a lesser extent India) are pretty much the same thing. It’s almost as if there’s a cookie-cutter formula for these stories so that no one really has to write anything new. And the article I came across in the New York Times today was no different, except for one paragraph:

If finding a way out of Iraq is an immediate problem for Mr. Bush, then dealing with China’s increasingly assertive tone on economic and military issues, and with Mr. Hu’s quiet resistance to Washington’s calls for political liberalization, is a challenge that will last far beyond his presidency.

If you had to sum up relations between the United States and China in a single sentence, that would be it right now. The next president of the US will have to worry about Iraq no doubt, but I suspect China will be higher up on the list of priorities than it is now.

Read: New York Times