Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Americans Get Obama, Canadians Stuck With Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber

As a keen observer of the political scene it's impossible not to look at our southern neighbours with a certain degree of envy. They've just witnessed the inauguration of the most charismatic and eloquent leader in generations. I know that for members of the black community (both in the U.S. and Canada) Obama's election is a monumental occasion, something many thought they'd never live to see. To me though colour isn't a factor, Barack Obama didn't pick his time...the time picked him. Americans are in desperate need of a leader of Obama's skill at this critical juncture. There is nobody better suited to rally divergent factions together for the difficult task at hand.

The United States has become an incredibly divided country: Red state versus blue, religious versus secular, north versus south, urban versus rural, blue collar versus white. While others sought to exploit those differences for electoral gain, Obama repudiated them. We all share a common humanity regardless of petty differences, and what unites us is stronger than that which divides. Americans have heard this message and responded with the most breathtaking ceremony Washington has ever seen.

But what about us, what about Canada? Where is our great uniter, the individual who will rally Canadians to a greater calling? Sadly as things now stand we're stuck with Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber. I'll leave you to decide which monikor best applies to the leaders of our three viable national parties.

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We have Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who back in September when the financial crisis was first starting to rock the markets, advising us to go 'bargain hunting' for cheap stocks. Thanks a ton Stephen, those capital loss carry forwards will really come in handy when portfolios start showing black again in another 2 or 3 years. If this is the best our "Economist" PM can do then I think I'm better off taking stock tips from the paper boy.

Michael Igantieff, or "Iggy" as he's been dubbed by our press is another story all together. Trying to pin Michael down is like trying to step on a bar of soap. All we hear is broad generalities about protecting the poor, stimulating job creation, and avoiding long term budget deficits. Sounds great! So how ya gonna do it Iggy? Oh, okay...he'll tell us later after the government brings down its budget. Any idea about a specific figure for this year's deficit? Oooops,'ll get back to us on that too, right. Ignatieff is like that guy standing in front of you at Baskin Robbins trying to decide which flavour to buy, and then after ten minutes he finally settles on vanilla.

And that leaves Jack Layton, ugh. Nothing personal dippers but Layton has all the appeal of a dishrag, albeit a very fashionable dishrag. The 'blue sweater' quip was cute the first couple of times, but after 100 or more it gets a little old. I'd never invite Jack 'the preener' to a party, he'd be telling the same joke over and over while trying to get everyone to gather around the freakin' kitchen table. I get the impression Jack thinks very highly of himself...well, somebody has to.

I might have been able to include the Greens in this little diatribe, but Elizabeth May had to go and spoil all the momentum she garnered from finally being included in the Leader's Debates. Instead of getting a Green foot in the door by picking a safe riding somewhere in Toronto or Vancouver she had to be the female Don Quixote tilting at Peter McKay in Nova Scotia, a riding he's held for yahrs, one that his father held previously....great judgement Liz.

Yo, Liberals, Yo Conservatives,
Yo Dippers and Greens,
We need some fresh blood,
Not these oldster has beens

Where's the vision, the passion
To get us back on track
If the cupboard is bare here
Give citizenship to Barack

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