Friday, April 29, 2011


I've learned to really appreciate Twitter over this election. There is no faster way to catch up on news, and not infrequently the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-re-tweeted-friend says something funny, and that sure helps. Just came across this: "Dear Governor General: Is it possible to prorogue an election? Just curious. Asking for a friend."

When last I posted about the looming election in Canada I said the NDP was third in the numbers game. Well, as of a recent surge of appreciation for the fireside chat feel of Jack Layton's campaign, the Orange machine is threatening to crush a number of comme ci, comme ça ridings. There's separatist talk again, the abortion debate was almost reopened except The Harper Government will never do that, the attack ads get nastier every day and my respect for all parties who indulge in such petty tactics is waning. If only these spokespeople would stop picking at the peccadilloes of their competition as if they were scabs and focus on telling us what they can do. Whatever happened to keeping it positive?

To that end, I thought I'd practice what I'm preaching and find five positive pieces about Harper, Layton, Ignatieff, Duceppe and May. Here goes:

Stephen Harper has the endorsement of the Globe and Mail. 

Over at Jack Layton warrants a dandy headline from Chris Cobb: Cane and Able — Layton's humanity hits right note: observers. By now, anyone who's been following the latest political skirmish knows that Jack had hip replacement surgery in early March; hence the cane. 

Michael Ignatieff secured the endorsement of the Labourers' International Union of North America for the Liberals.

Gilles Duceppe got a thumbs-up from the Canadian Auto Workers' Quebec Division.

Elizabeth May is doing well in the polls in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding where she is challenging the Conservative incumbent. I'd love to see the Greens get a seat. She has the support of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

And for something with just enough levity to get us through, Rick Mercer has a column in MacLean's Magazine for the duration of the election. His most recent: Is Stephen Harper a Hologram?

If that doesn't cheer you up enough, watch these Salt Spring Island women who want to break up with Stephen Harper.

From the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a look a the Prime Minister's economic record to date. The CCPA, self-defined, is "an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates."

And as this is my poetry blog, let me repost this poem of mine that appeared in Mansfield Press' 2010 collection, Rogue Stimulus—the Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament.


It was a small thing,
forgetting to check the venting index
before lighting the Solstice fire.

Who knew the sweet blue sky
was nothing but a large foot pushing down the smoke
laden with year-end remains

— her thrice-rejected manuscript,
the packaging that once encased a meat thermometer,
a copy of Stephen Harper’s biography, mint condition,
someone gave her for Christmas last year—

back to the earth from which it rose,
spreading across the subdivision like syrup on a plate
while a phalanx of neighbours from an archipelago of houses
arrived to complain of wheezing elders, burning eyes,
Happy Solstice dying on her lips
replaced by stammered apologies
and promises never  to re-offend. 

After they’d gone she cracked a Corona
and imagined she could fly above the clouds,
get the air moving, soar.

Here's hoping something gets the air moving in Ottawa again. The next few days should prove interesting.

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