Tag Archives: Canadian election 2015

New Brunswick’s issues are united


Word comes down that the residents of Fredericton consider jobs, infrastructure and education as the top three priorities in this slow-motion federal election. All of which raises the inevitable question: Well, duh?

If Monctonians were asked, what would they say? Would their priorities be eating, breathing and sleeping? Would citizens of Miramichi wonder about moose fences, camp bylaws and the funny, little things in the middle of the provincial highway that keep you on the straight and narrow at midnight?

Nope. Likely, they would all say what matters most to them are jobs, infrastructure and education for the obvious reason that without an education you can’t obtain a job and without infrastructure you surely can’t get to one.

Pretty simple, no?

So, why do we make these matters so complicated?

Our provincial governments are determined to divide our province – all 750,000 of us – into “regions” of interests.

There is the north, where life begins and ends on the riparian reaches and harbours of hope nestled against the Gulf.

There is the south, where a great river runs to ensure that tourists enjoy their reversing falls.

There is the east, where a harvest moon beckons to California surfers, looking for a long-board experience on the mighty Petticodiac.

There is the west, where the zip-line of the Grand Falls meets the Maine forests of Paul Bunyan and his Great Blue Ox.

Altogether, and through it all, we crave one thing: clarity from our political leaders, and, more importantly, a sense of unity. That’s what we’ve been missing. That’s what we desperately need. And we’re not getting it.

For years, and more, New Brunswick’s Grits and Tories have been playing a game of musical chairs. Neither party has actually addressed the fundamental issues that commonly affect the people who do all the heavy lifting in this province. Rather, the main political gangs have preferred to castigate each other, ruin each other in the eyes of those who hold the keys to their respective castles: members of the public.

The results have been predictable.

In this province, we now endure an utterly unworkable government – one in which the bureaucracy holds no trust in anyone, and, for that reason alone, cannot be trusted; one the people who elected it are broadly certain they made a terrible mistake one year ago, four years ago, a generation ago.

We have come to the devil’s crossroads, people. The status quo simply won’t do anymore, if it ever did. We either sell our souls to the bond-masters of Wall Street, or we dig our way out by getting involved in the dirty, filthy political process of real change.

Either we remain sheep or we become wolves. Either we remain dopes or we become thinkers. Either we remain dreamers or we become doers.

So, then, if word comes down that the residents of Fredericton consider jobs, infrastructure and education as the top three priorities in this slow-motion federal election, consider the obvious:

It’s the same for all of us in this pretty province; it’s the same for everyone in this frightened region; it’s the same across a nation now terrified of its own shadow, now convinced of its own pernicious character.

We don’t need a political propaganda campaign to tell us what we’ve known in our bones for decades: We have seen the enemy, and we are it.

We have elected these fools. The time, now, is for taking back what we gave away, and to redeem the purchase of our democracy – one job, one student, one good road at a time.

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In Fat City, the name is the game


Welcome, dear webinar participant, to the 14th annual, interactive session on politics in the early 21st Century.

Now that we are about to enter 2056 – also known as the Glorious Acquisition of Wisdom in Democracy (GAWD) year – we must be vigilant in remembering how our society was radically changed for the better when our fearless, nonagenarian leader, Sun King Stephen Harper, chose to dispense with formality and address his political opponents by their first names or, indeed, by any names that came to his exquisite mind.

Let us, then, cast our thoughts back to the summer of 2015 and the first leaders’ debate in that year’s general election campaign. To be sure, we go not far enough to declare that the event changed the entire world.

Here, then, is a partial transcript of that momentous, felicitous event:

Mr. Stephen Harper, recent Prime Minister and current Conservative Party of Canada Leader: “Thank you, (moderator). Let me say what a great pleasure it is for me to address the citizens of this great nation and to lock horns with my eminent colleagues, Gumby and Pokey, standing over there in the corner trying to figure out how to turn on their mics.”

Mr. Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada: “Excuuuuse me! I object strenuously to Mr. Harper’s tone and characterization.”

Mr. Thomas Mulcair, Official Opposition Leader (New Democratic Party of Canada): “As do I. In fact, this may be the one thing young Justine and I actually agree on.”

Mr. Trudeau: “That’s JUSTIN to you, Tiny Tommy!”

Mr. Mulcair: “My deepest apologies, Pierre-Light!”

Mr. Harper: “Gentlemen, gentlemen. . .please let’s just all calm down. Or, maybe Gumby can jump on Pokey’s back and, together, they can ride away into the red and orange sunset that frames their electoral fortunes. Hmmmm? Whaddya think?”

Mr. Trudeau: “Well. . .only if I get to be Gumby.”

Mr. Mulcair: “Not on your life, Pokemon! I’ll do the riding around here. . .Anyway, maybe we should ask our esteemed colleague, Steve, how he intends to fix the Canadian economy now that he’s broken it.”

Mr. Trudeau: “That’s a fair question from my esteemed colleague, Dimbulb. What say you, Steverino?”

Mr. Harper: “Well, now, let me address this issue by asking Messrs. Turduckin and Mohair how they will handle falling confidence in the wit and wisdom of their respective leaderships amongst their own ranks – otherwise known as the pinko, Birkenstock-cobbled, hipster, media elite.”

Mr. Mulcair: “Allow me to field that one. . .For one thing, Mr. Prima Donna Stavros Harpy, I am just as stiff and uninspiring as you in front of a camera. I am just as unenlightening and disengaged as you in a press scrum. In other words, I possess all the qualifications that prime-ministership in this country requires. And one more thing that is crucially important. . .I can grow a beard.”

Mr. Trudeau: “That’s right, Beardy McBeardyson can grow facial hair. . .But is that any reason to elect him to the highest office in the land? My fellow Canadians, I shave semi-regularly, which ought to be some indication of my abiding commitment to personal hygiene.”

Mr. Harper: “Mr. Moderator, I see from the clock that our time is rapidly running down. The only real question Canadians must address in this election is which name they prefer for their fearless leader: Gumby, Pokey or. . .Sun King. Let history be the judge.”

All of which proves, dedicated students, what history always reveals: Greatness is never properly appreciated in its own time.

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