Archive | November 2015

Leaves afire

The leaves were glittering like spun gold near Clinton, Nov. 11, 2015 (Jim Brown photo).034

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A blaze of colours

By Jim Brown

Charlottetown-based Trails 4 All Walking Club members enjoyed bracing weather for a hike through Strathgartney Provincial Park on Oct. 31. 045

No cure for Post Harper Syndrome

By Jim Brown
There’s a new and disturbing clinical condition and hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of Canadians, have it. It’s called “Post Harper Syndrome” or PHS for short.
Symptoms of PHS include a state of euphoria that can last up to 12 hours a day, interrupted by ever lengthening periods of restlessness and unease. Other symptoms can include a sudden loss of desire to post political-themed news items or observations on Facebook and other social media sites. Or conversely, an inexplicable urge to post “cute kitty or cute puppy” videos. Also, photos of restaurant meals.
Extreme sufferers say life has lost all meaning since the Harper government was taken to the curb with the recyclables on Oct 19.
What do you do with the rest of your life when everything you had hoped and dreamed would happen on Election Day actually did? Why, many millions of Canadians thought the best they could hope for was a minority Liberal or NDP government. They were over the moon when the Harper Conservatives were soundly threshed and the Justin Trudeau Liberals captured an improbable majority mandate. Four more years of rational, compassionate, responsible, incorruptable government. What ever will us PHS sufferers do with ourselves if we can’t bitch about Ottawa and the Harper government’s disturbing authoritarian twitches? All that greed, corruption, incompetence and overweening arrogance swept away with a clean broom.
Of course PHS sufferers could always hope the newly elected Liberal government would experience an ethical lapse or two. Maybe some cabinet ministers might be caught with their hands in the cookie jar? Maybe some influence peddling? Perhaps the Red Chamber might once again turn into the cesspool of immorality and kited expense claims.
But we all knew when the white knights were voted into office by millions of Canadians the odds of that happening were miniscule at best. The Trudeau Liberals have been paying close attention to what has happened under Harper’s watch since 2006 and it would take a special kind of stupid to let it happen to them. Oh My God, what happens if we get good governance for eight years, or 12 or even 20?
How will we, including TV and print pundits and the messiahs of the Internet with their uncounted legions of followers, survive the coming decades? It will be like winter on the Game of Thrones.
I find myself increasingly anxious about the future. Will there be any more malfeasance in high office to rail about, to expose to the light of public scrutiny and outrage? I fear not. I fear I will live a shallow, barren existence for my remaining years.
Only a couple of things would have made Election Day and its aftermath more satisfying. Maybe a half dozen public floggings on Parliament Hill (isn’t that sort of what they do when military dictatorships are toppled?). Or maybe seeing Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre lose his seat and be forced to accept work as a Wal-Mart greeter.
Sure would be nice to think it will all go sideways in a year or so once the Liberals get accustomed to the perks of power. But, sadly, I fear it won’t. There is no cure for this malady unless I crank up my interest in the American election cycle. Of course, the Democrats will likely win, so it will be short-lived relief.