Monthly Archives: October 2009

Why are we going Tory?

A new poll shows the Conservatives within reach of a majority after their scandalous decision to put party logos on government cheques, and the Liberals within reach of the ocean floor after their scandalous decision to offer us rule by a philosopher klunk. I don’t know whether to laugh at the Grits or cry at the Tories.

I’m inclined to chuckle because I spent the Chr├ętien years clinging to Robert Louis Stevenson’s claim that “wicked men and fools … both get paid in the end; but the fools first.” And the Liberals are now reaping a bitter harvest of the same mean-spirited arrogance they assiduously sowed during their long period in office.

My dislike of what recent federal Liberal governments did was, I struggled to convince myself, just part of democratic life. But I was profoundly bothered by the way they did it; their brutal arrogance seemed to me to cheapen our political discourse to no constructive or even discernable purpose. Had they carried out the very same policies in a more generous tone what would have been lost, by them or Canada? Continue reading

The eloquence deficit

Where is the oratory of yesteryear? Not in Parliament, on the streets, or even in the newspapers. We have become a society of irritable mumblers in which a genuine rhetorical flourish would be as welcome as a genuine social conservative.

So lend me your eyes while I perorate on behalf of Richard M. Weaver. He would be more worthy of attention than our whole tribe of politicians just for “Let it be offered as a parting counsel that parties bethink themselves of how their chieftains speak.” But he wrote much more, in 1953, surprisingly relevant to getting us out of the political fog we are in. Continue reading

Entering the palace through the back door

Good morning everybody. A word from your head of state here. Now that I’m in charge there’s gonna be some changes so smarten up. And fetch my regal trappings.

What’s that from the cheap seats? Some mouldy old monarchist says I’m not head of state? Dust yourself off, dude. You probably think we’re ruled by Good Queen Bess or something.

Zounds, rogue, woulds’t wave a Constitution at me? Consign that hoary parchment to the flames and go bowl with Francis Drake. This is Postmodernia where self-esteem reigns supreme. And mine requires that I be head of state. Me me me.

Presumptuous? Moi? My consort and I brush aside such chatter. As does one Ms. Jean who appointed herself head of state recently and has forced her minions to defend the claim without shame. So why can’t I? Continue reading

Government dependency

Time for a little fence-mending, I’d say. No, not Michael Ignatieff and Denis Coderre, Stephen Harper and the right or Jack Layton and relevance. My actual fence.

It won’t make headlines even in this month’s “Not Obviously Worse Homes and Gardens.” But it sure beats my backyard’s previous centrefold in “Trees God Didn’t Make” and cover story in “Chain Link Fences to Disgrace a Soviet Waste Dump.” And I would like to draw to the attention of my political masters that I did it all by myself. (OK, all by my wife, but they didn’t help her either.)

Why bore you with this wooden prose? Because if you read the newspapers, you will realize such self-reliant projects are unknown to our chattering classes. In official Canada we cannot lift a fork without state assistance. Continue reading

‘We’ are not the world

According to the newspapers, the international community is putting pressure on Iran over nuclear weapons. This is very bad news.

Consider the Monday New York Times story that the U.S. wants new sanctions that “could include a cutoff of investments to the Iranian oil-and-gas industry and restrictions on many more banks than those currently blacklisted.”

I’m sure that has Tehran shaking. But with laughter, not fear. The same day the Globe and Mail editorialized in favour of “sanctions with real teeth” because an “end to Iran’s nuclear-weapons ambitions must … be a priority for the world.”

But life is not a Coke ad (or a Globe editorial) and we are not the world. Continue reading