Trudeau Liberals Implement Electoral Reform By Announcing Imaginary PR Voting Outcomes

+PLUS+ Alberta seeks alternative to “elite, east-rising sun that doesn’t represent our values.”


“I’m sooo happy for you if it had been fair!”

IN A SURPRISE MOVE THAT HAS LED many disillusioned Canadians to reassess their negative opinions of Justin Trudeau, the re-elected prime minister has finally implemented promised electoral reform by taking every opportunity to emphasize how much better the outcome would have been in a proportional representation (PR) model.

The change of heart was prompted by the knowledge that the Conservative Party had received approximately 250,000 more actual votes than the Liberals; however, in Canada’s dreaded, disenfranchising, first-past-the-post system, it’s constituency seats, not votes, that constitute the final tally.

Chrystia Freeland, newly-minted Deputy PM, and managing a specially-created portfolio as Minister of Intergovernmental Relations Which Would Already Be Fine if it Weren’t for Alberta, announced the long-awaited restructuring at a press conference just a couple of weeks after the Liberals formed a minority government.

“The Liberals officially won the most seats and a clear mandate to once again give Canadians that comfortable familiarity they crave: A Person Named Trudeau forging ahead doing the opposite of whatever he promised, or just dropping everything like a hot potato and getting mired in obscure bureaucratic or procedural scandals that no one can figure out and that, frankly, aren’t even remotely exciting,” Freeland explained.

“Today I’m also very pleased to point out that, in a proportional representation model, the Conservatives would have formed the government. Yes, that’s according to the actual popular vote, and boy, are we ever happy for them!”

She continued, “I know that I speak for Justin Trudeau and all the other members of Cabinet when I extend our sincere congratulations to Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives for their thrilling victory had the circumstances been fair and democratic. Way to go, Andy!

“As for the official Elections Canada win that wasn’t really a win, well—what can I say! Phew! Close one! It is what it is!”

The New Democratic Party Leader, Jagmeet Singh also weighed in on the results.

“I’m absolutely over the moon that, under a system that would actually have made people believe it was worth getting out of bed to participate, we would have doubled our seats to fifty-four instead of losing some of the seats we already had!” he said to roars of delight from his supporters.

“Obviously my strategy of seeing what the other dudes’ policies were and then Tweeting that we darn well hoped they were actually going to put those policies into practice—or not put them into practice, depending—or else, worked. Or sometimes the alternative strategy of just re-Tweeting what they said with a “yes siree!” or a “no way!”, which is my preference for the days when I’m just too stressed out to handle this political shit.

“I’m sooooo happy for us if the system were an accurate reflection of the wishes of Canadian citizens and not just a frustrating waste of valuable time that you could have spent on Facebook complaining! Awesome work, team!!”

Former Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who resigned after the Greens’ dismal showing at the polls added, “I’m in shock! Though it didn’t actually happen because of our outdated, irrelevant voting model, the thought that we could have had twenty-two seats instead of three is just… Well, I’m humbled”.

Choking back tears of joy, she added, “These imaginary alternative results have vindicated my firm belief that, even if the candidate were a one-legged armadillo, somebody, somewhere will vote for it, as long as you use the word “green”.

“In this fantasy I also don’t resign as party leader, instead I’m simply added to the “endangered species” Red List. Then I travel back in time to be crowned Prom Queen, my parents can afford dental appointments, and all of Canada is vegan and off drugs ‘cold turkey,’ no pun intended.

“The Greens: Your Life Will Become Unmanageable,” “Just Say No to Global Partying” and “Oh, Yeah, Climate Change, Whatever” were obviously great slogans that totally resonated with voters—in a system that wouldn’t make you feel like your vote was just flushed down the toilet, except that’s not the system we have.”

However, there was one new non-existent result that should give regular Canadian centrist voters pause. Maxime Bernier’s right-wing People’s Party of Canada (PPC), which based its nationalist platform on anti-immigrant sentiment, would have made gains in the new, “this is just to rub your nose in it, not-in-our-lifetimes” PR system, from zero seats to six.

Moderates vastly preferred the actual current result, where the PPC and its leader don’t exist.

When asked for comment, Bernier replied,

« Ploof! That crazy Thunberg girl is responsible. Socialists! Anti-business climate alarmists! Too much government! Over-spending! Immigrant quotas! Just look at her burqa! Enough is enough! Ça c’est fucké, heins ? »

Then Mr Bernier and all his supporters climbed into a Volkswagen van and drove away.


There is disillusionment In alberta post election, as well as the feeling, common to privileged teenagers, that no one cares or understands and that life is meaningless.

Here’s why: Alberta for decades has relied heavily on limitless, highly-priced oil and gas sales to fund their provincial programs.

Most recently, Trudeau sucked up to the petulant province by agreeing to move forward with the Keystone XXL Pipeline, even though this seemed to undercut his own federally-mandated carbon tax, his commitment to the Paris Accord, his returning all his empties to The Beer Store, and any other green initiatives he might think up on the spur of the moment while setting the trash cans outside Rideau Cottage.

But those ornery Albertans were having none of it.

