Dinner party last night. Just down the way. Good food, lots of fun. Home-made blackberry wine, garden vegetables. Organic just about everything. Fabulous. Think Norman Rockwell does hippies. We all had rosy cheeks and full bellies!
The talk was politics. Well, politics, the apple crop, the new grandaughter, salmon and a lot of island stories but Obama/Romney was sprinkled throughout. As was the new puppy that was brought along by one of the guests. Part of the reason for that is that several of the guests were ‘Mericans. Been here since the 70’s. All Canadianized now. Mostly. Kinda.
Mind you, as you can likely guess with a bunch o’ off-the-grid, organic, hippy-types (within which cohort I proudly count myself) they were unanimously in favour of Obama. Romney scares the hell out of them. They still follow their politics. Still care. And more than a few with dual citizenship made sure to cast their ballots in the advance polls. That is pretty responsible. I respect that.
Canadians generally have a 60% turnout and that is when the polling station is at the end of the block!
I was reminded of that kind of political apathy recently when discussing politics the other day with another neighbour who works up north. He reported that all the ‘guys’ up there are in favour of the pipeline and oil exports. “Cause it’s jobs, eh? Average guy up there makes better than $10K a month, eh? New cars, man. Whole town is doin’ good.”
No point in bringing up climate change, polluting the coast, selling out our sovereignty to China, totalitarian-esque behaviour by our Prime Minister and other assorted lies and crimes of the Federal and Provincial governments. I had nothing to compete with “….jobs, eh?” coming from someone who had just made a big effort to get a much-needed one.
I am not sure it is fair to say this, but it seems to me that Canadians seem to vote even more with their wallets in mind than do ‘Mericans. Americans are more divided on issues (fer sure) and such but, at least it is as much – if not more – about issues as it is about the economy. I dunno………I could be wrong…………but I don’t like the comparison……we don’t look so good as conscientious citizens doing the moral thing…….or is it just me?
After dinner, we left. It was 9:00-ish. It was black as pitch. Slight drizzle. Couldn’t see a thing except for the little strobe light on my neighbour’s dock off in the distance. We headed out in Sal’s tiny 11 foot boat. I lay horizontal over the bow and held the flashlight out in front so that Sal could maneuver through all the wood that was floating due to the high tides. It was a real obstacle course. But it was kinda magical all at the same time.
My mind rested as we ploughed through the sparkling phosphorescence. I let politics go for a few minutes.
It is not easy. I admit that I am somewhat of a political animal. And I am still trying to subdue that beast. Boating at night helps. It is one of those things that affects me a great deal and that I can effect only infinitesimally. The cost benefit ratio is just not in my favour. But, of course, that is what the political bastards count on. They know that apathy and impotence go together and the more impotent the populace, the greater power they can exercise. “Wadda they gonna do? Protest?! Hahahahah. By next month the whole bunch o’ them will have forgotten about it! Hahahahah”.
And they are right. Remember all the lies, crimes, deceits and fiasco’s of the provincial Liberals over the last ten years? No? Even I have trouble remembering them all and I keep a list! Remember all the fascist-style parliamentary moves of Harper? No, not even I can do that. Remember all the Federal Liberal Party crimes when they were in power? Ancient history, right? It is easier to remember the Paul Henderson goal in the 1972 hockey series with Russia than last year’s political rap sheet.
We seem to prefer hockey and new trucks to politics. What the hell is wrong with us? Should we be more like the ‘Mericans?