Obama's triumph shows up sad-sack Canadian politics

The sad-sack Canadian politics simply shows that Canadians are much more aware of the fact that political campaigns are mostly bread and circuses and the selling of illusions produced by the two main brands and their minor competitors. Canadian mass media yokels just love the emotion and excitement associated with the public being suckered in the US. Obama the great new helmsman in the US has managed to get the media to create a cult of personality for him. Many American leftists see him as a brave new hope.This is all completely illusory. Imagine if Harper were to suggest that what we need is a huge new surge in Afghanistan. This would confirm his right wing credentials but when Obama does the same thing US leftists for the most part think that this is fine!

Obama's triumph shows up sad-sack Canadian politics

Jim Mcnulty
The Province
Sunday, November 09, 2008
The son of Jor-El is on his way to the White House; back home, Steve the Plumber has returned as minority prime minister.
Barack Obama was joking, maybe, when he told a charity fundraiser that he was in fact Superman, from the planet Krypton,but it was a hell of a ride to the Oval Office, if not exactly faster than a speeding bullet, a trailblazer on many fronts as doomed opponents took the Lex Luthor pratfall.
Hillary Clinton, squeezed in the mighty Obama nutcracker. Alaska's Sarah Palin -- "Everything I ever needed to know I learned on the basketball team" -- back to her moose-huntin' digs in Wasilla. Tina Fey, superstar. John McCain, Bush-whacked.
Canadians can be forgiven a bad case of political envy. Obama's triumph mocked our little drool of an election, unnecessarily forced when Stephen Harper broke another duplicitous vow.
Obama's leadership is draped in eloquence; Harper's sack-clothed in cynicism.
Two years ago, with a law to match, he promised that "fixed election dates stop leaders from trying to manipulate the calendar." Other leaders, perhaps, but not Harper, facing a tanking economy, a lame Liberal boss, and assorted Conservative scandals (mystery money offers to Chuck Cadman, an "in-out" advertising scam ruled bogus by Elections Canada) needing shutting down.
So he gutted his fixed-election promise with attack ads, and watched his party drop 168,737 votes from 2006. Every party lost votes save Elizabeth May's Greens, gaining 276,679 ballots, but again failing to elect a single MP.
- Canada! While Obama made history as the first black person elected to the White House, Harper made history bullying an election that led to Canada's worst-ever voter turnout, 59 per cent.
There's more. We are surely enthralled at the prospect of another Quebec election Dec. 8, not two years after the last one. Then another Liberal leadership race, barely two years on, with previous losers Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae at it again. Yes! As Edmonton Eskimos coach Danny Macioca said after his team's 55-9 loss to the Regina Roughriders Oct. 25, "We're just plain dumb right now." No wonder some four out of five Canadians, starved of hope at the old-party leadership level, told pollsters they'd vote for Obama if they could.
The next round of polls may well show us wanting to be annexed by the man.
Metro Vancouver is halfway to being Kokomo, Indiana, now. The Playhouse Theatre opened its season with Frost/Nixon, the Firehall Arts Centre opened with Stuff Happens -- an acid review of the Bush/Blair compact to attack Saddam Hussein -- and W. plays in the movie houses.
With lawn-sign fatigue upon us, it will take backbone to attend Saturday's municipal elections. If you need a reason to get out after watching the CFL finals, here are two: property taxes and school boards.They matter a lot more than Harper's hubris, so perk up and vote.
phone: 604-605-2094 jmcnulty@theprovince.com


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