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In times like these, April Fools' jokes are redundant

The zeitgeist -- the spirit of the time, in case you missed it -- simply forbids an April Fools joke in 2017.

It wasn't a dream. Donald Trump really is the president of the United States. You're not going to wake up to news of the Clinton Cabinet's latest triumph. Sorry, the Trump Presidency isn't just going to be annulled during the premiere of the 2018 season.

England really is on the way out of the European Union, and Scotland is on its way out of the United Kingdom. Hola, Gibraltar, bienvenido a España! For all I know, before the year's out, my native British Columbia will be on its way out of Canada.

The race to lead the Conservative Party of Canada is dominated by racist buffoons and the Boston Stranger. Any candidate with the mojo to actually win a Canadian election languishes at the bottom of the pack.

And Brad Wall -- the real leader of Western Canada -- is revealed as not only a breathtakingly sleazy operator, which we kind of already knew, but a self-interested one at that.

Oh yeah, and Jason Kenney, the man who bestowed that particular phrase of praise on Wall, has been elected leader of the mighty Progressive Conservative Party, which ruled Alberta for 44 years, on a promise to roll it up like a worn out carpet and pack it off to the dump.

It's not delicate social democratic distaste with made-up news that has driven me to this conclusion. I was considering telling you the NDP Government of Premier Rachel Notley and Rebel Media were about to go into partnership to peddle the idea of "ethical pipelines" -- after all, "the world needs more Canada, and how are we going to get it to them, slightly diluted, if we don't have a pipeline to tidewater?" I was going to say the Rebel's Sheila Gunn Reid would be appointed to lead the new Crown Corporation, Ethical Pipelines Alberta Corp.

But, how could I top the list of actual real news stories above that smidgen of fake news?

Seriously, I'm reconciled to the fact I'm just never going to be able to pull off another one like the time I actually convinced huge numbers of readers, just a week after she'd been forced by her own caucus to resign, that former premier Alison Redford was about to sue the province of Alberta for wrongful dismissal.

Like I said, it's 2017. No can do.

Speaking of which, it looks as if David Khan is the leader of the Alberta Liberal Party -- whether he likes it or not.

Just a month ago at the Throne Speech, the Calgary human rights lawyer was convincingly enumerating the reasons he wasn't interested in the job -- and I have no doubt the poor guy spoke the truth.

But that was before the fellow on whom so many Liberal hopes of a revival rested -- St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse -- took a powder.

The other Calgary human rights lawyer thought to be interested in the job was snapped by a CBC photographer at an Alberta Party fundraiser Thursday night, and I guess the student who briefly put up his hand couldn't come up with the nomination fee.

Alas for Khan, when nominations closed at 5 p.m. yesterday, he was the only person who'd filed nomination papers to lead the moribund party that a quarter century ago came achingly close to defeating the PCs and becoming the government of Alberta.

He probably felt a bit like the proverbial deer in the headlights. Well, props to him for dancing with the one that brung him, even if the band has already stopped playing. (Enough mixing metaphors – Ed.) He’s a talented and obviously loyal man, taking on a job that looks to be impossible.

If either the Wildrose Party or Elections Alberta puts up enough of a fight, the Alberta Liberals could well end up beating the PCs this time ... but only into the mists of history!

You can't make this stuff up. You literally can't, as it turns out, in 2017.

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaPolitics.ca.

Image: Flickr/pasa

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