Standing there tongue tied 

Scandal grunge rubber stamp on white, vector illustration

I have never voted for a Conservative candidate in my entire life. Sometimes it’s because I don’t like the candidate themselves or what they stand for (looking at you, Maurice Vellacott, Brad Trost, and Tom Lukiwski), and sometimes it’s because I don’t like their party’s platform. It’s true that I’m a firm believer in socialism, and I don’t consider epithets like “crunchy”, “pinko”, or “socialist” to be bad things. I don’t know what people mean by using “liberal” as an insult because the word means open minded, giving, abundant, and mind-broadening, someone who prefers individual liberty and very little government interference/involvement in economic stuff. But I understand that some people don’t like those adjectives, and it’s fairly well known that most politically conservative governments are economically …well, they’re big spenders. Biiii-hiiii-hiii-hiiig spenders. I’m continually surprised at how much fear and loathing gets spat around by fans of any political party toward fans of other political parties, though.

Anyhow, all that was by way of saying, up front (if you didn’t already know this about me) that I tend to vote left. Way left. So far left the NDP look like capitalists. I…I’m not happy in most elections, to be honest. I also get that media franchises have bias. It’s extremely difficult to find a media franchise without a partisan bent. I like to get news from wire services like Reuters and Associated Press. I read news from multiple sources, right wing and left wing. I consume opinion pieces and talk radio from as far across the political spectrum as I can stand (news flash: rabid right wingers are just as bad, reactionary, illogical, and cruel as rabid left wingers. I think the operational words here are “rabid” and “nuts”).

I have a secret.

I don’t care about the Mike Duffy thing. I just. I don’t care. I don’t care what Stephen Harper may or may not have known, nor when he may or may not have known it. The man, like most politicians, is a liar (sorry to both of you honest politicians. You know I meant all the rest of them). That’s what politics is. It’s a perfectly legitimate way to fleece the population of an entire country and convince them to let you spend their money. Stephen Harper campaigned on a platform that included senate reform. Know how he reformed the senate? He put his OWN cronies in it instead of the FORMER PM’s cronies. That’s…that’s really not the definition of “reform”, Steve. He told Canada the Senate is corrupt and full of a bunch of entitled old farts who have absolutely no qualms about taking a salary, not showing up for work, and falsifying or exaggerating their expense claims.

This has been going on for DECADES. Probably centuries. If the Senate is based, even loosely, on the House of Lords, I guarantee it’s been going on for centuries. In many ways, the fact that Harper doesn’t seem to be surprised at all about what happened is just support of his original position which was that the senate ought to be overhauled (if not scrapped – I don’t remember if abolishment was part of his original plan).

So the Duffy trial is on and Harper doesn’t want to answer questions about the trial. He doesn’t have to. That’s his prerogative. The trial has made international news. The election has made international news. Harper’s refusal to talk about it, and/or insistence on sticking to the typical ‘defence’ that leaders stick to (either that they did not sleep with that woman or that they knew nothing about anything) is unsurprising and, frankly, uninspiring. If he at any time came out and said, “I have given my statement to the RCMP, and you may file a freedom of information request to retrieve it once the trial is over”, I would be impressed. Shocked, actually.

What does it matter if he knew that wassisname was giving wassisname money to pay back the money that he stole from taxpayers? When you campaign on promises to help entitled rich farts remain entitled rich farts, you should not be at all surprised when those entitled rich farts do everything in their power to become even RICHER, MORE entitled farts. Entitled rich farts don’t get to be entitled rich farts by being honest and nice.

If I *were* a Conservative supporter, I’d be pretty choked that the leader of my party can’t do anything more imaginative than “I dunno”, but I’m not, and I wasn’t going to vote for the guy anyway because I’m pretty grumpy about how he’s eroded democracy in this country and has chipped away at most of the things that made Canada an amazing country. I’m even MORE grumpy at the way the Harper government has continued to enshrine bigotry, inequality, and intolerance. But I don’t want to get too far off topic here.

I’m a left wing-nut, and I don’t give a rat’s ass what Stephen Harper may or may not have known about what Mike Duffy or wassisname were doing behind closed doors. It has less than no bearing on this election, except perhaps for people who were considering voting for him but now have suddenly had their minds changed because the man is acting exactly as a politician is expected to act. Conservative supporters will probably take a long, hard look at the PM’s refusal to acknowledge that we’re in a recession and the CPC’s kind of sad record of “growing” the Canadian economy versus the shocking spending habits Harper promised to curtail. Maybe they’ll think about how exactly muzzling his own MPs and the press “creates transparency in government” (another of his campaign promises), but whether or not he knew whether wassisname was cutting personal cheques in the cafeteria to give to a thief man who looks like a fire hydrant? I doubt they care.

cenobyte
cenobyte is a writer, editor, blogger, and super genius from Saskatchewan, Canada.

