The battle of the fat-heads is impending, friends. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff remains unrelenting in his drive to bring down Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government at his earliest convenience (October 1), despite the fact that a recent CBC poll showed Liberal support — which had been said to be on par with the Conservatives a month ago — has dropped during the past month’s election-mongering. While Stephen Harper does lip service to public sentiment when he says “Canadians don’t want another election,” he’s been rallying the faithful at stops across the country, as evidenced by a film recently released to opposition parties and the national media. Ignatieff calls comments made by Harper — recorded in Sault Ste. Marie at a rally of the Conservative faithful — “spiteful towards Canadians.” If them ain’t fighting words, I don’t know what are.
Prime Minister Harper took digs at all of the opposition parties individually, the video shows. The CBC report tells us that the Right Honourable Steve told the crowd in Sault Ste. Marie that if their party was unable to attain a majority this time around, the Liberal party would rule the Dominion in an unholy coalition “propped up by the socialists and the separatists.” Further, the video made clear that Harper believes a Conservative majority could be attained, should another (inevitable) election be held this fall.
Mike Ignatieff, of course, scoffed at this idea to CBC reporters, boasting of the countless Canadians he’d talked to over the course of the summer who’d “‘laugh in your face’ if asked if Harper deserves a majority.” I never talked to Iron Mike this summer, but I could have told you the same thing. Some people I know honestly hate our prime minister and everything he stands for. In fact, when I facetiously told my buddy’s dad Mel, who’d just retired from 30 years of teaching, that I supported Stephen Harper as prime minister this summer, I was nearly ejected from Mel’s house forcibly, until I convinced the man that it was all a bad joke gone wrong.
Gilles Duceppe, leader of the much-maligned separatists, has as much as conceded the inevitability of an election. “Mr. Ignatieff doesn’t seem to look like he’s going to back down, and Mr. Harper is not the kind of man who makes compromises or who achieves consensus [ . . . ] so I think the chances of an election are great — more than great,” my man Gilles told the CBC. I’m sure Jack Layton had something to say about it too, but clearly it was of little consequence or interest to anybody, as I couldn’t for the life of me recall a word of it. When I looked into it I found it was indeed little more than a crock of meaningless, pandering swill.
Back to my old friend, and current business manager, Mel. Mel’s a smart guy, university graduate and educator, who cannot stand the way this country is being run. It makes him agitated, physically, as it does me. Certainly, Mel and I are not alone. Few folks I talk to, ever, have a good thing to say about the way our country is being run, nor run historically, by a Conservative government. Now, I know this disgruntled demographic exists on the other side of the fence, and there is nothing to be done about it. People will always hate the governing party, but the distaste of Steve & Co. I’ve come across is palpable everywhere and anywhere I’ve been this summer.
So fuck ‘em, right? I’ve long maintained “a politician’s the only thing worse than a cop,” and the prospect of another election this fall reeks of proof in the pudding. Hell, the last election is in court right now on grounds that the whole thing violated legislation that Stephen Harper’s government enacted in 2007.
Regardless, that case won’t find its way through court for years to come, and from all accounts it seems we’re going to be dealing with another election by Christmas. Last year’s yawn-fest had the lowest voter turn out on record, though I’m sure we’ll bottom out even lower this time around. Harper was right when he was claiming that Canadians don’t want another election — he just wasn’t including himself or his bottom-feeding ilk, the professional politician, in that category.
Forget this election. I was going to say “fuck it,” but that seems far too involved. I’m sure some minor changes will take place on the federal payroll, one way or another, but I can’t see it being worth $300 million no matter the end result. I’ve said it before, but that dead dog Bukowski did so best when he said “people who believe in politics are like people who believe in God — they are sucking wind through bent straws.” Here’s to another tax-payer funded suck-a-thon, friends! Hip, hip . . .
Sheldon Birnie is the Comment Editor at the Manitoban.