Vulgarity vs Blasphemy

As an antidote to our gloriously joyful sesquicentennial celebrations  I was about to bring myself back to earth with a cynical blog on the erosion of Promises,  Health Care, the Environment,  World Peace, and so on and so forth when I thought, even more cynically, “For Christ’s sake, who the hell cares anymore?” Continue reading

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Between Friends

Two days ago I sent a very brief e-mail to a friend in the States giving a link to a Trump spoof available on U-tube. It sparked a brief exchange of letters that strike me as being rather interesting. For one thing, my own Canadian naiveté got readjusted. Continue reading

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Formula for Soft Revolution

As I watched the Trump of Trump Towers ascend the Star Spangled Throne I found myself pondering something I had written a quarter of a century ago about the ideas of two very insightful men and then I remembered why I had begun this blog in the first place. Continue reading

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Aw shucks, ’tis the season to be both jolly and nostalgic so let’s go back to 1944 and attend a good old fashioned carol service in which my father, the minister, managed to burn the Christmas cross.  I present this (with my own permission) as an extract from my own memoirs,   Always an Updraft   Penumbra Press, 2005).  Continue reading

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Hey Justin! C’mon Man!

Sub-title: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister that he Will Never Read.

Dear Prime Minister,

Your recent interview with Le Devoir and subsequent comments from the punditry seem to imply that you’re actually thinking of side-stepping electoral reform in this first term.  Obama recently said derisively to a multitude of Trump ideas, “C’mon Man!”.  I find myself wanting to shout the same at you. Continue reading

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The United Church of Canute ?


Legend has it that more than a thousand years ago King Canute of England sat on the seashore ordering the incoming tide to recede. His intention was to demonstrate to the courtiers that the relentless progress of the tide could not be stopped.  The legend has often been interpreted in reverse to suggest Canute really thought he had the power to stem the tide.  Using this reverse interpretation I dub Canada’s largest Protestant denomination “The United Church of Canute”. Continue reading

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Consult, Consult — Delay, Delay?

My current fear is that the consult craze when applied to electoral reform will inevitably result, intentionally or unintentionally, in a long delay and the eventual defeat of essential remedial action. Continue reading

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Mathematics and Electoral Reform

Our “sunny ways” government is willing to give Elizabeth May (M.P. for Saanich-Gulf Islands) a place on the electoral reform committee but not to give her a vote. Well, shucks, there’s an easy mathematical way around that. Ask her to leave 4% of her brain in storage – after all, 6% of Ms May is equal to 100% of any other M.P. – and then let her vote.  It’s a mere matter of mathematics. Continue reading

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The Missing Debate

It‛s been a long campaign and I thought in my ignorance that eventually the real debate would emerge. But no. It‛s all been about the economy, jobs, the niqab, fractured citizenship, refugees, deficits, terrorists, environment, and other comparative trivialities.

I say “comparative” with good reason and you may well ask, “Compared to what? Continue reading

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The Resurrection Game

I‛ve been wracking my brains to find an analogy to help me understand Canada‛s supreme ruler. I may have found it. Stephen Harper uses Parliament, Politics and the People as his personal Play Station and his games are not only ones where he pushes the buttons and twists the knobs but actually writes the programs. From the player‛s point of view that is about as interactive as one can get.

It is only in terms of this Play Station analogy that I can wrap my mind around, for instance, the calm way in which he incorporated intentional misrepresentations (what used to be called lies) into his initial election announcement.  Others have criticized him for that but in line with the Play Station analogy such criticism may not be fair. Don‛t forget he plays his games by his rules and consequently anything goes that he programs to go.

It is intriguing, however, that he can play these convoluted games without any sign of his fingers twitching on the buttons or wrists flexing as he manipulates knobs and levers.  An experienced gamer, indeed.

Of course, the Drop-the-Writ speech was only the introductory game. Think of it either as a trailer or as what we used to call a teaser.

Within a few days of dropping the writ he came up with another Political Play Station game that really outdid himself.

Think of it as The Resurrection Game.

The first ploy in that game was to resurrect the Home Improvement tax credit that he had cut off in a previous game. Of course, there must be a twist, so the game plan said this credit will be re-instated mid-term, if elected. What a neat gambit –2016 or thereabouts if his government is elected. I could go on about how this poor resurrected political Lazarus is not only grossly deformed in several ways but has lost its original sense of purpose — but that‛s not my point. My point is that in The Resurrection Game Mr.Harper has a formula with astounding potential.

Think about it. Promise to resurrect what you have killed and tie the promise to action in the future only if you are elected. Mid-term, if elected. Mid-T-if-e? Midtife? Midtify? Word possibilities are endless. But what is also endless is the supply of Harper victims – potential resurrees. (If resurree wasn‛t a word, it is now.)

Think of it. Over the years Mr. Harper has cut the Long Form Census, Old Age Security at 65, Fisheries Protection, Health Care Funding, Libraries, the Court Challenges Program, Peacekeeping, National Honour, Transparency, Fiscal Responsibility, the CBC, Corporate Taxes, Truth, the Law Commission, the Experimental Lakes Laboratory, the Voices of Science, Waterway Protection – etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The list can go on and on and on.

Actually, the list does go on and on and you only have to click here to find yourself in the midst of it on a web called Harper Chips. As this goes to press the Chip list contains 180 potential resurrees for the Resurrection Game. If you do go there don‛t ignore the “Action” page and “Links” page, but shucks, spend a few minutes watching the U-Tube slide show of Harper cuts – set to Ravel‛s Bolero.

To do justice to Harper and his games , turn up the volume. You will soon see what a mother lode of material Harper has created for himself to exploit if he carries on with the Resurrection Game.

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