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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The New Solitudes

Most Canadians my age (ahem, no comment...) remember the Two Solitudes: English Canada and French Canada, non-communicative and slightly dysfunctional. Fast forward a few decades, and I believe we are on the cusp of a different transformational change in Canada: the New Solitudes, if you will. As the NDP surge (and yes, I really want to write RCMP "serge" instead...) continues, it seems apparent to me the Canadians are abandoning the traditional middle ground, the safe centrist political space we have lived in for the past few decades. Instead, we seem to be gathering at polar opposite sides of the political spectrum.

The NDP has traditionally occupied the far left of our main political spectrum.They have had their best days in minority governments, where they held the balance of power. That's how they've always thought they could get things done. Then we have the far right - the Harper Conservatives. I say "Harper" because the party is the man here, and conversely the man is the party. Never have we seen this kind of control over a party - a Machiavellian grip that has not lessened throughout this election.

The NDP are the party of the poor and working middle class; the Harper Conservatives are the party of the rich and upper middle class. And that gap between rich and poor in Canada is growing. Is it any wonder that we are playing this out in Election 41?

The NDP actually have a chance to significantly and substantively change the political landscape in Canada in this election. Even if they only form the official minority, this would be groundbreaking. But if the unthinkable happens, and they form a government with the Liberals, with a PM Layton leading the country, it will seismic - nay, biblical. And the country will entrench yet further into left and right.

The New Solitudes - the New Normal.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Votez, Votez, Votez....

So it's election time in Canada again. Our own democractic stimulus program. Hey, what with hiring election workers, renting candidate offices, polling sites, IT support, etc., lots of Canadians are getting more bucks in their jeans. So it's all good, right? For me, no problem. I'm happy to pay my $8.82 to try and get Harpo and the rest of the anti-Marxist brothers out of power in Ottawa. Not that I'm a Marxist - it just sounded good.

It's important to remember that this guy lies for a living. He lies - whenever he opens his mouth. Now, all politicians lie, but he is taking it to a whole 'nother level. Let's take one example: Harper said he's not going to re-open the abortion debate. Really? 'Cuz it really seems to me like you have tried to, but in a really, really sneaky way. Take a look at Joyce Arthur's article to see what I'm talking about.

It's hard being a left-loo in red-neck Alberta. My friend, Jane, tells you a bit about just how difficult in her blog, The Abortion Monologues. Although driving around the neighbourhood today I did see an awful lot of Liberal signs up. Not surprising, I guess, because my riding has a Liberal MLA. Apparently the Conservative candidate keeps skipping the all-candidate meetings too. They keep placing a potted plant in her chair as a symbol.

Ah yes, it's election time in Canada again. You can almost smell the vitriole.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Back from the Abyss

Well, it has been a looong time. So much for that. I am back and hoping to blog on a more regular basis. My friend, Stubborn Mule, and I had a bit of reunion with others in Cambridge a couple of weeks ago, and he inspired me to get back at it. So here's a new look blog and I have even managed to get my Twitter feed attached to it. Molto bene. I believe when I interrupted this blog, there was no such thing as Twitter. Ye gods.

I must admit, I really quite enjoyed being back in England again. Not sure if it was the company (stellar); or the weather (spring - much better than Calgary); or just the fact I needed a break (stressed out and punchy). Whatever it was, being back was a tonic. I have resolved to do it again soon.

Of course, it might be that the Canadian election is bringing me down. I really do not wish to live in Harpo-land anymore. But my compatriots seem uninterested and blasé about the whole thing.

More anon, on this topic. It's not over til it's over (or is that until the Fat Lady sings?).