Posts Tagged ‘stephen harper’

Is there really any point in talking about it?

Almost every blogger I’ve read in Manitoba who’s covered political issues had mentioned that the NDP has been up to something. Manitoba Hydro Smash-and-Grab, Public Utilities Board Gouge-and-Grab, WRHA Mad-Cow-Expansion-and-Grab, PST Change-The-Law-To-Take-More-Money-and-Grab

But what’s the point in talking about it anymore? So we keep whining about it, and then maybe if we’re “lucky” the NDP will lose and the “Progressive” Conservatives will win and we can start complaining about the upcoming Hydro Privatization-and-Switch, or the Health Care Slash-and-Switch, or the Education Blah-Blah-and-Switch

It’s gangrenous turtles all the way down, folks.

The system rewards parties who polarize. The system rewards candidates who focus on politics at the expense of leadership. And the system rewards the non-partisan bodies that help to maintain it.

So let’s change the system!


Do we really care enough to do that? To do more than write the occasional diatribe on the Free Press website, more than show up at the occasional reverse-the-decision-now-that-it’s-too-late-to-change-it rally, more than whine at McD’s or Timmies or Sals about those stupid politicians with their heads up their asses?

Not really.

You see, I know this first hand.

I have a blog. And I’ve organized those kinds of rallies more than once. And I can bitch and moan with the best of them. But I don’t think I care enough to see things through…

…because my kids are still healthy, my wife occasionally lessens the pressure of her heel on my throat, and I can still afford to spend lunch at Polo Park sampling thirteen different varieties of steamed white rice at the food court.

So what can I do to change that? What can I do to care more?

Not much. I don’t want Winnipeg to start looking like an exploding slice of Syria just so people start to give a damn.

I’ll take the complacency.

It’s like our lovely Conservative government in Ottawa. I know that Stephen Harper is destroying the Canada I’ve gotten somewhat fond of, tearing down the things that make us special, like our (almost) even-handed foreign diplomacy, our public broadcasting system, our once sacred separation of Stupidity and State.

But all I can do is bide my time and wait for him to screw this country up enough that people finally start voting Liberal again, whether or not the Liberals actually deserve their vote. (actually, this time I think they might deserve it again, but that’s another post that I probably won’t write)

I don’t even have that hope in Manitoba.

I’m worried (and I’m at about one step short of being totally convinced) that Manitoba has fallen into the trap of two parties taking turns screwing things up. The NDP know that no matter how poorly they’ve messed up the books (and I’m getting the impression that it’s as bad as I’d thought), they’ll be re-elected again once the PCs mess things up (probably with the books, too — poor books).

So the NDP raise the PST, so we get angry and vote PC. The PCs don’t end up lowering the rate, and mess up some new stuff. So then the NDP get back in and finally give into the super secret demands of the WRHA to build an 80-story Fortress of Bureaucracy that’s mostly made out of parking garage. So then the PCs take over and pour money into a Pro Skeeball Team, Arena and Condo Complex to “revitalize” Assiniboine Forest. This could go on forever, until finally we look back and say “hey, it doesn’t seem so ridiculous by comparison that the NDP thought they could just change all the laws they didn’t feel like following”.

I’m Canadian. I don’t plan on changing that, like, ever. But I don’t think of myself as a “Manitoban”. Sure, I could make idle threats about moving away, as if I have any real say in the matter (married with children, you see)… but that’s not really the issue. The issue is that I haven’t been a Manitoban for a few years now… I don’t follow local news as much as I should, I let my work deadlines get in the way of my community obligations… and I’ve given up hope that I’ll ever think of myself as a Manitoban again.

To me, that’s sad. Meanwhile, to my neighbours — who think I need to mow my lawn more often — it’s a hopeful harbinger of me finally packing up and leaving forever.

Don’t let my (reasonably justified) neighbours win. Show me that this province is still alive and kicking.


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I haven’t bought the domain name, or created the website, or figured out how to do it without looking like a complete douche, but I’ve been thinking about a new Drive To 45 campaign to bring Winnipeg back to its glory days as the Murder Capital of Canada.

