Dousing the lights on a lost decade

So HarperCo finally ends. Not with a bang, but with a concession speech full of rivet-gunned, recycled campaign boilerplate, all emotion carefully hollowed out of it.

Oh. And a flat little resignation letter to the titular brass of his party, released as an afterthought he saw unfit to mention to his few die-hards in Calgary, Monday night.

It was a microcosm of the parliamentary ummm, style, of the most divisive prime minister in Canadian history -- riding a rail of pre-scripted partisan bullshit talking points that admitted to no ill and willfully hid the main fact. So, as ever, contemptuous of most of his party and of the Canadian public.

Certain apologists tried to spin it as a classy move. It was not. It was an expedient way for him to avoid facing objective fact, unpleasantness and discomfit in public. He always had a hapless designated flunky answer for all bad stuff that happened on his watch in parliament, so he wouldn't have to.

It's been a long decade. The man broke a lot of stuff for the sake of breaking it, and because he could. He was uninterested in what he was breaking, or why it might be important. He tried to break more, but the courts stopped the most unconstitutional of it.

He never had much of a vision for the country once he got in, except to cater to The Base, also an ornery and smallminded bunch. They called themselves conservatives, but really, they weren't like any conservatives who came before. If they were conservatives at all, rather than some random posse who ganked a once-respected brand to sell snake oil.

A lot of reasonably intelligent pundits and media types, and the Canadian public, took an unconscionably long time to figure that out. I'm just glad that when they did, most of 'em knew what to do.

In common with almost all of the quasi-populist right-wing political movements out of southern and central Alberta -- the United Farmers, Social Credit, the Western Canada Concept, Reform, Wild Rose, ad infinitum, Harper greased himself into power on a toxic sludge of regional grudges. Unfortunately for for the rest of the country, he slid in further than anybody else ever had. As unfortunately, many of the grudges were rooted in willful ignorance and outright lunacy.

Most unfortunate of all, Harper, like Ted Byfield, that lunatic old King Lear of western alienation, wasn't actually born in the west at all. We semimythical coyotes are not sure what infinitely weird vapours lace the heady air of The Land Of Our People, but they seem to affect the johnny-come-lately immigrants -- who haven't been immunized since birth against their mania -- most grievously of all. I have seen a lotta crazy goin' down in the old stomping grounds in my six-thousand-odd years, but none more than among the newly-converted.

Just so ya understand why I was so appalled when Harper got his first minority ten years back. I know those guys. I know just how batshit insane they are...

Now, it is reported, the ex-PM and his wife will build a retirement bunker on property in the foothills near Cochrane, just west of Calgary. Good riddance. I hope they keep to themselves.

But since I am not without my fair share of imaginative schadenfreude, it tickles me to know he's where I can keep a baleful, glow-red-in-the-dark eye on him. And to imagine that he bought prime river-valley real estate. Say, on the mountain runoff flood plain that his own stubborn unwillingness to concede the fact of global warming has opened up to more of what used to be wallopin' 100-year floods. Now once a decade... until the Rockies lose their historic snow pack, anyway.

Not that I hold any kinda grudge.

1 comment:

Merlin Durken said...

A most excellent summation/reflection worthy of any of the widely distributed publications in this country, and many others... I hope this piece is widely quoted. It's worth at least a buck a word too imho, and should be cast in bronze and bolted the the Peace Tower itself as a testimony on how all things democratic should not be allowed to go ever again. Excellent take on the myth of 'Western Alienation' too -- I'm from Alberta and damned proud of that and I never felt alienated except by the likes of Byfield and his unholy tribe trying to pass themselves off as legion, whatever 'The West' is really... aside from a hallucination by a bunch of inter-generational, inveterate television cowboy-western-addled Texas wannabe's. Take that, you goddamned sons o' bitches and hang it up as high as you can in yer withered old butts! Ptoo-ey!!