Don’t take it personally . . .
The personal opinions of Joe Average

What the Hell’s Going On!

By Joe Average

  1. So the Harp set a trap for the opposition then stepped into it himself. What’s new in that? The Harp is forever declaring final and unalterable conditions then beating a retreat, often within matter of hours. Is this decisive leadership? I fail to understand why so many pundits have declared the Harp an astute political tactician. Frankly, he rivals Joe Clark in ineptitude. At least Joe had a pleasing personality and a genuine concern for public welfare. I have no idea what motivates the Harp and, frankly, I don’t care. Anyway, the Harp is now in the last place he ever wanted to be. In order to force an election, he must now place legislation before parliament. This means that he will be defeated on a concrete measure that he then must defend during campaign. Well, that’s what comes from taking advice from Mad Tom Flanagan. It appears that the Tories think they have a winning issue with their Crime Bill. They must dwell on Fantasy Island! There are only two issues that count; the shorter-term issue of Afghanistan and the overarching longer-term issue of the enjoinment. Nothing else really matters. If a party lacks coherent policies on either of these issues they will fail (I regard forming a minority government as a particularly painful form of political failure).
  1. What a gaggle of losers we have to choose from. The three national parties are led by non-entities: a humourless prig, an invisible man and a mutual fund salesman. These guys make Solon Lowe (remember him?) look wise and charismatic. Oh for the days of Douglas, Diefenbaker, and Pearson. Well, it is truly a sign of advancing years when the past seems a golden age, the present bland as yogurt, and the future a black hole. If it weren’t for short periods of scowling outrage and an incomprehensible sense of duty I would give a fiddler’s fumble for politics. With any luck, all three of these clowns will come a cropper at the next election and we can try again with new players.
  1. The bad news from the Ontario election was the turnout. At just over 50 per cent it was very discouraging. Not only are the young not engaged but evidently the middle-aged and the elderly are turned off as well. There is even some evidence that the extremes don’t care anymore. I don’t think the problem is one of voter disengagement or apathy. I think Joe Average is smarter than ever and sees clearly that (a) politicians are largely powerless to affect the economy in a positive fashion, (b) most of their rhetoric on other major issues (i.e. the enjoinment) is just BS and have neither the plans nor the will to tackle the job and (c) the party system can only throw up stiffs to run for office. Perhaps the surprising thing is that as many as half the voters bothered to show up.
  1. Speaking of the Ontario elections, have you ever seen anything as bizarre as John Tory’s stand on funding religious schools? Where the hell did that come from? It was so outlandish that I think he must have been sincere. Only a madman could believe that that was a winning issue. In any event, he is a dead man walking. Howard Hampton is probably finished too if anyone cares.
  1. If you think that things have gone to hell in a handbasket, think again. The universe is truly unfolding, as it should. There is a Groundhog Day scenario to professional sports in Toronto. It’s October! The Blue Jays missed the playoffs and the Leafs are off on a season-opening losing streak. Take heart, fellow Average. Winter is just around the corner.
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