8 Comments

  1. Nothing to add here – I’m apolitical most of the time. Being concerned/involved takes energy I don’t possess and wouldn’t spend on that. Unless some candidate actually wants to make medical research a priority, and even then – that can be and endless hole.

    Problem is that those who care for the people are usually not able to get enough support; money flows to those who will support the special interests. Sad system.

  2. I don’t know what people mean by using “liberal” as an insult

    Well I sure do. Especially when The Dead Kennedys or Phil Ochs do it.

    Liberalism is something the Brits invented during the decline of their empire to try to stick a smiley face on the otherwise naked exercise of elitist power. I’m an indigenous Australian and even before I read Chomsky’s and Hermann’s Manufacturing Consent I knew full well it was the liberal media that has for over a century done the most to drive the oppression and abuse of Aborigines in the name of ‘The White Man’s Burden’. Still today it’s the main propaganda organ for those who steal indigenous children or who suspend the racial discrimination act so that the tiny degree of self-determination Aborigines have fought and died for over generations can be snatched away from us again.

    That’s before I even get to the fact the main pro-business conservative party in this country calls itself “The Liberals”. And don’t even get me started on neo-liberals or Libertarians.

    1. AFAIK most of them don’t mean “politically liberal”. Which is to say, big-ell liberal. I get that politically “Liberal” means something very different (here they are traditionally the centrist party). Historically, “Liberal” parties are far more libertarian/small-cee conservative.

      I have heard this epithet applied to left-wingers who are opposed to most of the historically “Liberal” politics. Which is why it’s confusing as an insult.

      1. Here we do make a distinction between small-l and big-L liberals, but I’d still insist the latter are the worst of the two. At least the pro-business Liberals know where they stand – even if they lie about it. The liberals like to imagine they’re egalitarian non-racists but are hiding their fascism only from themselves.

        In the mid-1800s the liberals liked to differentiate themselves from rural Australians by insisting that Aborigines shouldn’t be slaughtered on sight but enslaved to be worked to death on farms in places the white man found inhospitable. By the turn of the century slavery had become less fashionable so the liberals threw in their lot with eugenicists instead, pointing out that we were an inferior race doomed to extinction and so the function of civilised white folk was to ‘smooth our dying pillow’ while ‘rescuing’ mixed race children to work as servants. From then up until 1968 all matters concerning Aborigines were the province of benevolent ‘Protectors of Aborigines’ who controlled our movements, ensured we enjoyed the benefits of hard labour (for rations instead of wages) and prevented miscegenation – all in accordance with clauses of the Federal Flora and Fauna Act that dealt with how we were to be ‘protected’.

        Even today that bastion of liberal opinion – the ABC – routinely calls for the abrogation of our human rights for ‘our own good’. They even go so far as to make up stories from whole cloth in order to spark the moral panic needed to turn over to mining companies what tiny amounts of marginal land indigenous Australians have been able to claim back. And white, middle-class, oh-so-progressive, love-us-we’re-liberals lap it up with their breakfast lattes, because they’re always ready to embrace racist generalisations about Aborigines, just so long as they’re made politely.

        Frankly I’d rather deal with racists who at least know they’re racist.

        1. Fair enough. That is not the definition of “small-ell liberal” with which I am familiar. Unless I am COMPLETELY misunderstanding what the right wing means by “crunchy granola pinko bleeding heart liberal yahoos”. And I could be.

          1. Did you listen to the Ochs song? I don’t think my perspective on liberalism is either new or exclusive to Australian Aborigines.

            To me a liberal is someone who calls herself a liberal and I know plenty of those who are only too keen to find paternalistic justifications for disempowering their social ‘inferiors’. Look at the reaction of many progressive liberals to Amnesty’s policy to decriminalise sex work or how keen some are to embrace imperialist adventurism in Muslim countries in the name of protecting the vulnerable and promoting liberal values. With bombs if necessary.

            1. I did. And I’m not disagreeing with you. I’m saying that around here, the epithet is used synonymously with “communist” or “socialist”, which is incorrect, of course, but you can’t change someone’s mind when they’re just plain uneducated.

              I guess I should have been more clear in saying I think they’re talking about “liberalism” and not “classic liberals”.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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