The lowly pursuits of the high-born politicos among us

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The dissimilitude to truth of this, our current federal government, is breathtaking, and getting harder to inhale with each day that passes.

Officialdom’s single-minded focus on evil-doers, luridly lurking behind every corner on every Main Street in Canada, its purpose to punish those who might occasionally harbour an opinion that differs from the ‘Centre’s’, its thorough, rabid hatred of opposition members of parliament, its utter disregard for what’s on most people’s minds in this country might spell disaster for democracy in this country.

Fortunately, democracy is just a bit stronger than the powerful few – who purport to uphold it – actually appreciate. For one thing, there is humour in everything the body politic is forced to embrace these days.

Consider, by way of example, the latest in a long line of mail-box stuffers, courtesy of my Conservative MP Robert Goguen.

A few months ago, at my doorstep, his confederates dumped a screed that promised to stick up for disabled people, especially the blind. To prove the good fellow’s communitarian intentions, the flyer portrayed all the stranded, standard talking points and one other ingredient: Braille, the tactile reading system the visually impaired use to comprehend the world of words.

Except, of course, in this instance, the Braille elements were not raised bumps a blind person might read; they were flat design elements on a page that even the marvelously sighted could hardly discern on a page of such braggadocio that even Gene Simmons of Kiss fame would blush when contemplating the cataracts 45 years of stage makeup bestows.

Now, my constituency buddies and I welcome this from Mr. Goguen:

“Our Conservative Government is focused on delivering on the priorities of hard-working Canadian families. . .Since coming to office, we have lowered taxes for all, created the Universal Child Care Benefit and the children’s fitness and arts tax credits, and protected the health and safety of families and communities.”

Really?

Actually, this federal government has lowered taxes on the very rich disproportionately to decreases for the middle class.

It has cut funding to the very poor in tandem with its abrogation of any responsibility for skills training and development for the marginally and seasonably employed.

Its employment insurance policies have virtually insured a permanent underclass in every region of the country, except Alberta.

As for the Universal Child Care Benefit, that was a Depression-era innovation that only found purchase in the 1960s. There isn’t much more novel or useful in this program, here today, than there was 75 years ago.

Then, we are faced with this almost incomprehensible statement (written in such tiny type you’d swear the good member of parliament is downright embarrassed to have his name associated with elder care):

“Our Conservative government believes that Canadians should be confident that their interests are well protected by the regulatory framework of our financial system. From the banning of unsolicited credit card cheques, to introducing new rules for credit card companies, our Government has taken strong action to protect hard-working Canadian families. More recently, in response to consumer raised concerns regarding unclear terms and unfair fees, we introduced new pre-paid product regulations to make information for consumers regarding these products clear and simple.”

Uh-huh. And how, pray tell, is that working out for all of us?

This is a government that also wonders what are our top priorities.

Is it, for example, “eliminating geographic price discrimination”, or is it “lowering wireless costs”?

Is it “unbundling cable channels” or is it ending ‘pay-to-pay’ billing policies”?

After all, “who is on track to support Canadian families”? 

Are you a Green, a Grit, a Tory, a Socialist, an “undecided”? Are you a patriot, a malcontent, a rebel, a conformist, a (gasp!) Liberal?

Stand and deliver to Caesar what Caesar demands you “stay-at home parent”, you “senior”, you “veteran”, you “parent of child under 18”, you “working Canadian.”

Of course, we will, in all the required mechanisms of our disassociations from each other: Apart, angry and what power always seeks. . .vulnerable believers.

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