“Trudeau thinks he can soften us up by giving us just one measly environmentally disastrous and insensitive-to-indigenous-culture oil pipeline so we can continue to prop up the world-wide petroleum vector of waste, greed, global warming and corruption, but we see right through his insincere kow-towing!” said Ginger Spill, Head of Communications for the Oil & Gas ♥ You So Much! Club, an industry-sympathetic think tank.

“Trudeau knows very well that he simply can’t continue to fob us off with his Ottawa condescension and half-way measures. We want nothing less than total capitulation to our demand that Canada officially renounce carbon reduction efforts, based as they are on the random opinions of a few thousand gas-hating fake scientists. Our soon-to-be-obsolete jobs are at stake, here!”

In fact, Alberta has become so angry at perceived slights from Ottawa that separatist sentiment is at an all-time high, with the province threatening to “repatriate” social services and even migrate its Canada Pension Plan to be administered locally.

Ms. Spill continued, “We don’t need the rest of Canada! We have oil and gas, which will keep us living high on the hog well into the next couple of years! We’re thinking oil and gas burgers, oil and gas high schools, oil and gas country & western radio stations, oil and gas internet, and oil and gas traditional marriages!

“You know what else? We’re sick of you guys shining that bright light on us every morning! We don’t need some elite eastern sunrise, making our eyes hurt and mocking our values, telling us when you think it’s OK to get up, when it’s appropriate to have a shot of corn mash whiskey, or encouraging the gays to sing “You are the Sunshine of My Life” at their gay weddings!

“Screw your leftie, socialist propaganda about taking our hard-earned money and giving it all way to other people and your green-this and green-that boondoggle! We’re gonna stick it to Turdeau and his band of bureaucratic, job-killing Libs.

“From now on, every morning, per our schedule, Jason Kenney will stand at the top of the Calgary Tower, pull down his waders, bend over and spread his butt cheeks. He can do it ass-east, ass-west, ass-north or ass-south ’cause we’re sick of being Mister Nice Guy Co-operative! Whatever comes outta his ass and from wherever is all the sunshine we’ll ever need!

“Now we just gotta work out how to manage the moon at night.”

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New Blackface Fridays Prove Popular with Trudeau Cabinet

+PLUS+ No Treatment On the Horizon for “CRUD” (Canadian Refusing to Undermine Democracy)


The Trudeau Cabinet’s new tradition: Lighten the heck up, dudes, it’s just a party!

Justin Trudeau, fresh from his “win” of the Canadian Federal Election, has capitalized on Canadians’ surprisingly laid-back response to his infamous blackface pics by instituting “Blackface Fridays,” the new Parliamentary equivalent of corporate casual days.

“Canadians used their common sense,” he explained, “and perfectly understood that I was in no way acting out like an entitled child of privilege or being utterly tone deaf by smearing on the boot polish and shoving a fake Arabian Nights turban on my head while posing with a bevy of well-stacked babes. They realized it was just a party, dudes! Also that white people called Trudeau can do any old thing they want!”

He continued, “So to help everyone lighten the heck up a bit, I’ve mandated that my entire cabinet go blackface every Friday while Parliament is in session. Anyone who objects will answer to me, get an undeniable pinch on the ass and have to sit in ‘Jody Corner’ for a time out and some well-intended pressure. It’s gonna be awesome!

The blackface pictures, oddly enough first revealed by TIME Magazine — an American publication with absolutely no connections whatsoever to Rebel Media or any other right-wing influencers like Ezra Levant or anything — came to light by sheer coincidence as the countdown to the Canadian election had begun. This caused several Canadians to shake their heads and react violently by quickly calling up something actually interesting on the internet, like whatever ridiculous flapdoodle Trump tweeted today or the latest episode of “Schitt’s Creek”.

Nonetheless, despite worldwide tut-tutting and general condemnation of the pics, Trudeau won in a landslide loss of the popular vote to the Conservatives, technically termed a “Minority Government.” Even though he clearly lost. Or not. Anyway, he’s Prime Minister, what the heck, eh? Or possibly unofficial Leader of the Opposition, depending entirely on your point of view.

To gauge where Canadians’ heads were at after Trudeau’s historic win-loss, we spoke with random typical voter Franklyn D. Gallagher as he left an Ottawa Tim Hortons with his double double and maple glazed.

“Holy cow, was there an election?” he exclaimed. “Seriously? Damn, cause I woulda voted for that Wilfred Laurier if he was still in the running! Or maybe Lester Pearson! But I nodded off during ‘Don Messer’s Jubilee’ last Boxing Day after Milly forced that extra portion of President’s Choice ‘What the Dickens Figgy Pudding’ on me! I nearly bust a gut!

“Blackface pictures? Well, what are ya gonna do, eh? The rules go, vote for the guy who’s not the Conservative, and/or the Person Called Trudeau, whichever comes first, except in Alberta in which case do the opposite. If Pierre did it there’s gotta be a good reason for it! Sorry, I meant Diefenbaker! He was always one for the youthful shenanigans!”

But Shirley Otowabe, recently expelled from Hull, Québec on pain of death after several whistleblowers called the Laicity Hotline Laicité about her traditional Nigerian costume, had a different take on our partyin’ PM.

