posted by coyote
It doesn't take a cranky semimythical doggie's sahnsitive schnozz to smell the soft reek of an unwanted election hardening. The finance minister positively beamed as he spooled up his precast talking points with yesterday's interviewers, that his prudent budget was, no, nay, never intended to provoke an election. Because you know, his government would never indulge in that kind of game playing.
Ptui. And yes, motivated canines can spit as well as cats, anytime.
The PM must feel relief at ditching the mime show of interest in the nation's policy good. I'm sure it's been a strain. Now he can get back to his hyperpartisan self, start smearing other parties as the irresponsible motivators - those jerks - and get on with his real agenda. One more tiresome crack at that elusive majority.
He is far from the first PM to maneuver thus. It's as if he has combed and taken to heart every instance of political gamesmanship for the past 40 or 50 years. But only from comic books. Finer nuances have been lacking from the beginning. And every time the PM or his wunderkind perceive that they got away with another one, they dumb their playbook down another notch, to even cruder ploys.
Hence the near-permanent barrage of contemptuous US-Republican-style ads slagging the opposition leader's character and telling Canadians - in terms of the lowest possible denominator - "Tories good. Others evil".
Finally in the last couple of weeks, emboldened by a growing flood of character and corruption issues starting to jet out from behind the PMO's crumbling disciplinary dike, opposition parties have started throwing back smears of their own. Parliamentary politics lately has become like hippos mud wrestling in a smallish plastic playpool. Hardly germane to any watcher, but unavoidably backsplattertastic.
Lost in that storm is anything like discussion of actual platforms or policies. The best we can hope for is the rote equivalent of a Grade 11 Pep Club Coordinator's high school election promises of free beer in the water fountains. Meant to charm superficially for a moment, but unbelievable, unattainable, and after the spray settles, undelivered.
Very well. Let the mud wrestling begin. But ask yourself: what the hell are federal elections actually supposed to be about? And based on that, maybe ask a candidate or two a question. Or two. And possibly keep at 'em until you get real answers.