Public interest + Politics = Poliwings

In our small bedroom-community of St. Albert, two average Joe’s started a group less than a year ago that would promote regular meetings of people interested in politics to get together and share their ideas.  The problem of course, is getting people interested in politics to get together anywhere.  It is hard enough to get them off the couches on election night.

Kevin and Dana got the idea from an event they saw in Calgary and decided to check it out to see if they could drum up any interest and now, five meetings into their adventure, the events are seeing numbers from 20-30 attendees.

poliwings #5

poliwings #5

To get a little background, there were a couple excellent write-ups in the local newspapers after the first one last summer and you should check them out (Gazette article, Leader article).

I Love the Event

What can I say about this event, other than it doesn’t happen regularly enough.  It is awesome.  I love the casual atmosphere and meeting such interesting people.  I wasn’t planning to write about the content of the meeting but mostly because we talked about so many topics.  I could not remember half of them if I had a day on a beach to make a list and got paid by the word.  I know that we talked about everything from local issues and provincial issues to Canadian and even American topics.

People Are our Future

My fellow attendees couldn’t have been more diverse or interesting.  The people are a huge draw for me and the meeting last night was no exception.  There were political representatives from the city, province and the federal government and they were the typical wealth of information and entertainment.  I met at least five politicians last night and there were more that I never got a chance to talk to.  There were familiar faces and new names to try to memorize… too late.  I suck at names and that alone should be a reason to forget politics as an option for my life.

Although I would really like to serve in a political office at least once before I die, just being me will make it a challenge.  I might have to make a choice between blogging and politics.  Heck, thinking back at some of the blogs I wrote, it might be too late already.

My wife got to drink the largest, tallest pitcher of beer I had ever seen and I think she likes Cathy Heron, our deputy mayor.  I love that Cathy brings passion for politics to her position but it is her fun loving spirit that really makes me want to vote for her again and again.

Shayne pouring a glass of beer from the 100 ounce tower

Shayne pouring a glass of beer from the 100 ounce tower

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

But let’s get to what I wanted to talk about real quick… too late on that count too I guess.  I absolutely love the opportunity to learn more about things I would never get to hear about outside of a newspaper or a youtube video.  I got to hear about issues with schools and how the boards are handling the overcrowded and under-utilized schools in our city.  We talked about Mark Steyn’s court case and our budget problems with the oil prices and dollar both in a free-fall.

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.  – Robert A. Heilein ¹

Any idea that comes up across the table will undoubtedly have a counter argument within earshot.  I get to learn by watching a mini-debate on everything.  I love it!

poliwings #5

poliwings #5

How Can this help or affect you if you don’t live here?

If you don’t live in St. Albert, but you are interested in politics and have a little free time, why not start your own poliwing group.  Feel free to follow Kevin and Dana on twitter @poliwings or follow the facebook page.

When it was all said and done, I drove home with my fabulous wife and felt just a little bit smarter.  That might be simple be credit to the interesting people but I enjoyed the feeling nonetheless.



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