“I was scared at first,” she admitted. “How in hell would the Liberals pull off their inevitable win this time? Luckily our first past the post system kicked in to give the Liberals victory, even with a quarter million less votes than the Conservatives! I praise Jesus I live in a country with free and democratic elections as long as Alberta takes it up the ass!

“A quarter million voters!” she repeated, her big golliwog eyes bugging out from her face as she did a traditional ‘jazz hands,’ then regaled us with a chorus of Swanee on her banjo. “Why, Mammy, that’s like all the Maritimes plus the audience at ten Las Vegas Céline Dion concerts! How do they get away with it?” And she sashayed away, trailing her hand along the wrought iron fences and murmuring, “I don’t know nuttin’ about electin’ no Andrew Scheer, uh-huh! It ain’t fittin,’ y’all!” *

*(She didn’t really walk away like that. She walked away normally, just like anyone else. I just said she did the Butterfly McQueen/Gone With the Wind thing because, a) it’s so friggin’ hilarious, right? and b) also I’m white so I knew I could get away with it.)

Only Jody Wilson-Raybaud, former Attorney General, had any negative comments about the newly-declared Parliamentary tradition. Even though she was still crying after her bullying by “the big boys in senior year,” followed by her week of morning detention which was, like, totally unfair, she bravely agreed to overcome her debilitating social anxiety and speak with us.

We caught up with Wilson-Raybaud as she enjoyed an unpaid coffee break from her job stocking shelves at a pharmacy in British Columbia, which she described to us as “desensitization therapy,” before prefacing her comments with a big, mucus-y sniffle.

“No one is paying any attention to me, or even to the plight of indigenous peoples, least of all Trudeau,” she told us between pitiful sobs. “Just tell me, where are the pics of him in full native feathered headdress and buckskin boots, with some big busty squaws in hot pants knocking back the Ice Wine shooters? Hmmm? I rest my case.”

Her mouth was quivering again and she stared into space, no doubt reliving the terrible trauma of doing a grown-up job. “That big old meanie!!” she wailed, in a veiled reference to Justin Trudeau or possibly some other big, scary man in Cabinet, then collapsed screaming while beating her fists and heels on the floor.

Did Wilson-Raybaud see anything at all postive in Justin’s kinda-sorta-almost victory?

“Well,” she replied, interrupting her tantrum and biting her lower lip as silent tears coursed down her cheeks. “Sales of cleansing and rejuvenating charcoal masks and white lip salve are off the charts. Could someone pass me the Kleenex?”


ARE YOU CANADIAN? DID YOU cast a vote in the recent Federal Election? And did you vote for the party whose leader you actually thought would make the best PM? Did you vote, in other words, according to your conscience, or did you vote strategically?

Though you pelt me with soapstone carvings until I scream for mercy, I must confess that I did the unthinkable.

I voted for the New Democrats. I know, I know. What kind of sick individual would put the nation in jeopardy for such a narcissistic, self-serving whim?

If you’re non-Canadian, I hasten to explain that Canada wasn’t in great peril because my choice was a poor one, or because the New Democratic Party was unfit to govern.

Jagmeet Singh was the party leader with the most progressive platform and who showed the most transparency, intelligence and sensitivity while also being unfraid to stand up for Canadian values. He spoke up whenever Canadians accidentally showed subtle signs of being racist, for example, while campaigning in New Brunswick, when that guy said,

“Where do them wogs get off, running for PM with some goddamned turban on their head? Don’t they know they’re putting themselves in danger if someone throws a bomb at ’em and they’re not wearing a safety helmet? Besides, there’s little bugs runnin’ around under those things! If one a them nig-nogs came canvassin’ at my door, I’d dive under the sofa till they was gone, then spray the whole front porch with RAID!

“Who am I gonna vote for? Is this Alberta? OK, then you know the drill. It’s whoever ain’t the Conservatives and/or the person called Trudeau, whichever comes first! Whoever that is!”

Singh responded with the righteous fire of an Old Testament prophet or, you know, whatever Sikhs have as an equivalent.

“Sometimes when people say hasty, unkind things they don’t really mean,” he retorted in a tentative, barely-audible voice, “my friends get, you know, like, upset. I wouldn’t want to mention any names, and maybe I’m right or maybe I’m wrong, but I’m talking about things said by people that are similar to what someone has said who is maybe standing, or maybe not, pretty close to me. Not to point any fingers or anything. Who am I to judge!”

Watching the results trickle in on polling day, I realized what a close call the election had been. My vote mattered!

Except it didn’t matter for electing the party whose leader I thought was the best, only for not electing the party whose leader I hoped like hell wouldn’t win, but only if I voted for the party whose leader I hated only a little bit less, instead of the one I thought was the best.

Life returned to normal for a time, though I felt strangely ill at ease. Then, about a week after Trudeau’s win-loss, I awoke in the middle of the night drenched with sweat and with my heart pounding. I was wracked with guilt, and worse, I was haunted by dreams in which the Conservative Party had won and Andrew Scheer was mandating school prayer, criminalizing abortion and ordering the womenfolk to attend fittings for the official sensible shoes and calico dresses.

I’d no one to blame but myself. Because of my recklessly voting as though our electoral system worked, I’d contracted a severe case of CRUD: Canadian Refusing to Undermine Democracy.

