Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Defence of Luongo

Let me preface this by saying I am a long-suffering Chicago Blackhawk fan, since I was entranced by watching flickering black-and-white images of Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Glenn Hall work their magic at old Chicago Stadium. So when Roberto the previously half-divine goalie let in seven goals the other night, propelling my team over his, I felt very satisfied.

But, today's Vancouver Sun headline -- "The Case for Letting Luongo Go" -- and all the bleating from wounded Canuck fans about trading him, does him a grave injustice. All the third period of game six between the Hawks and Canucks proved was that Luongo is still not a mature playoff performer, and the high-risk decision to make him team Captain was probably a mistake.

In that period, he let himself get flustered by being run by Byfuglien and other Hawks -- which should be expected in a deciding game -- and probably let himself get even more frustrated over the irritations of imperfect or incompetent refereeing. Rattled, he began shrinking back into his crease, making himself more vulnerable to the Chicago snipers. And so the Canucks bowed out.

But, if he is as smart as he has shown himself at times to be, that may have been the best lesson he could ever learn. A hard one for the fans to swallow, no doubt, but he should be given the chance to show he's learned it, not run out of town. It should be noted that the Canucks, who, remember, didn't even make the playoffs last year, wouldn't have been there without him.

And this sudden Luongo-baiting also reveals more of the fickleness and impatience of Vancouver fans. They didn't take Chicago seriously as an opponent, now they're mad at their idol, who has only proven to be human after all.

BC Election Post-mortem

Well it's over. The dullest Provincial Election campaign in the 20+ years I've been in BC. Gordon Campbell droning on about not rocking the boat or changing horses in this economy, Carole James harping about Gordo and his insider friends selling out B.C. and the Greens being their usual ineffectual selves. It could and probably should have been a better opportunity for James to make a breakthrough. She tried, and she did better after the debate in which Campbell sounded condescending about what a tough job he had, but she just seemed too much like a well-meaning School Trustee and not enough like a get-things-done woman (like a left-leaning Thatcher, maybe?) to really catch on.

When the campaign's focus shifted from how Carole seemed to be selling out environmentalists on the gas tax to how she was going to hike up the price of beer, it became obvious who was controlling the public agenda and how it would turn out. Serious topics, unfortunately, were not to be dealt with.

So why should we be surprised over the 52% turnout? We were all lulled into complacency. Gordon may have had a slight scare by not getting more than 50 seats in the ledge, but anyone who thinks humility will transform the man is dreaming. We're getting four more years of the same. More privatized rivers, longer waits in Emergency and more corporate influence. And we only have ourselves to blame by not waking up from this sleepy sideshow.

Friday, May 1, 2009

More on the BC Vote

Rafe Mair -- hardly known as a primary left winger in this province, sure has a hate on for the Campbell Liberals. There's some good food for thought on his website.

For Rafe, it's all about protecting our water and salmon and averting a wholesale sell-off of our resources to private enterprise. Wait-- haven't we just been living through a bad time with market forces spinning out of control? Hmmmm........