Would a wild rose plate by any other name smell sweeter to Tories?
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
The debate over changing the slogan on Alberta's licence plates is being driven purely by political motivation, according to a provincial party leader.
The Alberta government set up a website for public comment on a new design to be unveiled in 2009. Last month, Service Alberta Minister Heather Klimchuk said based on comments from 33,000 people, the leading suggestions were to keep the current motto "Wild Rose Country" or to replace it with "Strong and Free."
"I think it's a golden opportunity to brand Alberta and do something innovative and fabulous to be proud of our province," Klimchuk said.
But George Read, leader of the Alberta Greens, disputes the motivation: "It has to do with the fact that the Wildrose Alliance has 'wild rose' in their name, and [the governing Progressive Conservatives] don't want a free ad on the back of everybody's car."
He points out the licence-plate issue didn't appear on Tory Premier Ed Stelmach's agenda until the Wildrose Alliance became a political party.
"I think Mr. Stelmach is scared, and I think it's funny."
The Wildrose Alliance espouses policies to the right of the governing Conservatives. It lost its only seat in the legislature in the March 3, 2008, provincial election
And the even funnier thing about the article:
"It wouldn't be so much a change of licence plate so much as a change in nationality," observed David Taras, a political scientist at the University of Calgary.
"Because those are words that ring in the American national anthem, on American licence plates, in the American Declaration of Independence."
... alas; someone else caught it too.