I realized that by voting my conscience I’d not only put my country in grave jeopardy, I’d cancelled out the votes of my parents, my grandparents, my entire extended family throughout its entire history, Laura Secord, Wayne Gretsky, my friends starting from my first day at kindergarten, plus the original barons who signed the Magna Carta, and every other loyal Canadian who couldn’t hack the thought of Andrew Scheer as PM, and did the right, unselfish thing: Strategically voting for the Liberals.

When I think what might have happened if everyone had voted their conscience, honestly appraising the merits of the various leaders and disregarding our dysfunctional electoral system, I die with shame.

But before I die with shame, I have that sinking feeling you get when you reach the sixty-second floor of your condo building, the elevator doors open, then the cable snaps and the emergency brakes fail, leaving you plunging to your death at the bottom of the shaft, while you realize with horror that your entire life has been totally in vain.

A big gin and tonic helps.

I also have attacks of CRUD when I wake up in the night needing to pee, or just basically at any time when I forget about my disability and stop moving.

But I’ve learned my lesson. I promise: I’ll never, ever, vote according to my conscience again.

Because cynicism — about politicians, about elections, about voting, about democracy in general, about getting involved, about even the value of striving for equality, fairness and justice for all citizens — is as Canadian as beaver tails.

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On Being a Clown


A clown is a distancing persona

With the Canadian Federal Election over and the shenanigans down south reaching a point that is stretching even my credulity, I find it’s time to gather myself together and get back, at least temporarily, to the original intent of this blog.

Namely, to generate a whole cartload, a veritable eighteen-wheeler container-truck-full, of me-directed attention.

Clowns, like me, are attention hogs. Something was missing early on. Maybe my mother left me on the soft, nurturing shoulder of Highway 401, outside Pickering Nuclear Power Station, and I took it personally. Or maybe instead of her nipple—and I experience an ugh-y shudder of Oedipal horror as I type the word—or the sexless, 1950’s Frankenstein substitute, pacifier and bottle, she offered me a drag on her Craven “A” King Size.

Already hungry for attention, it’s just possible I accepted. After all, I’d been smoking half a pack a day since conception.

Something was missing, but I was only a kid and hadn’t yet grasped what was supposed to be there in the first place. At any given moment, my father was away, as a traveling salesman needs must be, and, on reflection, my mother spent more time in bed than seemed strictly necessary.

Something was off-kilter. A screw was loose. When my father was due to return from a trip, my mother would hiss, “Hide the knives!” which created an atmosphere of morbid suspense around his arrival that was as thrilling as it was mystifying. I never saw my father wield a knife unless there was a dead turkey on the dining table.

Perhaps my mother was sending a coded signal that she didn’t want any more children, or, for that matter, sex, and thought “hide the knives!” got the Freudian point across more subtly than “Step away from the penis, George.”

Occasionally, when summer thunder drew close and beat its head on the storm windows, I would awaken, startled, to see my mother in my bedroom doorway, her hair incandescent, like the corona of an eclipsed sun. Her nightgown billowed around her and terror’s sheet lightning would crackle across the surface of my body.

Once, when I had a childhood fever, I awoke to the sight of a wolf lying at the foot of my bed. Then I awoke again, in reality, dredged up by the struggle to cry out that produced only macabre silence. The bedclothes were cold and wet, as if someone had thrown a bucket of water onto me.

The fever had broken, and instantly I forgot what fever was, could not conceive of it. My convalescence felt light. Every physical indignity, everything clenched and cramped and muddy, was now breathing like a newborn, fragrant, limpid. I felt as though I had been forgiven for something vicious and irrevocable I had done in a previous life, then forgotten.

One day when I was twenty-six the malaise descended upon me once again like a hot wool blanket, burning sand sifted through my joints and vesicles weeping yellow serum erupted over the entire surface of my body; I understood for the first time what it meant to want to die if that was the only possible release. I was convinced I had syphilis and my lover, frantic with worry, drove me to his private doctor, who took one look and diagnosed chicken pox

—whenever fever came again I couldn’t imagine what it had felt like not to be hot, foul, aching and full of bodily grief. Sickness became my temporary occupation and demanded full commitment.

Later, when I fell in love again, love was a lot like having a fever and then not having one.


I’m a clown first of all because I’m hungry for attention and they didn’t know what to make of me, this kid who liked music, sat and listened, transfixed, to the Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah and the Roman Carnival Overture on old 33 rpm records; this kid who preferred sitting with the girls reading books and spending his remaining time alone; this shy kid who spoke like he’d been to elocution classes, with a vaguely British accent.

Being the clown told them what to make of me. I was someone who was there to entertain, to keep their brains fizzing with fun and sunshine, and I discovered that to entertain, to not be taken seriously and to keep them guessing, was power.

A clown is a distancing persona, very handy for fending off the tentacles of need. I’m never happier than when avoiding intimacy, because what most people call intimacy I call manipulation, co-dependence, guerrilla warfare and vampirism.

