Maxed out 

A survey of the election landscape

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OMG! There's an election going on. How'd this get past me? Okay, admittedly I was in a bit of a Festival haze, work haze, normal everydaze haze. But I swear, I thought those ugly signs cropping up along the road were either telling me I was about to encounter endless highway delays - second only to the sight and smell of skunk cabbage as a harbinger of spring - or were just more tasteless Olympic detritus. An election? Go figure.

We're having a provincial election because... oh, really? Because Rear-Entry Campbell fixed the election date and it's had the bad manners to roll around right in the middle of a recession? Wow. What were the chances of that happening? Bet he wishes he could cancel that decision as easily as he cancelled last autumn's session of the legislature.

For those of you as tuned out and uninterested in this election as I seem to be, let me survey the landscape. Gordo's leading the Liberal Party. Check. Carole James is leading the New Democratic Party. Check. The Green Party is... wow, running candidates in all 85 ridings, apparently including the one we live in. Way to go... Jane Sterk? Who apparently leads the Greenies.

The Marijuana Party, the Sex Party, the Work Less Party are all somewhere in the race. Believe it or not though, they're not all the same party. Personally, I think they're missing the boat here. Obviously, as fringe parties, they'll draw a couple of votes each, assuming their supporters don't space out the election date, aren't busy boinking or aren't off on vacation or whatever they do when they're working less. But as a united party, say the Lifestyle party, I'm imagining they've got a pretty attractive philosophy to offer. How many of us wouldn't prefer to get stoned, have sex and work less? Heck, sounds like the holy trinity that's been informing the lives of most of the people I know who seem to really be enjoying themselves these days.

But back to the election. The parties all have platforms. What are they? Glad you asked. The Liberal Party's platform is best summed up by their slogan, "What you see is what you get... plus a whole bunch of (your) money we're spending to buy your vote... because we can."

The NDP's platform is, as befits a formerly-disgraced opposition party, more nuanced, nuanced being a euphemism for incomprehensible. Reduced to its philosophically-bereft essence, the party's platform seems to have been borrowed from a song Groucho Marx sang in the movie, Horse Feathers. If I close my eyes and picture her in a greasepaint moustache, I can almost hear Carole James sing "Whatever It Is, I'm Against It."

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