Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The More Things Change.... Harper's A-Moral Majority,

My Bullwinkle, one day after his 'Littlist Hobo' moment. Maybe even I would have voted Conservative had Mr. Harper convinced me that my beloved dogs and cats were at some risk.

Well, the 1911 election, chronicled in Flo in the City, was an historic election and so was the 2011 Canadian election. Although, this election wasn't about Reciprocity, or Free Trade, although Mr. Harper is going to demolish the wheat board (I just read).

But the Liberals got a thrashing in both elections. And times today are uncertain, as they were pre WWI. (Oh oh.)

Now, as an Anglo-quebecker, I am of mixed mind about the outcome. I'm kind of proud of Quebec for turning its back on Harper. If I am worried about Mr. Layton's meaty promises to French Nationalists, I am ten thousand times more worried about the legislative infrastructure Mr. Harper is going to start installing immediately (mostly crime legislation)that will assure the attrition, no, EROSION, of our civil liberties (and our children's and grandchildren's civil liberties) and make it impossible for Have-nots in Canada to ever become Haves.

After all, I was ready to vote Bloc to keep out the Cons in my riding.

I've been reading too much history lately, Edwardian Era history, History of the 1930's, and it scares me that Mr. Harper wants to deny people the right to know the demographic make up of the prison population. Why? Unless one day he expects 'every day' people to be in those prisons and he doesn't want the 'every day" people on the outside to know about it.

He likely won't return us to the Edwardian era by bringing in Poor Houses but one man's Poor House is another man's Prison. Or Old Age Home.

Anyway, I must admit, I argued with a very blue Ontarian on Saturday saying in a wine soaked diatribe that if Mr. Harper gets a majority, it will not be because of his 'sound economic stewardship' as described in a Globe and Mail's perplexing to some (who don't know how Media works) endorsement of Harper. (For didn't Harper want to de-regulate the banks?)

Harper will get in, I said, pouring myself a third glass of Californian Pinot Noir) because he is appealing directly to the 'amoral' survivalist sentiments of the middle class, mostly in Ontario and BC, people who still have some money and status and are in danger of losing it.

As explained in the Globe and Mail today, Canada's New Electoral Divide: It's about Money, (Patrick Brethour) Harper assured certain antsy segments of the electorate that he was the only one who could protect their money.

As my Flo in the City shows, the Middle Class, in uncertain times, can become very anxious, even hysterical.

I guess they'll get a rude awakening when the markets predictably tank again, as they did in 2008, say when the oil runs out (in two years?) and food prices skyrocket and this is likely to happen no matter what Harper does, because complex global forces control our economy. (In a book about the Thirties (The Thirties: An intimate history) I am reading, the author explains that after the 1929 crash, NO ONE, not the politicians on either side of the ideological divide, not the businessmen, and not the economists, understood how to fix the economy, it was too complex a problem. Back then. In the 1930's. Too complex. Too many variables involved. Back then. 80 years ago.)

The price of food has already doubled here in Quebec, or so it seems to me and I will soon have to seriously consider a diet of lentils and brown rice. No more organic chicken and radicchio. No more red wine.

We all are selfish creatures and we vote on what matters to us - if we vote at all. So, I'm not inpugning those people who voted for Harper based on pure self-interest.

And everyone gets self serving when their stomachs are rumbling (or, in the case of these voters, if there is a prospect of it rumbling) and they get very mad when their stomachs are empty...although when their stomachs are too empty they often don't have the energy to do anything but grovel.

The Nicholson, in 1911, voted Liberal almost entirely on self-interest, although they would have sworn on their Bibles that that wasn't the case. Well, Norman voted as the women couldn't.)

But there's short term self interest and long term self interest. Vision.

Anyway, at 1 am after I had watched enough of the election coverage, (and CTV interviewed Brian Mulroney -of all people - who gloated over the Conservative Majority. Mind-boggling... and No, I did not name my dog after the former Conservative Leader.)

I let my little dog, Bullwinkle,out for a pee, and he simply disappeared. (I had to wonder if I had a disruption in the time/space continuum in my backyard, as last week my little cat disappeared. I found it a few houses away.)

Anyway, I walked up and down the street and then my husband came home (he works at a TV Station ) and he walked up and down the street and at first light I took the car and drove all around, looking in ditches for my dog's dead body.

(Bullwinkle never leaves the property and occasionally squeezes under the gate to nip at some ferocious dog, ten times his size, being walked down the street.) He's 11 years old. Blindish and deafish.) He's a Boston Terrier, and has no tolerance for cold and the temp dropped to plus 2 over night. So I had little hope for him unless he'd found shelter.

I was glad he was wearing his collar and tag from the vet's, because he seldom is. I knew that if someone had found him during the night they would call me at 9 am. But no call came.

But as my husband was checking out our neighbours' back yards, at about 10 am, I got a call. Bullwinkle had been found safe and sound a long long away, in a horse barn. About a 40 minute walk for us. A little boy picked him up as BW looked disoriented.

How did he get there and why?

I have a theory. Our neighbour had parked his silver car on the street and maybe our old dog saw this car and he thought my husband had got home and he squeezed under the gate; then, once on the street, he got so mixed up he walked miles in the wrong direction.

Or perhaps someone, driving on the street, seeing a purebread on the street, or in the yard, dognapped him, and then realizing said pooch was a smelly old Boston Terrier with hideously bad breath and warts all over and milky cataracts on both bulging eyes, not to mention "cherry eye" two raw red suppurating eruptions in his tear ducts, callously/kindly let him go a few miles down the road. (I've noticed that many pugs, a trendy breed, seem to be missing from our area.) Dog napping is one of those things that happens in a bad economy. Or maybe it's the fishers.

Whatever, like Mr. Mulroney, Bullwinkle's back, unworse for wear, and he made me realize that politics aren't everything. (Well, they are. When I'm eating Bullwinkle's muscley little carcass for Christmas dinner (he looks a bit like a little pig)because I've run out of bargain priced dry dog food to share with him, then I might have wished I had taken more interest in national politics.)

Well, I hope the NDP with Elizabeth May (who my son really admires) can serve as the conscience of Canada, ACTIVELY this time. I hope. And I have no problem with their rather green (sic) MPs, for isn't that what democracy is all about? The bureaucrats (and lobbyists) run everything on Capital Hill, whoops, Parliament Hill, anyway. Why should career politicians (often people with big egos and no specific talent except BSing) guide our Country?

Even the waitress. She works in a bar. She knows people. She knows when she is being hustled, being given a line. So why not? My MP in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges is now Jamie Nicholls, an enviromental activist and landscape architect. He speaks good French. He'll do nothing for anglo rights, just like the genial Bloc MP before him. But he might make this Vaudreuil area a prettier and healthier place to live.

This, of course, is where Jack Layton grew up.

And if the NDP can't be the conscience of Canada (active version) let them be a Bullwinkle, an annoying terrier nipping at the ankles of Harper's A-Moral Majority, whenever it threatens the precious home-land with some massive destructive bit of Pit Bull legislation.