The late, great Rod Love believed fervently that democracy turns on small things.
Over a longish lunch at Buon Giorno restaurant on 17th Avenue S.W. many years ago, Love retailed for a listening reporter the lesson he and Ralph Klein learned in that regard, and how it shaped their whole approach to politics.
During Klein's stint as Calgary's mayor, he was faced with returning surplus cash from utilities charges to Calgarians or simply plowing it back into city revenues. The amount was so small in the context of overall city spending that it hardly justified the cost of mailing the cheques to individual households. Or so Klein and Love reasoned. Kazillion-volt citizen outrage ensued.
"It taught us that you never know what will get people's attention, what they'll react to, what will make them mad. Everything in politics is how you respond to the small things you didn’t see coming."