Maxed out 

Political primer

If you’re at all like me — and I’m certain there’s at least one person in your life who hopes you aren’t — you’ve probably not been following politics as closely as you may once have. Not wanting to speak for you, I’ll admit my apolticality has had a lot to do with some or all of the following reasons, in no particular order. The seven, soon to be eight year nightmare known colloquially as the Bush Presidency…

Now that I think of it, I really don’t need any more reasons.

Okay, sorry. That was a cheap joke. Truth be told, there are plenty of reasons on this side of the border to be less than interested in politics. And while, yes, Stephen Harper is among them, the principle reason to have turned off Canadian politics is the Mystery of the Great Disappearing Liberal Party. In case you haven’t noticed, the Liberals have left the building, er, country. What was — until The Case of the Chrétien Sponsorship Scandal — Canada’s natural ruling party, has vanished from the Great White North’s landscape entirely.

Each night when Parliament’s in session, which isn’t many since Stevie seems to believe his ship of state runs best when it runs without public scrutiny, a ghostly apparition, the Spectre of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition appears dimly on the nightly news broadcasts, themselves having been reduced to heartwarming stories about junior hockey league fights in the absence of any real news coming out of what used to be Canada’s seat of government. Pale and wan, the Ghost of Stephanie Dion speaks hallow, even spectral words about the Liberal Position. Exhaustive investigative reporting has failed to shed any light on exactly what he means by that, unless he’s referring to the position he seems to have assumed in regard to Conservative initiatives, such as they are. That Liberal Position seems an almost Cirque du Soleil contortion involving Stephanie bending acutely at the waist, grasping his ankles and whispering, “Be gentle, Big Boy, or one of these days I’ll have to say No.”

It is unclear at this point just when that day might arrive. The Liberal Party, which I understand has been moved to the rec room of Justin Trudeau’s home where, employing a Ouija board, he and Lloyd Axworthy spend fruitless evenings trying to channel Justin’s father, has vanished from the Great White North. The handmaiden-caretaker Opposition left behind seems to have but a single plank in its platform, namely, Avoid an Election at Any Cost.

But with no real opposition — the NDP and Blocheads being, to political parties, what MukMuk is to real Olympic mascots — there can be no real politics. There being no real politics, there can be nothing of interest coming out of that part of the country.  

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