Friday, June 24, 2005

Hill japery

OK, OK, I may as well pile on too, if there's anything left underneath the seething, blogging mass of gleeful commentators today. Harper lost, the NDP got its budget, the Liberals received salvation from the Bloc, same-sex marriage is a dead cert, and meanwhile they're duking it out--literally--in the Senate, if you can believe Anne Cools. (Not that I'd ask those in their right minds to do any such thing.)

There are more wheels within wheels here than a dozen Ezekiels could figure out. I'm not even going to try. Call me cynical, call me anything you like, but you know what? I really don't
much give a damn.

Of course I'm happy that gay rights legislation is being passed, to a flourish of howls from assorted bigots and those who troll for their votes. And I'm happy that the NDP got their budget, although in a year or so everyone will praise the Liberals for it. And I'm always happy to see the Tories sucker-punched. But was last night really--politics?

Clever procedural manoeuvering is, of course, part of the game. But it's not the whole of it. Too many commentators are so taken with, or appalled by, the late-night deal between the Liberals and the Bloc that they've lost track of the issues themselves. The Bloc comes out of this one smelling like the proverbial roses--they didn't ask for some pro-separatist quid pro quo, after all, just for the long-overdue passage of an equal-rights bill upon the defeat of which the luckless Harper seems to have staked his shabby and increasingly shaky career.

So the inevitable has been put off for a while. Good. Maybe when the tumult dies we can have an election that's about issues: the erosion of health care under the Liberals, the erosion of rights that would surely follow a Tory victory, the erosion of public services that would accelerate under either, that unquenchable ignis fatuus called "Canadian unity," proportional representation (read: "democracy"), deep integration with the US, and our appalling involvement in Haiti, to name just a few. Have we heard a single original, bloggable comment on any of these
recently from the major players in last night's shenanigans? Are we about to? Don't hold your breath.

Bring back Hockey Night In Canada, I say. Switch Don Cherry and Mike Duffy. Stay tuned. And maybe I'll say a bit more about Anne Cools in an upcoming piece.

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