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Just An Observation: Sport and politicians

Ever heard of the phrase: art imitates life?

Ever heard of the phrase: art imitates life?

Well, in the last month it has been more like life imitates sport and vice versa. Here are a pair of examples.

The first is a central Alberta MLA, who is a government backbencher, that has sworn up and down that they will fight hard for the communities in their riding — taking municipal and individual concerns to the highest level of the UCP government and continuing to visit with people across the constituency with a listening ear in order to do what they can.

Unfortunately, it’s looking more like this particular MLA is either more interested in travelling the constituency to look involved — on the taxpayer dime mind you — or has been told by the Kenney team handlers to not do or say anything that may come back to bite the government.

In other words that means not advocating for communities and constituents, but instead deflecting or deferring questions that are uncomfortable or controversial to either a minister’s office or that of the Premier.

One recent example that demonstrates this is the MLA in question showing up to a municipal council meeting, after being formally invited to come and answer questions regarding issues such as policing costs, infrastructure funding and grants in lieu of taxes.

However, it seemed like the MLA had no idea what the visit was all about and was completely unprepared to answer even the simplest of questions from council.

The appearance was so bad that the MLA turned around and focused on the media in attendance for several minutes prior to addressing the council. That was followed, throughout the time the MLA listened to council, by the MLA looking down at their cell phone quite often.

Then there was veering away from remarks on any question asked, with the MLA stating they don’t know enough about the subject and that it might be best to request a meeting with the minister of municipal affairs that might occur within the next few months.

It left the council very frustrated and concerned that whatever their concerns are, this current government and its MLAs aren’t interested in anything except executing their own plan, regardless of what it means for the people of Alberta.

So back to the original point, all of this reminds me of coaches and players giving media interviews filled with cliches that never really say anything.

Rules? What rules?

On the other side of this, sport imitating life, is the decision to ignore a rule — put in place by hockey’s governing body in this country — by a seemingly unaccountable junior hockey league.

Ponoka’s junior B club was knocked out of the playoffs, in part, because their opponent used a player that should have been serving a suspension in the final game of the regular season. Ponoka needed a win in regulation to earn the spot and, to their credit, played the game with that in mind in spite of noticing the situation after the puck dropped.

Ponoka lost the game 4-3, as they pulled the goalie in the final minute instead of playing for overtime. This meant Ponoka got no points instead of having a shot at two points for a win in either overtime or a shootout.

There was the belief that the Heritage Junior Hockey League would not only take away the points given for the victory, but also award Ponoka the regulation victory and the points associated with that — as per Hockey Canada rules.

The league revoked the points for that win and subsequently suspended both the offending team’s coach and the player who should have sat out.

However, it would not give Ponoka the regulation win points, telling the team the league has never done that before and since it doesn’t follow every Hockey Canada rule for junior hockey, it doesn’t have to follow this one.

That’s exactly what one would expect to hear from an organization that believes it is entitled and doesn’t have to answer to the rules it is supposedly governed by.

Sounds a lot like any government that apologies to the public that elects them for having to raise taxes because they screwed up and spent too much despite promising not to.

But that is…just an observation.