Now, to be fair, Thunder Bay has more murders per capita, but that’s like comparing player stats between the Winnipeg Jets and their affiliated St. John’s IceCaps; it makes rational sense, but doesn’t take into account that only the big leagues matter. Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver… these are the cities that count, and when people die there, it matters just a little more.

So what can you, gentle reader, do to ensure that we make it to 45 murders before the end of 2011?

Here’s a handy list:

  1. Ensure that poverty and alienation continues for the fastest-growing sector of our population. We can’t rest on the laurels of what previous generations did with their culture-killing residential schools, family-killing smallpox blankets and the legacy of unacceptable living conditions on reserves; we need to continue our work by making racist jokes, ignoring treaties and land claims, and continuing our First-Past-the-Post electoral system that will ensure that aboriginal peoples have no influence within our legislatures. But let’s make sure we continue to neglect youth of all backgrounds as well, since together they are the murderers of the future.
  2. Guarantee that marijuana and ecstasy (MDMA) continue to be lumped in with crack cocaine and methamphetamine as the most dangerous items on Planet Earth. Better that than be reclassified as controlled substances like alcohol, tobacco and prescription medication. The dirty fact that cigarettes, booze and prescription pain meds are more dangerous than these two illegal drugs shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way. It’s important that organized crime maintains their source of income, especially now that Winnipeg is entering a new and timely round of gang violence. If we can keep this going, we should soon have a Winnipeg-based spin-off of Sons of Anarchy starring Alan Thicke and Michael Cera as the leaders of an outlaw motorcycle gang in River Heights.
  3. Keep prostitution illegal, with a strong emphasis on punishing the sex worker. They obviously have various other options to consider instead of selling their bodies, such as homelessness, starvation, and self-immolation. Surely regulation to ensure that prostitutes are safe and over eighteen isn’t even worth considering, especially since there’s no double standard in allowing the advertising of escorts who are unofficially doing the same types of thing for more money and less risk. But even if we keep kids and addicts working the streets, it’s possible that some of the hundreds of missing women and children who were targeted for being sex workers may not turn up dead in time for New Year’s Eve; but do keep in mind that rolling them over to future years can only help maintain our reputation.
  4. Maintain Winnipeg’s status as being ten years out of date. It’s not enough to have a transportation plan from the turn of the century; we need to make sure that our gains in crime promotion are not reversed by what works everywhere else. Stay the course, Winnipeg… let’s keep our collective heads up our collective policy holes.
  5. Do everything Stephen Harper says. And I’m not just talking about his crime bill that makes about as much sense as the premise of TV’s Terra Nova (let’s go back in time so we can go extinct along with the dinosaurs since preventing climate change back in the 19th century and/or hiring an art tutor for young Adolf Hitler make for boring television). I’m also talking about his choice of wardrobe (suit or blue sweater vest, PM’s choice!) and his love of telling every Canadian that they are second-rate (all of us), defeatist (Atlantic Canada), migrants who live in ghettos and aren’t integrated with society (Liberals in Western Canada) or otherwise unacceptable in his eyes. Perhaps all of Canada should take a time out; I guess Harper’s majority is Canada doing just that, since I don’t recognize many musty old Canadian values being thrown around in cabinet anymore.

If we all work together by doing nothing, allowing our political leaders to continue down the path of misguided and misinformed decision-making, we stand an excellent chance of meeting our goal for 2011 and beyond.

Disclaimer for people who don’t “get me”, including my wife and my therapist: I’m not condoning murder, nor am I attempting to mock or belittle the suffering of the family and friends of victims. I am, however, mocking and/or belittling the following: Manitoba’s NDP, all Conservative parties everywhere, Michael Cera, sweater vests, Dexys Midnight Runners, Charleston Chew, the Cast of Til’ Death, Light Sour Cream, comb-overs, paranormal romances involving vampires and/or werewolves, George Lucas, George Will, Boy George, Curious George, and meeting her parents before the fifth date.

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