I’m a clown, we’re clowns, because we’ve decided to direct laughter at life rather than wallowing in its sorrow. Sorrow takes care of itself, insinuates itself into all available space, settles into the cracks and crevices like the black soot in the Toronto air that settles onto my window ledges. If you’re lazy, which I am, you do your best to normalize it, and after a while stop seeing how infested your life has become with mundane sorrow.

But if you have character, which I do, you’ll eventually experience one of those inconvenient sunny mornings when the shafts of gawd-light illuminate every single speck of black soot, giving each fusty dust mote a three-dimensional, Rembrandt-y heft, and you’ll sigh, roll up your sleeves and borrow someone’s vacuum cleaner.

Sorrow is the black soot of life, laughter the vacuum cleaner. Sorrow will happen anyway, but being a clown requires positive action: The exercise of intelligence, which I have, the near-involuntary urge, rising almost to lust, for making imaginative and unseemly connections, that’s to say, wit; and the desire to flaunt one’s personal style.

Laughter defies authority and will not be the square peg in the square hole. It refuses to follow the rules. You can’t have a dictatorship if the people are laughing.

A clown’s life trajectory requires courage: “Will anyone but me get this? Will they find it funny or just gross, or incomprehensible, or shallow or petty? Do I deserve the attention I’m apparently seeking?”

On the surface this is merely a continual demand for validation and a maddening exercise in narcissistic self-doubt, but the thirst for attention makes us courageous, a synonym for shameless or idiotic, take your pick.

Because to be a clown, to be funny, you have to be willing to make a fool of yourself, even thrive on it. It’s a very specific kind of foolishness: The foolishness you’re willing to take on, never the kind that is imposed on you.

But most of all, clowns become clowns because we have decided to laugh at ourselves—reduce ourselves to the butt of an amusing story about our stupidity or credulity or incompetence—before you get a chance to.

We instinctively know that there’s nothing more truly humiliating or bathetic than pomposity when it encounters a blank stare, nothing riskier than taking yourself seriously without a truly world-class problem to justify your brittle superior smile and dead, inward-directed eyes.

Sorrow is the black soot of life,
laughter the vacuum.

We take ourselves seriously because we are young and we think that no one has ever had this experience before, ever. Our love affair, our accident, our illness or our insight into why the moon and stars behave the way they do, we encounter each of these with the gobsmacked gaze of an infant staring at her handful of mushy carrots or squealing with terrified delight as the family dog licks her face.

Once you realize that there are no new experiences, no new ways of being in love, of being loved, of being out of love, of rejecting love because it is love (“you say I’m terrific but your taste was always rotten,” and thank you, Stephen Sondheim); of hurting oneself or hurting to the limits of destruction the person we love the most;

Once we realize that there are no original ideas, not one, not one single example of any idea you have now or have had or will have, that is original; when we realize that cavewomen and men were telling each other knock-knock jokes and why did the pterodactyl cross the road? back in the whatever-cene era, once you realize this, around the age of sixty-four, which I am, and stop taking your ideas, your problems and your life so goddamned seriously—you will be liberated.

And you will laugh.

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Well, thank gawd THAT’s over…

… and now, back to reality.

The natural ruling party of Canada, the Liberals, didn’t exactly ace the election, but, considering Justin’s lapses of taste at costume parties and his penchant for making little Attorney General girls cry, they didn’t do too badly.

Doug Ford still looks like this, though:

The mirthless maniac Muppet-grin.

I don’t want to confuse my international fans. Dug-Up is the Ontario Premier (think governor), and his leadership wasn’t being contested last night; this was a Canada-wide Federal election, not a provincial one.

But he is of the Conservative Party in its most egregiously awful form, and in response to his repressive neoliberal economic policies, his corruption and his general repugnance, and as a statement that we could not allow Conservative leader Andrew Scheer to turn back the clock on our Progressive values, Toronto sent a clear message about Conservatives in general and voted Liberal en masse, sending Dougie a well-deserved smack in the gob, punch in the kisser, slap in the mug, et cetera.

This is, seriously, the political map of Toronto’s ridings as of last night:

Yep. That’s red for Liberal. Every friggin’ seat. I’m sorry I doubted you, fellow Canadians. We head into the future with the New Dems set to hold Trudeau to his promises and continue our push leftward, against the worldwide trend.

You see, Canadians are slow to anger, but we know what makes us unique and essential and we aren’t about to let some skanky Alberta Con destroy that for some pipeline and a few trashed abortion clinics.

Alberta now wants to separate. Sulk much? That’s the way to lose, Western Canada, by picking up your Super Mario handsets and leaving in a huff. Well, no cigar. You won’t get your laughable referendum or your land-locked independent, oil-guzzling, backward dictatorship.

You’ll just have to pull on your long pants, sit at the grown-ups’ table and learn to talk polite. Also, stop mushing your peas together with the mashed potatoes and eating them with a spoon. It ain’t fittin’.

You see, it’s a well-recognized fact that Alberta has been so totally Conservative for so long, they’ve lost the feel for democracy. This was made most obvious during the secretive and anti-democratic regime of that ur-Albertan, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who prorogued Parliament not once but twice, destroyed science-based climate change studies and refused to honor subpoenas from the Commons that requested information on his government’s support for torture.

