September 12, 2008

Oh Yeah, I'm Buying It....

"You know," said Doug Finley, "what we really need, Mr. Harper, is a shot of something new. An energizer, as it were, to push this election over the top."
"What do you mean, Bulldog? I've been practicing my monotone all week! And I've been practicing that thing you told me about never looking directly into the camera - and you're right! The kids have stopped crying and the dogs have stopped trembling. Stroke of genius, that."

Television screens hovered about Harper and his best man, Finley as they hunkered in the Conservative bunker, looping speeches from the American presidential candidates. Their attention was momentarily pulled to one screen, where Senator John McCain seemingly had a crowd in mass hysteria, several people speaking in tongues as a duo in cowboy hats and string ties plunged their hands into a basket of rattlesnakes. To McCain's right, a straw-bonneted granny in a blue floral dress triumphantly flung her walker aside with the might of Atlas, causing one of McCain's aides to grab it before it toppled the fragile senator.

Harper squinted even more at the television, realizing that it wasn't an aide at all who had come to his rescue. It was his ticket mate, Sarah Palin, and with one clean shot from across the stage she'd taken the walker down. The crowd roared its approval; in that moment, Harper had his epiphany.

"Doug! It's simple. I just need a running mate who pretends to be all the things I'm not! I keep reading that people believe I can lead, but that they don't trust me. I mean, that's ridiculous. I've kept this government cobbled together for nearly 2 years, and both times I've allowed one of my people to speak to the press, they've said "no comment". Now, that's consistency for you. How can they not trust me?" Harper stared deeply into Finley's face, searching for answers, searching for acknowledgement. Finley quickly looked away.

"Mr. Harper, we don't have running mates here in Canada. And you need to be cautious. I mean, McCain made a wise pick in a pretty woman half his age - but, look, there, he looks positively embalmed next to her pageant smile. You don't want to cancel out your own gravitas by letting the understudy woo the opening night crowd," said Bulldog, wisely. He glanced at the monitor to see Sarah felling a tree, then rushing to the other side to catch it before it hit one of her kids.

"Hmmm. Softer, prettier, more modern...How about this?" Harper reached into a Sears bag that Loreen had dropped by earlier. He pulled from it a navy sweater vest. A cookie dropped from Bulldog Finley's mouth as his jaw gaped in surprise.
"Why, Mr. Harper, I've never seen something so...relaxed from you. It screams "off the cuff" and "natural". Think you can pull it off? I mean, it's the perfect message - and it's too bad you weren't wearing it when you shook your kid's hand on that first day of school a couple of years back. It's no wonder he's trying to spend more time with his friends," said Bulldog.
Harper hesitated, looking at the vest. "It's just, well, I'm worried about seeming contradictory," he said. Bulldog looked at him questioningly.
"What are you talking about, Mr. Harper?" he asked.
"Well, our motto this time around. Canada Cannot Afford Risky Experiments at a Time of Uncertainty...we paid a lot for that twaddle. We know here at the bunker that Canada actually can't afford not to change, but do you think it might compromise our message?"
"Not to worry. Voters expect politicians to exploit a certain amount of compromise. Why do you think Dion is having such a hard time with all that environmental babble? He actually means it!" With this, the two of them enjoyed a hearty laugh for a few seconds. The phone rang.

"The crew just called. They're ready for you on set," said Bulldog.
"What am I being sincere about today?" asked Harper, straightening his tie.
"Veterans," said Bulldog, perusing a script in his hand.
"Is it Remembrance Day already?" asked Harper.
"No, no, it's an election spot. Have you been listening to me? Put your vest on."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey.. you have to take more time off to write.. I love it!

September 13, 2008 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Lorraine, you covered all bases. You don't like Canada's version of Mr. Rogers? Can't say I blame you. I had a conversation with a journalist from one of the countries leading papers who just so happens to cover the "Hill" in Ottawa. We have concluded that it is nothing but a circus down there, and a very poor one at that. Oh, such a pity. It is so expensive, for our price of admission..


September 13, 2008 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only reason Canada put Harper in place was to punish the Liberals. Who knew the party would do such a thorough job of castrating itself by electing Dion Back Pack as party leader? Egad, that leaves Jack Layton or Green Party. Great, we don't have NDP or Green Party candidates in my riding...grrrrr.

September 14, 2008 12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buzzwhack: Agreed...Scary looking bunch running for office. All painted with the same brush, hiding behind a different motive, but having one in common, looking after themelves. I must vote this time around for none of the above. They still have to take the time to count and log it. Maybe if enough of us do it, showing our voter disconnect and disgust, maybe the message will get out.

I am not holding my breathe.


September 14, 2008 10:12 AM  

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