Alright, class, today we're going to have a pop quiz. One question, pass or fail.
In response to what's come to be called the Syrian refugee crisis — an exodus many observers of such things are calling the largest refugee migration ever seen — the appropriate response for, say, the Canadian government is to:
a) Expedite the resettlement of greater numbers of said refugees to Canada as the country has done so successfully in past crises;
b) Re-commit to bombing the hell out of the country they're fleeing in hopes that'll somehow stop the flow.
If you answered b), our Supreme Leader, the Mean Clown Harper is your guy, you heartless SOB. Just to prove his heart, assuming he has one, isn't entirely made of flint, the Mean Clown has promised to accept an additional 10,000 of the millions of Syrians fleeing their country and the Canadian bombs falling thereon... but only if he's re-elected. I mean, after all, how much more can you expect from a Mean Clown who's still governing (sic) with a majority of clapping seals in the House of Commons... if it was sitting, which it's not since the seals are out campaigning for their next four years of free fish.
If this brings to mind the generosity of someone who would offer the proverbial drowning man a tall glass of water, congratulate yourself for having a pretty good read of the depth of human kindness flowing through the Mean Clown's veins.
Hmm... on reflection, and taking into account my recent status as a national security threat, so generously labelled by one astute reader who came up with no fewer than 10 reasons I should be done away with, I believe I should cease calling the PM Mean Clown. It is not dignified. And while I don't believe disrespecting the man equates with disrespecting the office — especially a man who has seemed to go out of his way to disrespect the office, and Parliament, and the Supreme Court, and science, and rational thought and fundamental notions of humanity — I would like to offer an unconditional apology. I fully and freely apologize to mean clowns everywhere. You don't deserve to be slandered by having your honourable name and profession associated with a person of such low repute and irredeemably curdled milk of human kindness.
I feel better already.
I do not wish to delve too deeply into what a formerly humanitarian country, the Old Canada, should be doing about Syrian refugees. With the world's emotions whipped up by a photograph of a drowned child, sober second thought isn't possible. But that's human nature. I do know responding with more bombs is about as likely to solve the problem as putting more drug users in jail is likely to solve the problem of recreational drugs. But it seems to be the nature of government, especially this government, to keep doing what hasn't worked in the past while ramping up the propaganda machine to blow false hope into the idea that this time, things will be different.
For example, this is the same government that has run fiscal deficits since, oh, the day they took office and began trimming a few points off the GST, something asked for by nobody. But suddenly, when the country has slid back into recession — an inconvenient fact no Conservative will talk about — and just coincidentally during the toughest election campaign he's had to fight, the PM has magically balanced the budget and is going to run a surplus. "I said, watch the right hand, people."
So it was a propaganda spectacle worthy of Herr Goebbels himself, father of the Big Lie, to see the Mean... sorry, backsliding, to see Our Supreme Leader mocking Justin Trudeau's level-headed statement that the Liberals, if they form a government, will run modest deficits for three years to fund infrastructure programs and try to kickstart the moribund economy the Conservatives have sucked the life out of.
With the exception of the PM — purported to be an economist himself — virtually every economist of repute, not ideologically aligned with the Chicago School, the Laffer Curve and trickle-down economics, what one might call the Three Stooges of Economics, consider this moment in history a great opportunity to incur budgetary deficits for just those purposes. Historically low interest rates, historically high interest coverage, stalled economy, stubbornly high joblessness. Wow, the stars are aligned if your eyes still see.
But here you have the Harper Medicine Show practically dancing on stage to ridicule: (a) the very idea of deficit spending, and (b) the wisdom of the man proposing it by cooing in a little girl voice, "Oooh, only three years of deficits." I'm not sure which is sadder — the man trying to be cute or the drones who applauded, apparently willing to overlook the multi-year deficit the PM ran with nothing to show for it other than welfare for the wealthy and manna for certain Conservative ridings.
Well guess what? It didn't work. Depending on the poll, Harper and his clapping seals are running behind both the NDP and the Liberals... and losing ground. And they're getting desperate. So watch for more pandering, more lies, more propaganda, more dirty tricks, more pissing in coffee cups, more retribution for those with the temerity to oppose the ideological purity of the Harpercrites.
Closer to home, Mr. John Weston is looking more and more like Dead Man Walking. Even former supporters are admitting twice at the trough was at least once too many. Listening to him dodge simple questions, one wonders exactly where one would find the "off" button if one were to examine Mr. Weston's exoskeleton closely. Surely those obfuscations can't be the result of a human brain at work. Surely not even this PMO has raised the art of brainwashing to such a well-refined level. The only feasible answer is pod person or android.
It's questionable if even the rising tide of NDP support — assuming it's still rising, recent slippage suggesting otherwise — will be sufficient to animate Mr. Larry Koopman's campaign and elevate it from its death grip on obscurity.
Which leaves those of us fortunate enough to vote in this little slice of the Sea to Sky, etc., riding with a choice between the mayor we know (Ken Melamed) and the mayor we don't know (Pamela Goldsmith-Jones). I'm pretty certain this particular decision, for many Whistleratics, puts the boots to that old puppy-love song, "To Know Him is to Love Him." We know him; love? Less so. With fewer total votes than his successful mayoral opponent's combination of advanced polls and mail-in votes last time around, I wouldn't be counting on a strong local constituency. Better to hitch the wagon to the Green Party policies, both real and imagined, and revel in the role of finance critic.
We'll just let that one hang.
Labour Day's over; let the party begin.