Harper, who despised the idea of a Canadian identity and ridiculed Canadians’ insistence that our values did not align with those of the US, openly declared, “I get more work done when Parliament isn’t in session.”

In other words, the work of democracy stood in the way of his agenda; he wanted more than anything to turn democracy inside out and to make a government of men, not laws. The parallels to Trump are real and frightening. This is the attitude that the rest of the country, and Trudeau, now must contend with, and there currently aren’t enough corners, dunce caps or time-outs to meet the demand.

I’ll weigh in more after I’ve had a chillaxing foam bath, attended by my election acolytes, many of whom look an awful look like the hunky Pete Buttigieg and some of whom look an awful lot like the luscious Seth Myers— I’ve choked the chicken over Trudeau so many times, it’s become just another old plateful of coq au vin—while sipping a lightly fizzed, boutique brewed, all-Canadian-apple hard cider with just a hint of pamplemousse.

Afterwards, I’ll choose my evening’s entertainment with care to complement my buoyant mood. No, I’m not tending toward the circus spectacle of Mulvaney telling Americans to “get over” the quid pro quo that apparently happens “all the time,” or of Trump trashing the “phony emoluments clause” of the US Constitution, as horribly entertaining as those are. I’m taking a day off from easy targets and obvious pleasures.

I need some depth.

So instead, I’ll prepare a bag of microwave popcorn, add extra salt and butter, settle into my armchair (outfitted with a fully plumped-up hemorrhoid cushion), then, when the priest gets pushed offstage, I’ll pump my fist and scream, “YESSSSSS!”

It’s a good, liberal life.

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Justin Scandals, Count How Many

skipping rhymes from Gen Z …


…with a nod to the 2019 Canadian Federal Election


I’VE BEEN UNDERCOVER IN MY SAILOR SUIT AND adorable Hudson’s Bay dress shorts (available only in polyester in Québec, due to the current shortage of “pure laine”), chatting about Dr Seuss and reminiscing about The Friendly Giant with unsuspecting school-age Gen Zed-ers as they go about their daily activities.

You remember the drill: Get to school, line up your Venus pencils in careful gradients and start coloring the edges of your maps if you’re a girl, or roll up some paper spitballs and practice farting noises if you’re a boy.

Or, if you’re a gay boy, line up your Venus pencils in careful gradients and watch all the other boys roll spitballs and practice their farting noises before they beat you up after gym class, thus laying the foundation for a truly world-class sexual fetish about a decade later.

Some traditions never change.

My mandate —which I had to give to myself after MacLean’s Magazine was so snarky about the pitch, thanks a bunch, Ms Barbara Lucrezia Borgia Gutenberg Amiel—was to find out how much political savvy these kids had absorbed in this age of 24/7 connectivity, deep fakes, and Hallowe’en nights when your mom and dad insist on driving you door to door so they can keep tabs, mooch your candy and spoil, to the very last iota, the fun of wearing your DIY handsewn Beyoncé costume.

Make no mistake: I was in constant danger of having my cover blown, and there was more than one occasion when I was eyed with suspicion by some chocolate-milk-mustached freckle-faced rascal of a boy, or prim, annoying little girl who’d just had her best party dress splashed with mud by some Grade Eight dude on a Canadian Tire mountain bike.

I tell you, looking authentic while trading prosciutto di Parma and Dijon mustard sliders on artisanal focaccia at lunch break, or fake-crying when it was time for yet another “milk and cookies power-nap,” stretched my humorous-blogger incognito reporting skills, and my already gossamer-thin patience, to the limit and beyond.

But I did net the following cultural gold: Non-traditional skipping rhymes, who knew, and I have to say these kids are the future.

And it’s off I go for another “Ankle-Biter” portion of chicken nuggets and French fries at Pickle Barrel or I’ll start to get cranky around four o’clock, which is typically when my ADHD kicks in.

Now, sit comfortably, close your eyes and travel back to when you and the Internet were young and hopeful together, chalk up the pavement, grab your rope and jump feet first into —

Well, no.

What I mean is—open your eyes so you can read, obviouslythen do all the other, imaginative stuff to do with traveling back in time.

Jeezus. Are you always this high-maintenance?


“OUT IN VICTORIA”

Out in Victoria
Real estate’s a bitch
“Hordes of Asians
Stinking rich

Racist Canadians
Cry, “What cheek!
How many condos
Bought
this week?

One condo
Two condos
Three condos
Four

Mandarin on
A red front door

Five condos
Six condos
Seven condos
Eight

White people want to
Speculate

Cut down trees
And pave the lawn

Now watch Chinese
Tai Chi at dawn!

—Traditional, West Coast.


justin scandals

Justin scandals
Count how many

one for blackface
How embarrassing

TWO for a
Journalist’s
Sexual harassing

three for India
Shoe toes curly
Wearin’ a sari
Lookin’ all girly

{It’s not made up
It’s not made up }

Justin scandals
Count how many

four for Jody
Attorney G
He broke her balls
Over SNC

FIVE for comrade
Castro, Fidel
He eulogized
So we gave him hell

Six is the pipeline
We don’t like
Tell Alberta
To take a hike

Paper Rocks
Scissors Socks

Feminist Faggot
Drama Teacher

Caught in the act
With the son of a preacher

{That’s made up
That’s made up
}

Justin scandals
Count how many

—Ottawa valley, possibly First Nations origins


when will scheer

When will Scheer
Let the news drop

One day, three?
Three weeks, Four?
Six months, a year?

