Friday, December 16, 2005

2006 federal election - episode 2

Warehouse Election Central


Christmas shoppers scurry as the week-before-Christmas blitz begins. Ontario is digging itself out from a blizzard. Workers rush to finish projects before taking a rest for the holidays.

Oh yeah, there's an election going on.

Little evidence so far in the Warehouse's neighbourhood. Signs are few, flyers and candidate telemarketing fewer. The imcumbent is recycling signs from the last campaign. It's best if all parties make their gaffes now, while most of the country carries on with more pressing issues, like that Xbox 360 for Billy or how not to avoid playing the fool at the office party.

Question: in light of Liberal communications director Scott Reid's loose lips earlier this week, how many viewers of tonight's debate will fortify themselves with beer and popcorn?

While on the subject of beer and politics, check out Rick Mercer's petition. You may also want to throw back a shot of any spirit whenever Paul Martin says "let me be perfectly clear."

Need other ways to liven up a debate? A round of Give 'Em The Boot Bingo may be in order (courtesy of the NDP).

As for the American ambassador's outburst this week - he's a Dubya guy. Why should we have expected anything less from the playground bully? Besides, our souring relations with the South had to crop up sooner or later. Rather than get too worked up about US threats or Canadian electioneeing, your humble Warehouse editor is a believer in a line his father used to say, "this too shall pass".

Commentary 
This week, a few words from Gord McGordon, who, besides providing his expert commentrary for WEC, tells it the way he sees it every weekday morning at his neighbourhood Coffee Rhyme.

I ahm so sick of hearin' bout this dumb-ass GST cut Mr. Harper.

Frum 7 to 6 to 5%...in 2011!

For those of us who ain't even got the money to spend on coin-op'rated lawndree machines, well, savin' 2% on the nothin' I spent...well, mah math ain't so good, but ahm pretty sure that 2% of nothin' is nothin'.

But that got me te thinkin'...bout all those folks who got fancy lawndree machines in thur howses...then that got me thinkin' bout those folks what make the lawndree machines...why, I bet they spend a whole lotta somethin' to make them machines (they're kinda big...I seen a few in mah day)...and again, mah math ain't so good, but 2% of a whole lotta somethin' gotta add up to a little bit of somethin' at least.

Seems to me Mr. Harper's kinda lookin' out for the rich folk with them their fancy clean pants...making folks like me think we're gonna git somethin' from this tax cut that ain't gonna happen till long after Ma finally looses her last tooth, when in acshul fact, we ain't gonna git skwat.

Thank you Mr. Harper, fer treatin' me lahk I'm sum kinda dumb hick, and fer proovin' once agin that you don' give a flyin' fir tree 'bout me an' mine.

Nile's Nook
Regular Warehouse contributor Nile Seguin joins us to provide his sharp journalistic eye on the stories emerging from this thrill-a-minute campaign...

The Conservative candidate in Gaspésie-iles-de-la-Madeleine wants the party to donate the money it would have spent on lawn signs in his riding to local school breakfast programs. Gaston Langlais has decided not to put up any election signs during the campaign and is calling on his opponents to do the same. Langlais is known for his generosity…and for the hideous facial scarring that makes him look like a monster in campaign photographs.

Langlais is asking his party to donate the $4,000 earmarked for the signs to breakfast programs for schools in the area. "We know that at certain times of the month, parents are short on cash. Often, little children are going to school without breakfast in the morning," he said. Of course the big children never go without lunch, as they can just beat the little children out of their lunch money.

"We could offer this gift to them before Christmas. So, if the Liberal party and the Bloc did the same, we're talking about a budget of $14,000," Langlais said. He added that if the NDP threw in their contribution, it would amount to $14,000, a bucket of paint and an deconstructed Trinitron box.

Bloc Québécois candidate Raynald Blais, who is seeking re-election, says the idea is nothing more than a stunt…after which he drove a motorcycle over a tank of sharks for charity.

1979 Election Update
Does this sound familiar?
"Sick of elections before the first week of blather is over? Wishing you could hibernate your eardrums until May 22? Join the throng. Election '79 may be the first one in history where the proprietors of our one-party democracy have - through indecision, dawdling, delaying and hinting - bored the electorate before they have begun. It is the slogan of this campaign: Politicus Interruptus.
- Alan Fotheringham, Macleans, Apr 9/79
Notes from week 1 (from Macleans, Apr 16/79):
* The party leaders logged over 15,000 miles in the air, with Joe Clark in the lead (6,440). Unfortunately for Clark, workers at a tar sands project felt he looked "dopey".
* Pierre Trudeau dealt with protestors at several stops, at one point joking that farmers were grogneurs (grumblers). For his campaign, PET relied on improvised speeches.
* Ed Broadbent focused on social issues, shying away from national unity. Support from the Canadian Labor Congress had yet to materialize.

Other items in the news that week: in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident, US President Jimmy Carter said the energy crisis has replaced inflation as America's #1 problem...Galen Weston and Ken Thomson were in a bidding war for Hudson's Bay Company...British Columbia premier Bill Bennettt drops the writ for a May 10 provincial election, less than two weeks before the federal vote. - JB, MC, NS

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