Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

Pay now... eat later



Music has charms to soothe a savage breast... and I'm in need of a lot of soothin' these days. Fortunately, I have a lot of music. It - and the uneasy knowledge I'd be completely alone - is about the only thing keeping me from taking to the streets. Well, that and oppressive socialization that's made me more or less Canadian over the past 30 years.

Watching the political farce that is Canada's national election unfold raises a savage heat within my breast. Watching the placidly passive reaction of Canadians to the corruption of power being perpetrated around us simply adds to the heartburn. It is reminiscent of the old frog in the increasingly hot water trick. Ah... feel the healing powers of the national hot tub surrounding us. Doesn't it feel good? Hardly notice it getting hotter, eh? Go Canucks, go.

I don't know if it's sad or just culturally iconic that the only thing with the power to make us outraged enough to hit the bricks in protest and passion is the outcome of a hockey game. But that seems to be the only event capable of rousing real rage in the true north, strong and, well, indifferent.

So why not reduce politics to hockey. Let's let Steve and Iggy and Diamond Jack duke it out in the pocket. Keep Elizabeth and Gilles and the rest of the fringe parties in the penalty box watching. It makes at least as much sense as what we're doing.

What we have now is a farce worthy of Gilbert and Sullivan. We enjoy the spectacle of the three party leaders dashing around the country promising to toss bones to the dogs - we're the dogs in case you were wondering - we all know will never materialize. In a relentless march towards the ruinous policies that have brought much of the rest of the Western world to the brink of bankruptcy, the people leading our political parties are telling us we can have it all... without paying for any of it. Money for nothing and chicks for free.

The two most moronic things about election campaigns are, ironically, the two most prevalent things: signs and empty promises. Both pander to the lowest common denominator - people clueless enough to need the first to remind them of who's running and the second to fool them into believing there actually may be a free lunch.

It is, naturally, Stevie Hapless' Conservatives who have raised the art form to its pinnacle. In an attempt to pander to the demonstrably false but stubbornly clung to idea that Conservatives are more fiscally prudent, Stevie's gone beyond simply promising giveaways. Oh sure, there are plenty of those. But in the second week of the campaign, he's invoked the Wimpy Strategy.