Saturday, April 30, 2011

Election Day minus 2 - Orange Crush, Irony and Hope


Day 36: NDP opposition or NDP minority? The pundits have stopped "pundit-ing," they don't even want to hazard a guess, that's how unexpected the polls are for this election so far.
Today the largest Canadian daily newspaper The Red Star has come out in favour of the NDP Socialists, The Star is finally showing its true colours. Many years ago I cancelled my subscription to The Star as a way of showing my displeasure with their editorial bias back then. I invite my GTA readers to do the same, think of it as another opportunity to vote.
The irony in this election popularity contest is that the negative advertising seems to be working. The Conservatives have been targeting Michael Ignatieff since before the election. Saying things like "he is just visiting" from Harvard, and that he was parachuted in to save the Liberals, stuff like that. Ignatieff himself comes across as an aloof academic, not really your 'everyman.' but of course people don't like Stephen Harper either. The Liberals and NDP paint Harper as a 'micro-manager' with a 'hidden agenda.' So in an election campaign that is really devoid of issues as this one is, it's a popularity contest. Ironically Jack Layton is perceived as the 'everyman,' the guy who goes to the bar to watch a hockey game, the guy you want to share a beer with. Of course nothing is further from the truth, he is a career politician from a political family, and he has a chance to bring to fruition 50 years of building the base of a socialist Canada, the orange crush.
There is a silver lining in all of this, a hope. It seems like months ago, but at the start of this election campaign, the general consensus was that it was going to be a repeat of the last election. Well, oops on that, so much for consensus opinion. The pundits did not count on just how irrational the voting public is. Who would have thought that voters chose just on the basis of superficialities? But it seems to be happening, look what happened during the Obama/McCain election of 2008.
There is a lesson here for us. We just need a charismatic leader, that will forcefully spew some acceptable promises, with no intention of keeping them. It might work, telling people the truth sure doesn't work. The biggest reason for hope is that the electorate is fickle, so the unexpected is always a possibility, the pendulum swings both ways.

In my own little one-man campaign, I'm making 'appearances' at various local shopping malls and the liquor store distributing pamphlets that most people accept. I have had a couple of interesting encounters, one today was almost exciting. A woman took my flyer, looked at it, then asked if I was the guy on The Edge interview the other day? "That was me," I said, she shook my hand and said: "you got one." What are the odds?  

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