April 28, 2012

Anyone know what Bev Oda actually DOES?

I'm supposed to be working, but as usual, I can't get wordy there until I get wordy here. By there I mean the new sheet I have pulled up behind this, that is as blank as Bev Oda's face whens she gets asked a really hard question. Like, "did you think they wouldn't notice you used a Sharpee to correct that contract?" or "you do know what will happen if they find out you took the bathrobe, right?". At this point, Bev is just looking at me, well, blankly, because we both know nothing will happen. She could have the little dude who delivers $16 orange juice jammed in her carry-on, and we will all just whistle and look the other way.

Sometimes I just can't catch the thread of a piece to start writing it until I declutter my brain over here.

I've been down at CHCH a bunch lately, and I've noticed a funny thing happening. If any of you watch the show, Square Off, you'll know it's mostly a romp through events of the day. It gets put together that morning, and we're usually amending and changing on the fly as things happen. The aim is to take any topic - political, cultural, personal, business - and present differing viewpoints on the subject. This should be easy, and it usually is. You have a stable of rightwingers you call on, and a stable of lefties, and off you go. The hosts generally shape the conversation, and get out of the way if the wheels start coming off. This is often quite fun.

I appear as a guest, which means yapping away and being as pointed or political as I like. I also appear as a co-host, and am expected to keep the spotlight on the guests, not my beliefs.Wait. I have a point. I'm getting to it.

It's getting harder. Not to control my leanings, but to discern what anyone's leanings even are, anymore. You pull on a think tanker funded by right money, and one funded by left, and I'll be damned if the two of them don't start agreeing on some stuff. And, I sit there with my notes on a topic, realizing that my own thinking is not complying with standard party lines - any of them. Here's a link to a poll that basically says the same thing. Politicians? We hate all of you.

I'll admit, I'm thankful that some of the circus acts we've been seeing have made it easy for many of us. Dalton is leaving holes in arguments you could drive a truck through. How any conservative can defend Bev Oda is beyond me. It's probably beyond Bev, too. I think nobody wakes up more surprised to be employed each day than Bev Oda.

Spinning and lies, contempt and chaos. That's all of them. More and more people I speak to feel lost, politically. It's a wilderness, but I have no problem saying that each and every party is woefully lacking in vision, respect for voters, transparency and leadership. The NDP is being held up as a saviour. I'm sure Mulcair is a lovely man (though I wish he'd shave), but remember all those newbies that floated into government on the Layton wave? I found that disrespectful. They woke up with a job in the House of Commons; they were as surprised as Bev Oda.

When Alberta went to the polls last week, I was reminded of another vote that had the country waiting and watching. Remember the 1980 Quebec referendum? I do.  I was 16. I watched as our country came within a hairs breadth of blowing apart. At least that's how it seemed, and how it was played, and could have played out. I thought then for the first time what being a country actually meant. We watched the same way as Alberta seemed to be heading in a direction I couldn't fathom; I just couldn't. Racist, backwards thinking was really being considered the road to the future?

I have many friends in the U.S. I cannot describe how polarized that country is politically. It's terrifying; it really is. I've also noticed a weird tendency in people over the past decade or so. We are almost making decisions, and voting, as if we are daring someone to show us how bad it could be. We are becoming careless. I'm sure it's a pushback against the fearmongering that has replaced actually running a campaign, but people are using anger and an odd sense of 'well, it could never be that bad' to make important decisions. It's like we're all playing a video game, and we know if we blow up we can start again, in a few seconds. And again. And again.

We are becoming mean. We are becoming hateful and distrusting. And our leaders seem content to keep it that way, knowing fear works.

I think what they are all forgetting is that when you no longer have anything to lose, that stops working. Keep stripping us down, and wait for the concept of the Polite Canadian to become a myth.


Anonymous buzzwhack said...

The self delusional witch was in charge of a number of portfolios. Fat lot of good came out of them. She is deadwood.

April 28, 2012 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Allimack said...

I don't currently identify with any particular political party.

Your "lack of vision" comment resonates with me.

I want to see politicians and political parties tell us their 50 year plans. I remember years ago someone telling me that in Japan the politicians have 50 year plans. I want to see a Canadian 50 year plan for public transportation, infrastructure expansion replacement and maintenance, environment, energy, health care, public and post-secondary education, immigration, etc. And then show the 5 and 10 year plans for what needs to be put in place NOW to have any chance of getting to where we need to be in 50 years. I'm 49 so I won't be around in 50 years, but my kids likely will, and perhaps future generations. And I am tired of political parties taking and giving with the short-term horizon of the next election to earn points with whoever is this election's key constituent group, without providing any long-term sense of where they want to take the country (or province / city that they are managing). I am willing to fund (pay more taxes for) a well thought-out vision of the future. I don't want a lack of vision today to mean a poorer quality of life and huge debts for future generations.

And I agree with you about how polarized - and big money driven - the US political system has become. I grew up there but would never consider going back there to live. It's a great place to live if you are in the top 10%. But pretty mean and dispiriting if you are in the bottom 25%.

In Canada, I want to see more of a "we're all in this together, so let's make it work" approach rather than divisiveness down party lines and economic lines. Instead we seem intent on following the US's approach of each politician/party demonizing their opponents, with the end result that voters generally distrust all politicians' actions and motives.

April 28, 2012 1:46 PM  
Blogger DJW said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 28, 2012 3:10 PM  
Anonymous PJ said...

What I can't figure out is why the Conservative party has been running attack ads against Bob Rae? Right now they're in charge, there's no election coming and Rae is temporary leader not running for the position. So why are these meatheads running attack ads against him? Talk about mean spirited. It's like if I were to start running attacks ads against Roz just because she's Lorraine's sister.

April 28, 2012 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Roz said...

Hey, hey, hey - PJ. Don't encourage her. About our illustrious leader, there was an interesting article - I think in the Globe the other day discussing this very subject. Attack before you get attacked. Bev Oda is just a waste of skin & air.

April 29, 2012 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is Layton not Leyton

April 29, 2012 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Lorraine said...

I'll fix it tomorrow.

April 29, 2012 8:18 PM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

I think the news channels have been running around screaming "the sky is falling" for so long now that we have become numb to the whole concept. So we vote for the sky to fall because it won't ever happen. It's like when you're golfing. If you wave the group behind you to hit away, where's the safest place to stand? Right next to the hole. No one EVER hits it in the hole.

Campaigns these days refuse to tell us why we should vote for the candidate. All they do is tell us why we should NOT vote for the other candidate. 'Sup wid dat, yo? Sorry. My inner rapper is just screaming to escape.

April 30, 2012 8:14 AM  
Blogger Your humble eavesdropper said...

This lack of vision is the biggest reason why I dislike Toronto and want to get out as fast as possible. Everywhere I look, it seems that everything's in shambles- condos are being built with alarming alacrity and with the seemingly sole purpose of obstructing the waterfront, transportation is managed on a need-to basis and not for posterity, and green space in the city is disappearing without anything to replace it.

As for politics, I've found the opposite of what you've mentioned. People (or at least the small circles I run in) seem to be more clued into politics now than before, possibly because of the whole Ford brothers debacle.

And Bev Oda? Are we as the public also not at fault for her out-of-hand spending because we don't speak up and call for a stop? Yes, she shouldn't be doing it, and yes, she should face consequences, but we willingly and consistently put people like her in public office and don't make a peep when they mess up over and over again in big ways. James Travers wrote an excellent article the year before or so about the state of politics now, and I can't help but feel helplessly despondent over the future.

May 02, 2012 6:26 PM  

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