Hodge Podge by Charlie Hodge – Election, Politics & Hockey thoughts – May 11, 2017

Only in B.C. can we have an election that makes things more complicated than before.Once again the majority of predictions and polls were wrong as B.C. voters painted the province a blend of orange, red and a touch of green. If we were a sports team that would be one ugly uniform.Regardless of the results, hearty congrats to all locals involved in helping run election polls. I have worked election sites in the past and they are generally a thankless job and make for a very long day. My voting experience was quick, uncomplicated and well organized. Well done organizers!Full congratulations to Kelowna area MLA’s Norm Letnick, Steve Thomson, and Christy Clark on their return to office and also to Shelley Cook who ran a strong fight for the NDP in my riding. Taking on the Premier is never an easy battle.It will take a few weeks to verify the status of our new provincial government and I would not be surprised with anything that shakes down before the count is complete. The results in Kamloops throws a loop on that council since City Hall will now be without Mayor Peter Milobar. The quandary facing them is do they appoint an interim mayor for the remaining 15 months or hold a by-election? The municipal act apparently allows for either choice. It is a tough call for Kamloops council.


Speaking of winners and losers, many Canadians are saddened by the seventh game demise of the Edmonton Oilers to Anaheim Wednesday evening. That loss eliminated the hopes of a possible all Canadian Stanley Cup final after Ottawa advanced to the semi-finals earlier in the week. The Oilers had been led and inspired by former Kelowna Rocket forward Leon Draisaitl.Meanwhile right on cue the Washington Capitals choked yet again, failing to reach the final despite being favoured to do so.  While I do not dislike Pittsburgh (except for Kessel) I was hoping Washington would avoid the collapse and advance since they have never won the cup.Go Ottawa.


Of course the Capitals are not the only losers out of Washington.Well know journalist Andrew Coyne wrote a scathing column Thursday regarding President Trump’s latest stunts and I quote some of it below because, well, I could not express my thoughts any better.Coyne wrote, “Among the many challenges Donald Trump presents is simple comprehension. His unfitness for office is so complete,  his failings as a man so profound, it is difficult to take it all in. The mind resists: the constant temptation is to think he can’t be as bad as all that, or to seek refuge in some imagined precedent. We have known, after all, presidents who were liars, or corrupt, or incompetent, or erratic. But we have never seen a president like this, who combines all of these qualities — in spades — and more: among them bottomless ignorance, childlike impetuousness, and a raging, non-stop, all-consuming narcissism.”Above all, we have never seen anyone rise to such high office so unbound by any of the usual norms of behaviour, personal, political or presidential, of which the past three months-plus have been a daily tutorial. The firing of James Comey, the FBI director, is of a piece with this. For a president, several of whose associates are under criminal investigation, to fire the person at the head of that investigation is, of course, outside every norm of constitutional government and defies every understanding of the rule of law.”And yet the temptation, even now, is to rationalize: to assume, at the very least, there must be some method in his madness. There is no evidence of this. The official explanation for the firing — that the president had suddenly become displeased with Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails he had earlier publicly praised — is transparently, clownishly false…”We have been given a picture of the next four years, in which the best-case scenario is that the U.S. continues to drift — distracted, paralyzed, consumed by scandals, with no policy direction but the whims of an increasingly paranoid president and whichever side is ascendant in the constant civil wars within his administration. And the worst case? Oh, how about nuclear war in Korea?”The question is whether this prospect can safely be endured. And the answer, it is now clear, is no. If sense prevailed, the wheels would already be in motion to remove him from office…””Alas, political calculations on both sides of the aisle may conspire to leave him there: the Republicans, in dread of the turmoil his removal would unleash among their base; the Democrats, because he may help deliver them the Congress, as early as 2018.”They should think again. The risk is too great, not just to the republic, but to the world.”Well said Andrew.

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HodgePodge by Charlie Hodge
Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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