Wednesday, October 17, 2007
ONE THORN IN THE HAND...
It was suppose to be election primer but was more like elmer's paste. More 'throne' than 'thorn', but certainly prickly enough to draw the scolding of high-priest Layton and cheese-hat Duceppe.
High drama and pompous ceremony seemed to stand on end in the lead-up to yesterday's speech, otherwise dubbed 'Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?' Day. It was the preamble to the media's ongoing anxiety about 'what will Dion do?'
It's the day that an almost 21-month-old government tosses off the 'New' label for something less, well, 'New'. How about 'Slacker' or 'Pimply-Faced' Government?
Back to the event. Poor Micheille Jean. Making nice with the faux Emperor and the former Ms Teskey, and then being forced to read the equivalence of 'Dr Zhivago Does His First Tonsillectomy' as written by William F. Buckley outloud. Who said being the representative of the Monarchy would be fun?
Okay, to the speech itself, or at least to some of its earlier moments. Let's face it, if Jack Layton wasn't going to sit still to listen you can be sure I wasn't either.
Hmm, sounds fairly pablumic, referencing the reason why we're having a TS two weeks before Halloween because it "is an important moment in our country’s democratic life. Through the Speech from the Throne, the Government shares its vision with Canadians... And because 'Throne Speech always comes after 'Prorogued'."
Ah, a nice tribute to one of the last successful CON-serfative-minded minority government's, John Diefenbaker's in 1957. Mention the Queen in there, too, just to keep Jean in her place.
Now, to kowtow to those CanCon people -- "hey, we got rid of slavery awhile back, and would have brought in the citizenship act much earlier if the evil Liberal dog-loving MacKenzie King -- he talked with dead people, didja know? -- hadn't robbed us of our place in history. And don't forget the 40th anniversary of the Order of Canada, obviously a socialistic tool brought in by those evil Liberals again. But we'll get that ship-shape soon don't you worry."
Here's where Harper's studying of Earle Birney pays off: "And although Canada is a young country, its history is marked by our unwavering willingness—which I was touched to see all across Canada—to be and to continue to be a generous society, granting million-dollar gifts to American lumber protectionists and white men everywhere."
Oh-oh, here comes Harper on automatic pilot again, with the "sets clear goals" and "delivers concrete results" sell job. You forgot "makes whites really white" and "two out of three dentists recommend"... And the obligatory 'Canada's Back.' But what about Canada's Front? When it comes to slogans, Harper is about as authentic and real as, well, you get the picture.
He goes on and on. Telling us about that illusionary "more money in our pockets" because of imaginary tax cuts (personal income tax for most Canadians went up) and this doozy "Families now have real choice in child care" like whether Mommy should quit her job and learn an underground economic skill or keep buying bulk Heintz beans.
I don't know if I want to touch that crack about "Canadians now have a government committed to helping them get the medical care they need more quickly" because everytime I laugh it only hurts that long-ago diagnosed hernia. Wish I could make that disappear like Harper made his 'wait times priority' evaporate last summer.
Onto that favourite crime topic. Making neighbourhoods safe just by saying its so. Good thing there's no stats on that, oops! No need to admit we don't know what we're talking about but there are more people packing non-registered firearms, so I feel safe, don't you?
Finally, some substance: "Our Government will focus on five clear priorities: strengthening Canada’s sovereignty and place in the world (building firewalls for everyone with the help of Uncle Sammy!); building a stronger federation (or else!); providing effective economic leadership (with the cooperation of your new employer, Mr Zhao and Dieter Schmidt, who purchased your company overnight); continuing to tackle crime (that TV light is on, right?); and improving our environment (with New Improved TarSands Plus)."
BlahblahblahArcticblahblahblahsovereigntywohwohwohmilitarybigbuckswohwohwohbringsresults. Oh and I'll trade you Nelson Mandela for Aung San Suu Kyi because she knows where a woman's place is...
And that Afghanistan, what a mess eh? Those Liberals put us in there -- buy Chretien's book -- and I promise to get us out by 2011, just because George said you'd never boot out a 'war president.'
That so-called Kyoto thingy can't be achieved, obviously, and we'll tie our effort to anyone who is agin it, because you know-who has a dog named after it. But to show my sincerity, I'll plant a tree at Stanley Park and eat a rainforest bear burger, extra onions at the Red Barn on my way home tonight. That's all the divine providence I have to offer, but hey, I'm a leader and you-know-who isn't.
I didn't see any poison pill or Tonya Harding-with-a-steel-pipe to Dion's knees here. Perhaps the CONs don't want an election. But judging by the lack of originality and authentic ideas, its hard to say that they want to govern either. Appears that the only arrows in their quill seem to be for making mean with the opposition. But that's probably got its own committee instruction booklet, second publication.