As loathe as I am to play Canada's favourite game, Blame the Americans, I have to admit I'm feeling that way this week. Were it not for a guest from south of the border, I'd be breathing fire and tossin' lightning bolts at the Cavalcade of Insults issuing forth almost daily from the Conservative caucus in Ottawa.
I mean, it's not enough to be labelled a traitorous, radical, terrorist, child pornographer by a government claiming a grasp of basic democratic principles and support for the rule of law. No, now I have to live in a place where, either directly or through their more rabid supporters and/or staffers, the majority (sic) government actively tries to disenfranchise voters they fear may vote for someone else.
The robocall brouhaha — there's two words screaming to be linked — isn't just a refinement of the Conservatives' playlist of dirty tricks. It isn't a big brother, or is that Big Brother, of their strategy of spreading rumours that incumbents from other parties aren't going to run in the next election or calling everyone who disagrees with their plan to mimic the U.S. prison society soft on crime. It's an all-out frontal assault on the democratic process. It's denying the vote to targeted segments of society, disenfranchising citizens, stripping them of the most basic of rights and removing their voice. It's despicable. It's totalitarian. It's unCanadian. And anyone who dismisses it as somehow equivalent to releasing public records regarding Darth Toews' divorce is sadly delusional.
But I'm not going there.
And I'm not going south of the border where politics have eroded to the point that I don't know whether to laugh or simply send my passport back with a nice, "Thanks, but no thanks," letter. Having watched the parade of whackos and dilettantes ascend the race for Republican frontrunner only to be revealed for the clowns and fools they were, the party of Lincoln is left with the Three Stooges, Mitt, Ricky and Newt. One doesn't believe in anything unless polls tells him he should; one believes the world should revert to Old Testament values so severe it makes the ayatollah's of Iran seem like liberal jokesters; one... well, one is just scary as hell.
But I'm not going there either.
I'm not going to scratch my head, wondering how Transport Canada reached the conclusion it "has no regulatory concerns" with the proposed marine operations needed to support Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline's terminus at Kitamaat. Perhaps it came to that conclusion because it based its findings solely on a review of Enbridge's studies and promises, as opposed to doing a review on its own. But I'm wondering, would Enbridge try to show the plan in anything other than an unbiased light? Naw, can't imagine.