Friday, March 18, 2005

Project Don Quixote takes centre stage over Project Stanley

EDMONTON: The Alberta government has committed to spending, if necessary, millions of dollars on a challenge of the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex couples’ right to marry. Dubbed “Project Don Quixote,” the Alberta government’s quest to use a legal weapon that, on this issue, it constitutionally does not possess (the notwithstanding clause) to protect a power not in its jurisdiction (the definition marriage) is being lauded as brave and noble by many Albertans.

The spokesman for the coalition group, Families Against Gays, Homosexuality And Transgendered Equivocators from Righteousness (FAGHATER) publicly stated his group’s support for the government. Speaking from his home in Camrose, joined by his wife and eight children, Lester Wholesome said, “As an Albertan, I am proud to have a government that stands against the erosion of the family. Just the thought of gay marriage causes me to lose my erection and threatens the conception of Lester Jr. IV.”

Government supporters are particularly heartened that finally, a genuine issue that they can do nothing about has emerged to draw Albertans’ attention away from such distractions as Project Stanley.

“Once we all get behind Project Don Quixote, everyone will forget about that Project Stanley nonsense,” said Wholesome.

Project Stanley was the name given to an alleged conspiracy among electrical companies, including Enron, to manipulate energy markets and amass illegal profits at the expense of Albertans. An email from the general counsel for Enron to the director of Enron Canada Corporation, dated September 2000 with the subject line, “Re: Project Stanley – Recent Meetings with Alberta Government and Transalta,” had threatened to further implicate the government in perpetrating fraud against its own citizens. However, according to government insiders, Don Quixote will have the desired effect of diverting attention away from Project Stanley, as well as from the overall failure of electricity deregulation, and from the government’s assistance to auto insurance companies in racking up another year of record profits, not to mention the government’s inaction on a) climate change; b) dependency on resource revenue; c) suburban sprawl; d) Alberta’s high school graduation rate continuing to be the lowest in Canada.

“Albertans astutely realize that oppressing the rights of one percent of the population is far more important than making progress on issues that affect everyone,” said Paul C. Wonk, political analyst at Athabasca University.

Wonk expressed particular admiration for Premier Klein’s deftness in denying any responsibility for Project Don Quixote. He observed that while Klein has single-handedly resisted a workplace smoking ban due to his own fondness for smoking in casinos, he claimed to have been outvoted by the rest of the Conservative caucus on the same-sex marriage issue.

“I’m sure all Albertans are glad to have a premier who refrains from interfering in his government’s desire to squander taxpayers’ money on an exercise in futility,” said Wonk. “That is the highest expression of democracy, is it not? A leader who won’t take the lead in protecting the public purse but permits his personal habits to dictate province-wide policy…Truly, Alberta’s democracy has evolved gloriously out of the outmoded traditions of impartiality and accountability.”