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by Gabrielle Taylor

July 23, 2000

And then came the politics, swooping down on the landscape like Valkyries with syphillis, blighting everything it, ah, touched. Yes, there's an election going on in the States; there's also probably going to be one in Canada, although the Canadian feds can hyperextend their political leases by up to six years if they think the going's good.

The going ain't so good right now; our Prime Minister Jean Poutine has insulted damn near everyone on the globe, from suggesting that that whole dang ol' Palestinian issue was just a little tiff to endorsing the French president's as-yet unannounced and unconfirmed candidacy. He hasn't thrown up on anyone yet, but wait for it.

The Canadian alternative to Poutine is as shaky as the American alternative to Al Gore. A left-wing nutcase with a dream of abortions for none, homosexuality back in the closet, and he won't work Sundays, even if he became Prime Minister, because the Lord sez we're not supposed to. In case you haven't heard of him, the name is Stockwell Day, new head of the Reform party, or CCRAP, or Canadian Alliance, or whatever name they're using this week, which is a protest party formed out of the Canadian west. They favour decentralization of power with the feds given a stipend to manage foreign affairs, rescinding of federal bilingualism, privatized health care (though they've stepped back on that), and they're bullish on big oil.

The Reform party's been around since the mid-80s or so. It was created by Preston Manning, a man so boring that when given the choice of meeting him or seeing a movie I'd seen many times before, I went to the movie. Recently, the Reform tried to assimilate a right-wing-rival, the Conservative party, which told them to get fucked, and renamed itself briefly the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance - which the media quickly realized, by appending "Party," yielded the acronym of "CCRAP". They're now offically the Canadian Alliance.

Manning recently lost control of his party by saying he'd only stay as leader if he got a 66% endorsement at his convention this summer; he got over 60 but under 66 so it went to second act of the ballet, and lo, a new Day (as the popular pundit goes) dawned.

Stock bears a striking resemblance to the American perennial boob Pat Buchanan, though he's also been compared to Hitler for promising to return "pride and strength" to the Canadian Armed Forces. That and his views on gays, which is that they're best neither seen nor heard. The rumour afoot, though denied, is that the Bloc Quebecois and the Reform Party'll form a coalition government so everyone in Canada can fragment off into little Balkan countries.

Stock'd get along just fine with Dubya Bush. Stock's hung out a lot in Alberta, and Dubya's from Texas, both of which are loaded with oil and rednecks. Stock hasn't had much opportunity to beat Dubya's record for capital punishment (that's "killing people because we can't figure anything better to do with them" for those not into euphemisms) but given a chance, he could make Liberalism a hanging offense.

Maybe the best solution is a Stock swap: we'll take Al Gore and his low-key environmentalist stands. If he is a sleaze he's either a minor sleaze as politicians go, or such a galactic-class sleaze that we'll never fully grasp the magnitude of his evil, and give you guys Massah Day.

I'll be following up on this, because not only could it drastically change the nature of the US upstairs neighbors, it bears out some theories Machiavelli posited back in 1513: that democracy isn't worth attaining because it so rapidly gives way to anarchy, and the next step from anarchy is tyranny. De gustibus, non disputandum est, said Cicero. Lucretia Borgia was not so sure.

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