Monday, December 04, 2006

Strom's Curse

Others are now commenting on the Curse. Ed Stelmach being Alberta's 13th Premier will he inherit the Strom Curse? I have said so pundits from the right including his opponent Ted Morton have said so. And now the MSM are speculating.

Stelmach confronts ghost of Harry Strom
Albertans ask if new Premier will suffer fate of Socred boss's 1971 loss to Lougheed

The worst criticism of Stelmach during the campaign was that he was dull and unimaginative. More than once, particularly in the last week, he was referred to unfavourably as the ''next Harry Strom,'' the last Social Credit premier in that party's 36-year reign.

But even if he can suture his party's wounds, another question is being whispered in Tory circles: is Stelmach the next Harry Strom? Strom was the province's last farmer turned premier. He was elected leader of the Social Credit party in 1968, then lost the next general election to Peter Lougheed's Progressive Conservatives in 1971.

Alliance Party Leader Paul Hinman said Stelmach's "good guy" persona is reminiscent of Socred Harry Strom, who turned over the reins of power to the Tories in 1971. "He's working on healing the party and talking to the grassroots," said Hinman. "I think it's a little too late and that this is the beginning of the end of the Tories."

Strom and Stelmach share something else. They are Alberta's 'rural' Premiers. Sharing the roles of Minister of Agriculture and now the Minister of Everything.

Mr. Stelmach's victory was due in large part to the thousands of rural voters who turned out to support him across northern Alberta, compared with the hundreds who voted for his rivals in each of the province's urban and southern ridings. "People wanted somebody they could believe in and trust," said Luke Ouellette, a rural Tory backbencher who supported Mr. Stelmach's bid.

It's the curse. Not that Strom was a bad Premier he was just a lame duck Premier in a province about to burst forth in a decade long boom. Hmmm sounds familiar.

He Had good ideas and put public education and post secondary education at the top of his agenda. The Socreds opened the U of L as one of few truly experimental open liberal arts universities in North America.

All in all Strom's short term in office was good for Alberta. It just was the party, it had staled and now rather than being a beer bash was really suffering a thrity years hangover, and the blahs. Like a bad guest you discover has stayed behind, after the last partier left, still wearing a lampshade because he thought it was funny before he passed out.

The party was stale, out of ideas, marking time, pacing in one place, in other words it sounds like the Tories of today. Is there really a Strom Curse?

Is 13 really unlucky? And what will it mean for Alberta's 13th Premier?

The origin of Unlucky 13

Or does it signify ultimate change, as in the 13th card in the Tarot.



13. Death.--Death, Change, Transformation, Alteration for the worse; R. Death just escaped, Partial change, Alteration for the better.

Click to enlarge
color image

The veil or mask of life is perpetuated in change, transformation and passage from lower to higher, and this is more fitly represented in the rectified Tarot by one of the apocalyptic visions than by the crude notion of the reaping skeleton. Behind it lies the whole world of ascent in the spirit. The mysterious horseman moves slowly, bearing a black banner emblazoned with the Mystic Rose, which signifies life. Between two pillars on the verge of the horizon there shines the sun of immortality. The horseman carries no visible weapon, but king and child and maiden fall before him, while a prelate with clasped hands awaits his end.

Death (La Mort)
The Child of the Great Transformers; The Lord of the Gate of Death

Card Number: 13
Key Number: 24
Rulership: Scorpio
Hebrew Letter: Nun
Translation: Fish
Numerical Value: 12

Divinatory meaning
Upright - The beginning of a new life. As a result of underlying circumstances transformation and change. Major changes. The end of a phase in life which has served its purpose. Abrupt and complete change of circumstances, way of life and patterns of behaviour due to past events and actions. Alterations.

Ill Dignified or Reversed - Change that is both painful and unpleasant. A refusal to face the fear of change or change itself. Agonising periods of transition. Inertia. Lethargy. Mental, physical or emotional exhaustion.

The Symbolism of the Tarot
by P. D. Ouspensky [1913]

Fatigued by the flashing of the Wheel of Life, I sank to earth and shut my eyes. But it seemed to me that the Wheel kept turning before me and that the four creatures continued sitting in the clouds and reading their books.

Suddenly, on opening my eyes, I saw a gigantic rider on a white horse, dressed in black armour, with a black helmet and black plume. A skeleton's face looked out from under the helmet. One bony hand held a large, black, slowly-waving banner, and the other held a black bridle ornamented with skulls and bones.

And, wherever the white horse passed, night and death followed; flowers withered, leaves drooped, the earth covered itself with a white shroud; graveyards appeared; towers, castles and cities were destroyed.

Kings in the full splendour of their fame and their power; beautiful women loved and loving; high priests invested by power from God; innocent children--when they saw the white horse all fell on their knees before him, stretched out their hands in terror and despair, and fell down to rise no more.

Afar, behind two towers, the sun sank.

A deadly cold enveloped me. The heavy hoofs of the horse seemed to step on my breast, and I felt the world sink into an abyss.

But all at once something familiar, but faintly seen and heard, seemed to come from the measured step of the horse. A moment more and I heard in his steps the movement of the Wheel of Life!

An illumination entered me, and, looking at the receding rider and the descending sun, I understood that the Path of Life consists of the steps of the horse of Death.

The sun sinks at one point and rises at another. Each moment of its motion is a descent at one point and an ascent at another. I understood that it rises while sinking and sinks while rising, and that life, in coming to birth, dies, and in dying, comes to birth.

"Yes," said the voice. The sun does not think of its going down and coming up. What does it know of earth, of the going and coming observed by men? It goes its own way, over its own orbit, round an unknown Centre. Life, death, rising and falling--do you not know that all these things are thoughts and dreams and fears of the Fool"?

Which means the death of the Tories under Ed just as it was the trouble with Harry for the Socreds.

And in Canadian politics 13 has been unlucky.

13th Prime Minister
John Diefenbaker
(Progressive Conservative)

Harry Corwin Nixon
Harry Nixon

In office
May 18, 1943 – August 17, 1943

13th PM of Quebec

Félix-Gabriel Marchand

As premier, Marchand attempted to create a Ministry of Education in 1898. At the time, education was entirely in the hands of the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church in the province. His legislation was passed by the Legislative Assembly (the lower chamber of Quebec's legislature), but was defeated in the Legislative Council (the upper house). It was not until 1964 that a Ministry of Education was finally created in Quebec.

As it has in American politics

Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore

In office
July 9, 1850March 4, 1853
Vice President(s) none
Preceded by Zachary Taylor
Succeeded by Franklin Pierce

In office
March 4, 1849July 9, 1850
President Zachary Taylor
Preceded by George M. Dallas
Succeeded by William R. King

Born January 7, 1800
Summerhill, New York
Died March 8, 1874
Buffalo, New York
Political party Whig
Spouse Abigail Powers Fillmore (1st wife)
Mrs. Caroline Carmichael McIntosh (2nd wife)
Religion Unitarian

Millard Fillmore (January 7, 1800March 8, 1874) was the thirteenth President of the United States, serving from 1850 until 1853, and the last member of the Whig Party to hold that office. He succeeded from the Vice Presidency on the death of President Zachary Taylor, who died of acute gastroenteritis, becoming the second U.S. President to assume the office in this manner. Fillmore was never elected President in his own right; after serving out Taylor's term he was not nominated for the Presidency by the Whigs in the 1852 Presidential election, and in 1856 he again failed to win election as President as the Know Nothing Party candidate.

After all when it comes to the irrational, politics and the occult share a common psychology.


Conservative Leadership Race

Harry Strom


Ed Stemach

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