Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Un Canadien Errant

So, it's Tuesday, and I'm rambling around the house alone, catching up on odds and ends, drinking coffee, wondering if it's too early to have a beer (St. Pauli Girl, this week), listening to D.L's new Dar Williams album, where the lollipop-sucking one covers Neil Young's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (surprisingly well, in fact) and wondering how many people realize Ol' Neil could have been writing at least partially about Southern California ("down here"), and pining for the Great White North?

(Anyone thinking Neil Young ain't no Canadian no more hasn't been paying attention. Like Ross Macdonald, another Canadian -- okay, half-Canadian -- who wandered down here and stayed, the innate sense of Canadianess prevails and pervades their work...)


I guess I'm just in a particularly Canadian state of mind today (like, what's new, eh?). My dad's in the hospital up there right now, having tests done, and I'm feeling very very far away, more than usual. And of course the Canadian Federal elections were last night (Yes, I was able to vote by mail).

The Conservative party won but, like the outgoing Liberal party it's displacing, they're going to be a minority government (those of you who live in two-party frick-or-frack country take note: in a multi-party democracy, it's possible to win an election without a majority of the votes -- you just have to get more ridings than anyone else). I wonder how long before the Conservatives shoot themselves in the foot? Not too long, I hope...

I guess that's good news -- but I really don't think the results should be taken as a sign of Canada's sudden political swing to the right, as some Associated Press reports would have it, as much as it's a sign of the frustration with -- and a series of scandals that have come to light among -- the Liberal Party. Most which occured under previous prime minister Chretien, not the outgoing Paul Martin who -- although not connected with the scandals, has had to bear the political taint.

If you add up the figures, more people voted for left-leaning (or at least moderate) parties than for the Conservatives. Added up, more people voted fro the Green Party, the Liberal party, the NDP (real deal lefties) and the separatist BlocQuebecois -- and none of them could really be considered small-c conservative.

Still, I'm distrustful of any government that wants to align itself too closely with the current American administration on such issues as Iraq, the war on drugs, the war on terrorism, and particularly the war on people they don't approve of: gays, marijuana smokers, poor people, unemployed people, pregnant people who don't want to be pregnant, immigrants, rabble rousers, journalists who aren't bought and paid for and other people who ask good questions, etc..

The bright light is that -- and this is ironic, coming form me -- the federal Conservatives also made inroads into Quebec, a sign that perhaps the support of sovereignity there is not as strong as the Separatists like to claim, although of course once again the Bloc took most of the federal ridings in Quebec (you think Canadian politics are tricky, you should try to figure out Quebec and particularly my beloved Montreal, where strategic voting has become an art).

I know, I know... all this is infinitely more fascinating to me than you, but I'm a hell of a long way from a brasserie where it can be properly discussed with wit and passion and informed argument and people order two draft at a time...

Here? I almost got into a bar fight a few years ago for the sin of being... Canadian. It's a scene I only imagined in my WIP, only to have it come true a few months later.

Truth is stranger, eh?


Okay, favourite P.I. novel of the last year?


Blogger glen davis said...

I'm going with Harry Hunsicker's Still River.

6:34 PM, January 24, 2006  
Blogger Coneycat said...

I liked that one where the PI was hired to track down whoever kidnapped the new Conservative PM and his entire cabinet, but then he decided he didn't really care.

Um. I guess that only happened in my head.

I hope your dad comes through okay. And my sympathies on the so-far-from-home thing. I was in Texas for not only a federal election (voted by mail) but was down there when The Friendly Giant, Mr Dressup, and Pierre Trudeau died. My American friends tried to be sympathetic but since they didn't have a context with these people, it wasn't the same.

3:37 AM, January 25, 2006  
Blogger Diana Killian said...

But we Americans had The Friendly Giant! Granted, I thought he was an American Friendly Giant, and his passing did not garner the attention of...say...The Cap'n or Sheriff John. Or is Sheriff John still with us, still dispensing law and order to the peanutbutter and jelly set?

4:57 PM, January 29, 2006  
Blogger Ruth Seeley said...

I was just about to do a blog entry regarding misappropriation of voice, a subject that has incensed me since it was first raised. But I see you've already dealt with the topic in no uncertain terms.

Thought you might be interested in my take on Nancy Drew though:


11:22 AM, February 06, 2007  

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