How many abortions
Will he stop?

Rusty coat hanger
Dish soap mild
Jump off the table

And lose that child!

How will Scheer
Let the news drop

Friends of Dorothy
AIDS you’re dead
Three-legged dogs

In a marriage bed!

Will he be swift
Or will he lag

To make it cool
To kill a fag?


We’re now fairly skidding along the reinforced cotton gusset of life, aiming straight for Monday the 21st October, when the citizens of the People’s Republic of Libtardia head to the polls.

Ugh. I get sooooo tense about the “wrong” person getting into power, only made more tense by remembering that Canada has NO TERM LIMITS—that’s right. Andrew Scheer could be crowned PM, serve four years, be reinstated again, and again, and again, until we all died of Scheer tedium, while all the womenfolk were barefoot and pregnant, head to toe in cheerful yet modest calico, baking up huckleberry pies and taking axes to abortion clinics and the menfolk, in full garden gnome facial hair, fracked for oil and studied the prehistoric social code of their choice.

And it’s not just the Conservative Party that gives me what my fantasy step-mom, Dorothy Parker, would have called “the yips.” Yesterday I found out that Jagmeet Singh, NDP leader, has pledged to abolish the Senate if elected, calling it “undemocratic.”

Why do people miss the point about the Senate, every time? Our Senators are appointed, not elected, and now I’m going to do my annoying Socratic bit. Why is it important they are not elected? Correct, because then they have no electorate they are beholden to.

And why is that NOT undemocratic? Because the Senate is the “house of sober second thought.” The Senators—none of them career politicians, but all recommended and appointed as outstanding Canadians who have contributed in significant ways to the community in their respective fields of expertise—give second, non-partisan, readings to legislation, and they have the power to send that legislation back to the House of Commons if they see fit.

Which they did during the reign of terror of Stephen Harper, whose secretiveness and impatience had him trying to bypass even the Commons with his sinister, autocratic agenda. Trust me that the Senate saved us from the worst excesses of that awful, dispiriting regime.

Also, they are allocated proportionally:

The Senate of Canada (FrenchSénat du Canada) is the upper house of the Parliament of Canada, along with the House of Commons and the monarch (represented by the governor general). The Senate is modelled after the British House of Lords and consists of 105 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister.[1] Seats are assigned on a regional basis: four regions—defined as OntarioQuebec, the Maritime provinces, and the Western provinces—each receives 24 seats, with the last nine seats allocated to the remaining portions of the country: six to Newfoundland and Labrador and one each to the three northern territories. Senators may serve until they reach the age of 75.

Wikipedia contributors. (2019, October 18). Senate of Canada. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:04, October 19, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Senate_of_Canada&oldid=921902174

That’s two very good reasons, life-or-death reasons, not to abolish the Senate. Democracy is not just a numbers game; it is about human rights and ensuring that minorities are afforded the same protections as the majority.

Jagmeet, your Sikh headgear is to me as beautiful as the gold lamé turban Joan Crawford wore while scrubbing the bathroom tiles, it is the official beanie of multiculturalism, but your policy of abolishing the Senate has filled me with doubt about your judgment and made me tense.

And I’m fed up with all the tension, you know? So I’m going to relax about a lot of things this election. I mean, ever since that morning way back in 2016 when I awoke to people on the street screaming, “Holy fuck, Trump!” I’ve discovered that the worst can happen and we don’t implode. Things are, in fact, working as they should, down in the ol’ United States of Meltdownia.

Common sense is waking up from its gee-d out trance, weeping a little bit with the memory of what it got up to when it was high—how it got hate-banged by Mendacity even though it kept murmuring, “Stop!” and “Why would they make up a story like that?” and Mendacity just kept banging away, banging away, until common sense was lying unconscious in a pool of its own body fluids.

Please. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.

The Trump thing has become so bad, even Republicans, die-hard Republicans, like Lindsey Graham, have censured him for withdrawing American troops from North Syria without warning, leaving their Kurdish allies at the mercy of Turkish forces. So even Republicans have come to their senses. They’ve had to.

Well, when I say “come to their senses,” I don’t mean actually come to their senses in the sense of caring about economic inequality, or racism, or women having access to effective birth control or safe abortion, or anyone having any sort of affordable healthcare, or anything that would indicate they had, you know, come to their senses.

They just got interrupted as they were preparing to make themselves look all butch in northern Syria, then remembered that Trump has the current events knowledge of a grade-school student who’s been in a vegetative state for the past eight years and yelled at him for making them look bad in front of the Ukraine.

That kind of coming to your senses.

Anyway, if Scheer is elected, it will be bad, but probably not nearly as bad as down south. And if it’s really bad, we’ll get rid of him. Chillax, Canadians!

I’ve grown tired of acting like everyone who votes for the PC’s is a piece of ignorant trash and their vote doesn’t count, almost that they’re not “real Canadians.”

Andrew Scheer is the legitimate idiot leader of a legitimate asshole irrelevant political party run by old white guys, and if you want to vote for him, you have every right to.

