In politics, what you see is not always what you get

Federal election a fascinating study

Next Monday, Canadians who truly care about their country will vote in yet another federal election. 

If truth be told, I’m ticked off this morning by the seemingly endless election merry-go-round and to make matters worse, I never did get my invitation to The Wedding. 

Canada Post must have mislaid it. 

I’ve voted in every election since I was entitled to do so but have never joined a political party. My reason is simple: as a party member I would feel obliged to vote for their platform no matter how unbelievable it was or how little confidence I had in the leader. 

I think voters who go to the polls with their heads stuffed with ideology and their common sense abandoned, are not doing any favours to democracy. We have a stark example of this in the republic south of here, a country tearing itself apart at a critical time in its existence. 

Our current politicians and our own system are simply not geared to have five parties in parliament or contending for seats. Three parties made a good balance between left, right and centre but the Bloc Quebecois and the Green Patty have upset the symmetry and made governing a cynical Byzantine  process of one day appeasing the political opponents and  the next day ambushing them. 

I don’t see any constitutional way to rid ourselves of the Bloc. 

Like a skin rash, perhaps one day they will just go away. 

The Green Party will some day come into its own when we have cut down all the trees and poisoned the lakes and atmosphere. All they have to do is wait. 

Their time is coming. 

I diligently filled out the Vote Compass sponsored by the CBC and, to my surprise, learned that I was much in sympathy with the Taliban. 

Maybe I hit the wrong button. 

I definitely don’t like the so-called attack ads. 

I want to learn what a particular party intends to do not hear endless semi-truths about what the other parties failed to do or the dastardly conspiracies they are planning. These ads are childish and not worthy of Canadian voters. Leave that stuff in the U.S. political arena, they perfected it. The clowns who dream up the ads operate from the obscurity of back rooms and like vermin who infest these dark places, they should be exposed and rooted out. 

Before shipping containers came into use, the port of Montréal was notorious for the pilferage on the docks to the extent that shippers expected to lose about ten per cent of their cargoes as a sort of usage tax. You could buy almost anything down there from winter tires to television sets. 

The centre of the illegal commerce was Joe Beef’s tavern located close to the docks. 

A colleague covered the waterfront for our company and found himself frequently in the tavern. One day he was offered white dress shirts his collar size complete with French cuffs, each shirt wrapped individually in its own cellophane package. The price was a very alluring three dollars each. 

My friend bought six of them. When he got home and unwrapped them he found that the shirts consisted of a collar, shirtfront and cuffs. There were no backs or sleeves. He later learned the shirts had been destined for undertaking establishments.

That anecdote reminds me of politicians; what you see is not always what you get.

— Harvey Dorval is a local, longtime News columnist.


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