Ron Paul, the crazy uncle of the American right, surrounded by grinning acolytes at the 2013 conference of the Manning Centre for Undermining Democracy in Ottawa. Putting Dr. Paul here worked before, so maybe it’ll work again! Below: For New Year’s Eve, we show Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who says he doesn’t drink alcohol, hoisting a doublethink cocktail. Below him, Deepak Chopra, the exercise guru from Canada Post. And below him, put there as a service to the public, Deepak Chopra the New Age guru. Thanks to Alberta Diary, you now all know the difference!
The midwinter holidays equal desperate times for political bloggers.
I mean, where’s Stephen Harper when you really need him? Hiding out at 24 Sussex, presumably, with the blinds pulled down and the Mounties on high alert, trying to figure out a way to offer zero help or encouragement to the people of Toronto without offending any voters in the 905 Belt or the few remaining Ford Nation loyalists. Either that, or he’s hunkered down in Bragg Creek or some such Alberta redoubt figuring out how to make an election slogan out of “Yo, seniors! Your retirement’s a great time for fiscal discipline!”
Nobody else much worth commentating on is around either. Unless you count Deepak Chopra, that is – not the New Age guru but the exercise guru of the same name from Canada Post who’s trying to make all us fragile senior citizens get out and walk to a postal box in the middle of winter, when we bought the flippin’ house because it had home mail delivery!
Well, for lack of anything better to do, here were the 13 best-read Alberta Diary stories of 2013, plus the number of people who read them, which must tell us something about this blog’s readership, or at least the days on which they had time on their hands. There’s Big Data in here somewhere to be mined, I’ll bet ya, and we could all get rich if we could just figure out what it was.
If nothing else, these results prove that this blogger needs the Sun News Network, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Manning Centre and other collections of far-right loons and liars, not to mention Messrs. Ford and Harper, even if the rest of you would be better off without them!
It surprised me mildly that no post about Mr. Ford made it on to the Top 13 list – though mention of his name was always a guarantee of a healthy readership. Maybe that only happens on Rabble.ca, the other place these posts appear. Rabble numbers are not included in these totals. Since I try to file every day, the vast majority of the visits recorded happen on the first day of publication.
My commentary, by the way, on once and future Conservative-Wildrose strategist Tom Flanagan’s bizarre depiction of child pornography as principally a freedom-of-expression issue, which resulted in his quick although now obviously temporary banishment from conservative organizations and news organizations, was edged out of the No. 13 spot by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s unsavoury political misuse of Remembrance Day.
But the No. 1 spot … well, we’ll talk about that when we get to it.
No. 13: Hoist with their own petard, Harper Tories face veterans’ Remembrance Day protest, Nov. 11, 1,254 readers.
No. 11: The government blinked: defiant Alberta jail guards have every right to declare victory, May 1, 1,403.
No. 10: Alberta Tories respond to protests by disabled Albertans with instinctive diversionary attack, June 2, 1,409.
No. 9: Sorry for anti-Roma rant? As It Happens interviewer demolishes Sun News VP, March 26, 1,734.
No. 8: With no market for hate and right-wing drivel, Sun News comes cap in hand for public subsidy, Jan. 22, 1,913.
No. 7: Craziness in Alberta jails continues – and may get worse today, April 29, 2,027.
No. 6: Is it time to take our pots and pans into Alberta’s freezing streets? Nov. 29, 2,438.
No. 5: Four-day school scheme shows Tories view Fort McMurray as not much more than a work camp, Jan. 14, 3,139.
No. 3: Minuscule Canadian Taxpayers Federation in running for ‘Turfy Award’, March 13, 3,687.
No. 2: A serious question for Albertans: Is the Redford Government out of control? Nov. 28, 6,676.
Mostly over a day and a half, an astonishing 12,888 people visited the blog about the Manning Centre to read the No. 1 post of the year, almost all of them from the United States.
This can only be explained, I think, by the presence of a photo I took of Ron Paul during my infiltration of last spring’s Manning Centre conference in Ottawa. Dr. Paul is the crazy uncle of the American right and a man with more than 1.2 million followers on his Facebook page. Someone posted a link, apparently. Thanks Ron, even if you are nuts!
Still, whatever the cause, it’s no bad thing to have an opportunity to inform the wider world of the perfidy of the Manning Centre – even if I’d have preferred more people just read and did my crossword puzzle.