• Politics

    The Conservative Leadership Debate

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    I don’t usually blog twice in one day but I’m getting more political as I get older and honestly forgot the CPC English-language debate was tonight. If you have no interest in Canadian politics, this will bore you. You might want to pick a different post to read.

    For those of you who are left, keeping in mind that I’m not a conservative in any sense of the word, quick thoughts on the Conservative Leadership debate tonight:

    1. There’s three hours of my life I’ll never get back, counting the post-debate scrums.
    2. No one was able to answer a question directly. They all wanted to tell me why the Liberals suck but not what they’d do to be better. They all wanted to tell me how inclusive they wanted to be but not how they’d go about that.
    3. MacKay. Plain vanilla. Boring. No substance. No style. No answers. Same old, same old. Trying to project a Prime Ministerial air but has zero chance of becoming Prime Minister. More concerned about party unity than being drawn out by the attacks of O’Toole. Not a bad thing, but not really telling us how he’ll do anything or do better than the Liberal government we currently have.
    4. O’Toole. Freezer burnt vanilla. Not really different than McKay and angry about it. Overtly courting Lewis’ supporters by walking a little closer to the line of social conservatism wherever he felt he could get away with it and just vaguely agreeing with her when he couldn’t. Attacking MacKay at every opportunity to prove he’s different but not fooling anyone.
    5. Lewis. Frightening, but that’s partly my concern about social conservatives in power in general as they tend to want to force everyone to conform what they see as proper behaviour and penalize anyone who doesn’t. She will likely get to play kingmaker in some fashion. Since she has the bulk of the social conservatives behind her so that should be concerning.
    6. Sloan. Should be running for leadership of the Republican Party of Canada. Yes, we actually have one of those. Too much sucking up to Trump. Sees himself as a disruptor in the same vein as Trump. Drags the debate further to the right. Way too much dog whistling. Crackpot conspiracy nut and antivaxxer. Scary that he could actually get elected in the first place. Scarier that he’s actually managed to hold onto enough support to stay in this race.
    7. To some degree, they all seem to be true believers in the morally bankrupt eyes on the cash register, screw the people, the country and the environment outlook of the Harper policies. Those days are over. Some large portion of the CPC hasn’t figured that out yet. It will cost them.

    Again, remember I’m not a conservative. At this time, it seems impossible I’ll ever be able to vote Conservative. You should assume I have a left leaning bias because I do, and I don’t like any of these potentials.

    But I also want an effective opposition to hold whoever is in power to account. I don’t think any of this group can do any better than the outgoing Andrew Scheer. It seems likely to me that MacKay is going to stay the front runner, but if he doesn’t win on the first vote, it’s not going to be easy for him.

    I kind of wish Rona Ambrose was still around. She might have had a chance. Not at my vote, mind you, but to hold the Liberals to a minority next time.

    Stay safe and be well, everyone.

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  • Poetry

    My Country

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    Is my country in the clear?
    Do we speak against the fear?
    Are we better than the rest?
    Our vision truly best?

    Or is our history
    A darker mystery
    Filled with not-so-secret shames
    So many forgotten names
    And things we’ve no wish to see?

    Is it better to pretend
    There’s no need to extend
    Our thoughts and hearts and minds
    Knowing that we’d find?
    We aren’t nearly as kind
    As we want to believe
    And so we don’t conceive
    That we can still improve
    Because there are mountains yet to move

    And more than mountains. I wrote that at almost the same time as “America Is Burning” but kept it a separate piece because it’s a separate, if related, thing.

    I wrote it knowing about Regis Korchinski-Paquet and Chantal Moore and Chief Allan Adam and the Inuk man deliberately knocked down with an open truck door as the RCMP came to a stop. The last two people in that last survived their encounters. The first two did not. Chantal Moore’s death was fresh that day.

    Since writing the poem above, I’ve seen the footage of Chief Adam’s arrest, and learned more about the other incidents. I’ve also learned about Rodney Levi and Lloys Chatel-Elie. Mr. Levi died Friday night in New Brunswick. Mr. Chatel-Elie was assaulted in his own home by Montreal police.

    Canada is not innocent. We have the same problems as the US when it comes to systemic racism and over-policing of minority communities. It’s not as out of hand here as it is there, not yet. Maybe. But we’re following the same path.

    Stay safe and be well, everyone.

    And stay angry. Then find ways to channel that anger so the people in power have to hear it. It’s the only way things will change.

    Update on 18 Jun 2020 to add the Youtube video of me reading the poem.

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  • Music

    I Should Be A Tragically Hip Fan

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    With thanks to the CBC for the image.

    So, I’ve never really been a Tragically Hip fan.

    There are plenty of reasons I should be, the least of which is that I’m related to one of the band members on my mother’s side, not that I’ve seen him since I was a little kid. As close as I’ll get to name-dropping.

    Far more importantly, the tragically hip is a Canadian success story, on a similar level, although perhaps with a touch less longevity, as Rush or Neil Young. Their lyrics are intelligent, clever, often poetic. That’s right up my alley. The music is a blend of pop and some not quite identifiable sound that makes them distinctly Canadian. They’ve been successful commercially worldwide for three decades.

    I should be a Tragically Hip fan, I’m just not.

    I don’t dislike their music, and I can probably name a dozen of their songs, even sing along with a couple, but I don’t own a single album, I’ve never felt the urge to buy one, and it never would have bothered me to turn off the radio or TV while they were playing. Weird.

    But it doesn’t matter if I’m not particularly a fan, because I can recognize the band as an iconic Canadian group. And I can recognize that their loss to the musical landscape is a tragedy. They have been a huge musical and cultural influence in the country, and beyond, projecting a Canadian sound to ears that would otherwise never have heard.

    Some other artist or group will step up to fill the gap, I hope. It won’t be today, or tomorrow, or maybe even anytime soon. And really, the gap will be forever present in some way, because whoever does come forward to fill it will do so with a different sound and a different shape, and but they’ll be distinctly Canadian in their own way, or at least I hope so.

    Be well, everyone.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather