Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Reading for the Day after the Election: Yann Martel, Stephen Harper, and Thomas Mulcair

Among the many things that occur to me this morning after the Canadian election is that Yann Martel is going to have up to five more years of sending Stephen Harper books every two weeks. I have no doubt he'll find much good reading to send the PM--still head of a minority government even though he thought he'd get a majority--but I'm sure Martel is disappointed that it is necessary. He'd hoped that his campaign to provide the PM with a little instructive and pleasurable bedtime reading would only last a few months when he began more than a year ago.

As Martel wrote in the letter accompanying Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange sent the day before the election, "There’s an element in the novel that is eerily familiar. The government under which Alex (the hero) lives is democratically elected, yet it has recourse to policies that undermine the foundations of democracy. We have seen these kinds of policies for eight years now in the United States, a country morally bankrupted by its current president. You claim to have a solution for what to do with Alex. The experts disagree with you, and the courts and the people, certainly the people in Quebec, are also resisting your ideas, but you think you know better.

"Are you sure, Mr. Harper, that what you have up your sleeve aren’t so many" of the same method used to brainwash Alex?

Let us hope that the three opposition parties will find common cause frequently in the next Parliament and thus be able to turn back the retrograde, ill-considered, uneffective program of the Conservative Party.

And it's good to see that Tom Mulcair won again in Outremont, proving that his by election victory wasn't a fluke. I spent 12 hours helping to get out the vote, climbing stairs to triplexes, knocking on doors, explaining how important this election was. The work paid off because the gang of NDP volunteers--almost all young, I was older by 20 years than the vast majority of them--brought Mulcair a significant victory.

Kudos also to Anne Lagacé Dowson and her excellent team in Westmount-Ville Marie. What a great job against very tough odds!


janfromthebruce said...

Ditto here. I spent the day in Barton area of Hamilton East-Stoney Creek getting our "1's" out. In my 3 poll areas, we got 85% turn out, which is unheard of in this area of city. It was fun and I really enjoy that person-to-person connection.
At 8:30 pm, one "1" voter, when I went to knock on his door, came out and greeted me. He said I was the talk of his neighbourhood, and that they were in thrall of the sheer positiveness that their votes make a difference. I laughed. I had no idea that the "neighbours" were gossiping about me - in a good way.
Marston won handily.

Mary Soderstrom said...

Good work! It is so rewarding to see effort turn out well.

So onow, what do we do? Wait until the Libs choose a new leader and then start the whole exercise again?



high blood pressure prevention said...

Thanks for the heads up

Muzition said...

I just finished reading "Hard Times" by Dickens, and in light of some of the things Harper has said about the arts recently, I think he could learn something from that book's message.

lagatta said...

I'm so sorry Anne didn't win, though she made a very good showing against tough odds indeed. She was very courageous to take leave from her CBC job, and I hope she can continue to inform and engage us on CBC and Radio-Canada, and elsewhere.