Thursday, April 21, 2005

Bitter Lemon's Response to King Paul's Address To the Nation

I realise that my response comes a few hours later than those of Stephen, Gilles and Jack. For that you can blame Blogger, which was down earlier this evening.

My fellow Canadians, mesdames et monsieurs, tonight I want to tell you something that was not said by any of the party leaders: this whole damn mess is your fault. I feel about as sorry for Canadians as I do for someone who gives out their credit card number to the guy on the phone who says you've won a vacation and will just need your information to hold your reservation. You fell for their bullshit and now you must pay. Unfortunately for me, you bastards gave them my credit card number too. You elected a party whose one and only goal is getting and staying in power. And then you re-elected them. And then you figured, hey what the hell, everyone knows Visa picks up the tab when it's fraud, we'll elect them one more time.

But Bitter Lemon, that's not fair: for most of that time -- if not all of it -- the other parties were a total and utter mess. You're right, they were/are. And guess what? That's your fault too. Why? Because, let's face it, you don't care. The last attempt that this country had at a political conversation was the Charlottetown Accord and even then most people didn't really understand the details of what they were voting for in the referendum. That apparently exhausted us and, despite the fact that we've had three elections since then, no one has really seemed very fussed. One of our provinces nearly left and it didn't even lead to a discussion about who we are as a nation. We've spent over a decade talking about who is most commited to maintaining the status quo when it comes to health care. I can't possibly think why the Liberals felt like they could steal our money without anyone noticing.

Personally, I think the most telling part of Paul Martin's speech was when he pointed out that he practically lived on Parliament Hill, as his dad was a cabinet minister in 4 Liberal governments (at first I thought he was asking us to excuse his behaviour, like a repentant wife abuser who grew up in an abusive home; but then I realised he was proud: "I smacked my bitch up real good last night".) Paul Martin has wanted to be Prime Minister his entire life. And basically the response of Canadians wasn't, 'maybe we should find someone who has a vision for the nation', but, 'gee, he seems to want it so bad, how can we say no to him now? He's waited so long for it'. And just as Paul got what he always wanted he is in danger of losing it without even having had a chance to make a name for himself as Prime Minister. And he's flailing because he doesn't know what to do. Because, despite his ability to figure out 'just stay close to Parliament Hill and they'll give you the reins eventually', he now seems genuinely concerned that he won't be able to talk his way out of this one.

And even though there is nothing I would like more than to see this man fall on his face, I'm going to give him some advice. Keep up with the scary-conservatives-will-come-to-power/
separatists-going-to-tear-apart-the-country line. Why? Not because Canadians are really all that worried about either of these scenarios, but because both of these things will involve serious political discussion and that is all very tiring and Canadians just don't want to hear it and are willing to just vote Liberal to make it stop. Ssshhh, Idol is on (that's the kind of election Canadians can get behind!).

Now, I must confess, I'm giving this advice to Paul for my own ends. It's kind of a social experimment. Sorry Canadians, but I want to see just how politically apathetic we can get as a nation before it all goes to hell. Like, will a province or two have to separate or will it just be that the boomers will get really old, need serious medical care and not be willing to put up with mediocre services available to them? ('cos, as we all know, seniors have nothing better to do so they vote). I guess only time will tell.

And may God continue to bless socialised medicine.

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