Sunday, April 19, 2015

Meet and Greet with Brian Jean

So a couple of posts ago I mentioned that I wasn't planning on blogging much about the provincial election unless things got strange.  And in some ways they have.....from an NDP candidate getting arrested while campaigning in Medicine Hat to members of a PC riding association resigning after questionable nomination practices.  Even your wife's home-made apple pie wasn't safe.

The coup de grace came a couple of days ago while I was browsing a newspaper at work and saw a photo on the front page.  It was a photo of Wildrose leader Brian Jean and a young lady that looked oddly familiar.  She looked just like one of my tenants who, like me holds a keen interest in politics and has been closely following the campaign.  My initial thought was to wonder how she had managed to score a photo with Jean that ended up on the front page AND how I had apparently missed that he was in town as I tend to devour political news the moment it hits the press.

As it turned out, the young lady in question wasn't my tenant but rather her sister, who is actually a candidate in Grande Prairie-Wapiti.  Turns out my tenant has known the Jean family pretty much their whole lives, she told me.  And by the way, she was going to a "meet and greet" at the local legion.  If I wanted to come along she was more than willing to introduce me to him.

It was a novel experience to meet someone you often only seen on television....and with no huge crowds or media in sight.  I'll save my political thoughts here since for those who know me, they tend be rather evident.  I will say that I found Jean to be very approachable and laid back....and very interested in what people had to say.  Not only is Jean our local candidate but as leader of his party, he could potentially be the province's next Leader of the Opposition or Premier, depending on how election day plays out.  I honestly never thought I'd find myself in a situation where I could vote directly for a party leader.  If I could travel back in time, I know the university version of myself would be insanely jealous.

I appreciated the time he took for a photo as I knew he had had many long days on the campaign trail....14 communities in the past two days and he was back in town before flying off to High Prairie today.  My tenant had me all embarrassed as she introduced me as "the landlord" who was keenly interested in the election and hoping for a quick photo.  I demurred as I knew he must be very tired and I'm sure he gets asked that question a millions times.  But Brian was adamant.  "It's okay, Darcy.  Let's do this."  And so I ended up with my little photo.

On the way home, my tenant mentioned that she had invited Jean to dinner next time he was in town.  "Oh, that's cool,"  I responded. "Where were you planning to go?"
"Well, your house.  If you're okay with it, that is."
Of course, I couldn't say no.

Yes, it's been an interesting campaign.

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