Monday, 19 October 2015


The Pulse of the People

It’s election day in Canada and that means the Toronto Blue Jays will have competition in providing some potentially compelling television tonight. That we must by law cast our ballots on the third Monday in October during the fourth year of a sitting government’s mandate is just one of the many little omnibus bill tweaks made to the Canadian democratic process by our autocratic, Draconian leader since he rose to power through the fusty ranks of the right fringe in 2006.

The Conservative government has been busy moulding Canada into its leader’s likeness for almost a decade. The nil-nil draw of the War of 1812 was celebrated while our existing veterans have been shunted into the dark corners of incompetent bureaucracy. We’re at war again and the front is everywhere and nowhere. Relations with our neighbour, closest ally and largest trading partner are at a feuding, frosty ebb. Minority rights have been milled to powder beneath a Tory wheel; the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has become an evil Liberal abstract. Canadian science and culture wither like crops in the cracked crust of drought. Political partisanship has descended to a nasty nadir. Oh, well, well, well, the lengthiest federal election campaign in over a century almost made us forget about the Senate scandal simmering on the back-burner.

Today Canadians will decide whether H.M.C.S. Canada stays her course or damns the torpedoes. Our modest grace is that the three men vying to be our next prime minister, provided we throw ideology and simplistic media characterizations out the window with the tailings pond water, are all competent. Canadian clowns and buffoons tend to ride their unicycles around the more intimate municipal and provincial stages; it’s easier to be a bigger asshole in a smaller realm. This fact hints at a concern about the potential challenges of all three party leaders. The winner will have to form a cabinet and said cabinet should reflect the country’s regions, diversity, and equality between the sexes. Pardon the hockey analogy, but no party seems to possess the bench strength to do so.

If our government changes tonight, Canada will not implode on the eve of the 150th anniversary of Confederation. The electorate understands on some level that it takes two or three consecutive mandates for one federal party to really fuck things up; time is power’s best friend. A change would be less harmful than the creeping darkness of the slithering status quo. Expectations are that there will be a record turn out at the polls today. We, apparently, are all engaged. And that’s for the greater good. Get out the growlers, chicken wings and seven-layer dip. On TV tonight it’s all about us and where we’ve decided to go tomorrow.

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