Really! You do!

This is a free country and a democracy and you get to vote for anyone you want. Go ahead! Throw away everything we’ve gained in the past four years, including the envy of most of the world because we are the only remaining unashamedly progressive nation, anywhere!

Go ahead! Make their envious heads shake, just because you can’t stand that Justin is from our most famous political dynasty, that his father was Pierre and he’s already in the history books, whereas Scheer and Jason Kenney and Faith Goldy are just sad losers, blinded by bigotry and incapable of coherent thinking, who will just be footnotes, if that.

You’re pissed off that Justin is getting accolades from the United States, whose butt cheeks now have Scheer-shaped indentations, and you’re extra jealous that Justin is prettier than all of you put together, even in blackface, though we do wish he would cool it with the costume parties.

So there, fellow progressives! What are you scared of? That you’ll have to do a little participating? Protest a bit? Make your voice heard?

Thing is, just between you and me, it goes in cycles, if you haven’t noticed. We’re probably due for a change for the worse, now that the Atlantic Monthly has called us “the most successful progressive government in the world,” now that child poverty is lower than it has ever been, economic growth is up and, well, Trudeau has Canadian values, and kept ninety-five percent of his promises.

So naturally we’ll throw him out and vote in the doltish, aww-shucks, thin-lipped Christian who wants a tax rebate in every pot and a finger in every womb.

He’ll slash the services we want, we’ll go, “Oh my GOODNESS, but I didn’t think you meant THAT!” and we’ll protest and complain and rail against the stupid PC’s that we voted for when we could have continued to be the envy of the world and continued the progress. There’s a concept!

But no. We’ll buy the stupid rhetoric of the old disgruntled white guys, a.k.a. str8-tards, and for some reason we’ll forget that being Prime Minister is not like being the CEO of a company: In fact, it is a public office where you’re supposed to make decisions in the public interest, not for profit. You’re supposed to listen to the people who elected you, but also listen to the people who didn’t elect you, because you’re PM of everyone.

Balance the budget! Of course, but at the expense of…? It’s a fake goal, a chimera. It SOUNDS good, like something you should do. But it’s not the only thing you should do, and it’s ultimately not the purpose of government. Sure, be responsible, be prudent, be transparent…but if that’s the limit of your vision, go be an accountant. What kind of society do you want to grow? What future do you want for the next generation? Will pinching pennies now achieve that future?

Don’t take a rebate cheque for a couple hundred bucks that will evaporate from your hands over the course of a weekend, and lose child care, or reduced waiting times at the hospital, or pharmacare or decent roads, or decent schools. Real long-lasting change for the public good—that is the real purpose of government.

Don’t be short-sighted, Think what you’re doing. And in the end, if you vote for Scheer? All power to you. I’m not the guy who gets to say you’re wrong.

Now, Maxime Bernier, that’s another story. If you vote for Maxime Bernier, you’re a bona fide piece of shit on a stick in a coulis of snot and I despise having even to stand on the same continent as you, lest I accidentally inhale a single molecule of oxygen that could have brushed up against your alveoli, you pathetic white supremacist moron.

Seriously. You have to draw the line somewhere.


Someone in the NDP said something stupid or shitty or wrong in 2012, and I say: “Fiddlesticks and fuddle-duddle! Who gives a flying Tesla!”

The rest of the world gets its fifteen minutes of fame; Canadian party leaders, in the run up to the election, have to have their fifteen minutes of shame. Racist shame, or misogynist shame or sex shame or whatever.

I’m not down with racism or misogyny or abuse, but honestly, Murgatroyd! I don’t think I would exactly come off as St Teresa of Avila were my every word and every act to be examined from my teen years to now.

I think I might have had a few moments, or even months, of shame and I would be apologizing so much my eyes would be bulging out of my head on stalks, like a praying mantis in her startle pose, so grievously involved would my apologizing be.

I would have to scare off reporters from The Sun by opening my moth wings whose markings look like the head of a John Kenneth Galbraith. I can only do that once, right after I emerge from my chrysalis, so I honestly would prefer to save it up for real emergencies.

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh—they’ve all had their moment in the shadow. Can we just agree that everyone says shit sometimes, especially politicians, accept their apologies and move on? Because it’s not about your mistake, it’s how you acknowledge and handle your mistake.

Now, if you’re Trump, you write a letter to the Turkish President that is so bizarre, the White House staff think it’s a spoof.

That is how Trump handles mistakes: by committing an even bigger and more juicy mistake to attempt to draw focus away from the original mistake.

Which, of course, is nonsense. Trump is blithely unaware of having made any mistakes, ever. Even his telephone call to the President of Ukraine was “perfect;” he really has no concept of good and bad, right or wrong. He is entirely without moral direction. If he did it, it’s OK.

Good and evil, right and wrong, just and unjust: These are concepts that have no meaning for a sociopath or even a narcissistic personality, because they require an awareness of how our actions might affect others.

Meaningful work, priorities, duties, happiness, success, even our life’s purpose: Once you start thinking about other people, everything unravels.

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Canada, whatever you do:

VOTE

in the Federal Election

MONDAY

October 21st

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