Olympics-So far so Good…But

The opening ceremonies were marvelous. And I’ve got to say the aboriginal component was splendid…if not the best part of all. The native peoples danced their hearts out. The only semi-religious reference I saw, was in the rather disheartening tribute to the very significant celtic influence on our nation’s culture. There actually was a symbolic celtic cross in one portion of the ceremony…although I’m certain it would have been expunged if the producers had any clue of the symbolism behind many popular celtic symbols of the day.

The Old Ruminator and Mrs Ruminator accompanied two other baby boomer couples on a tour of Vancouver on the first day of the Olympics. We met former PM Jean Chretien in the lobby of the new Fairmont hotel on our way to the Olympic flame. There was no way I was going to have my picture taken with that clown, but a couple of our Liberal friends….both born in the nether regions of the world…posed for a wonderful photo with the old Liberal hack.
It was then onto the flame, which to our horror was hidden from the public by a giant chain link fence adorned in sporty Olympic motifs. Thousands of people were being turned away without an opportunity to go anywhere near the flame, which is situated on a well-known little waterfront park which fronts the Vancouver harbour. We were told it was because of “security”. Earlier that morning, vandals and hooligans posing as demonstrators smashed the wonderful display windows of the Hudson Bay store about six blocks away. What a God-awful shame!. That we have become captive to hooliganism in a democratic society. I suspect if the flame were in China, it would not be behind chain link fences because there would be no fear that a bunch of fools would try to destroy it in any way.
I fully expect the courts will slap the wrists of the hooligans who smashed the Hudson Bay store windows thereby placing one more brick into the wall of our gradual decline.
But, our overall day in Vancouver was beyond belief. Truly, it is the most clean, beautiful, modern city on earth. Oh sure, it has problems…but nothing compared to the majesty of its unbelievable geography. The whole city is alive with excitement and joy and beauty. You can stroll for days on the kilometers of seawall walkway  that now completely surround the entire city.

Lets keep religion out of the Olympics

It’s heartening to hear that Canada’s native people will play a lead role in the Vancouver Olympics. I’m looking forward to the opening ceremonies, but am concerned that some fool may have authorized the unpardonable. I’m talking about the propensity of our society to frown on any religious symbolism in any of our public ceremonies except for those primitive, and primal beliefs of some of Canada’s aboriginal peoples. I don’t want to see any kind of sweet grass smoking ceremonies or references to the “Great Whale God”. No thanks…not in a ceremony paid for with my tax dollars.
But I honestly hope I am proven wrong and that the opening ceremonies truly celebrate the wonderful contributions of our native people to the Canadian mosaic without reference to primitive religious nonsense.

Prorogue Fatigue

While Liberal and NDP hacks choke on their cornflakes over the PM’s announcement that Parliament will sit over the March break, I suspect the majority of Canadians are having a good chuckle.
The PM’s style, while painted as harsh and calculating by his opponents, is seen as almost whimsical and amusing by the Old Ruminator. Harper essentially gives what he gets. Andrew Coyne hit the nail on the head in this week’s CBC National Panel discussion when he essentially said that the PM was simply reacting to the Liberal NDP feigned outrage that Parliament should be “working”. Well, now they can “work” right through spring break.
Coyne’s fellow panel member, Allen Greg, once again, repeated the completely erroneous bromide that Canadians are outraged by the prorogation. As one of Canada’s leading pollsters, Greg knows fully well that his assertion is mischievous at best and calculated fabrication at worst. CBC’s own poll showed fully 33% of Canadians weren’t even aware of prorogation. Of the remainder, 57% were against it. Any fool can do that math. 57% of 66% means that a minority of Canadians oppose prorogation. A considerable majority either support it or couldn’t care less.
On prorogation: If Harper had not used this very valuable manouvre last year, we would have seen a coalition of power hungry opportunists (Dion and Jack) and seperatists (Bloc) running our nation. Calls by the Opposition to deny the Prime Minister such power, are obvious self-serving and would open the door to such a disgusting scenario. Of course we know such a suggestion is political posturing..being constitutionally invalid.
Finally, I’m a fan of CBC’s “At Issue” panelist Chantal Hebert. Who could not like a person who obviously has so little vanity. Chantal must drive TV make-up staff crazy, because she obviously refuses to even consider such a thing. But, it might be helpful if a camera operator at least tamped down her hair on occasion.
Camera people do, from time to time, such things. I remember once when a cameraman saw a stray hair sticking straight up on Peter Mansbridge’s head. It was catching the studio lights like a bolt of lightning and it refused to be tamed. The cameraman approached Peter…told him to be still…reached up and plucked the hair from a very shocked Peters’ head. This would not, normally, have created such a fuss, but Peter, in those days was losing his hair…a process he was determined to cover with liberal quantities of dark make-up. Good old Peter, always an agreeable fellow, was flustered, but he fought to maintain his composure, knowing in his heart he’d never see that hair return.

Up and Running

The noted historian, Michael Bliss, had an interesting piece in the Globe and Mail today.. (Yes, I actually do read it from time to time…to get the other perspective). Mr. Bliss points out that the proroguing of parliament, that nefarious act which has worked Liberals, the NDP and Canada’s academia (and their students) into such a frenzy of fervor for democracy…will cause Parliament to sit THREE less weeks than would be normal.
Michael Bliss asks the question…If this is such a big deal…why arn’t the Libs and NDPers willing to fight an election on it? Good question. Maybe cuz they know they’re asses are blowin gas. An election… now, that would be true democracy in action (David).

Here’s my theory.

Let’s just say I’m a lot smarter then I actually am…..say a professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta. I spend my tenured days…and years..and decades…teaching 18, 19 and 20 year olds about the nuances of Parliament.  Nothing has changed since Trudeau repatriated the Constitution.  I’m bored stiff.  So last year about this time…when the Opposition Liberals and New Democrats decided they were ready to side with Seperatists to gain power…..I was ready to lend my expert opinion to the public debate. After all….this was a chance for me to actually speak to people who watched a full news cast most days…adults.

So I joined my Political Science collegues across the land declaring that there would be nothing wrong with a coalition of Liberals, New Democrats and Seperatists running Canada within weeks of the Conservatives winning a minority government. Yes…it would be unprecedented. It had never happened before and certainly it might seem odd to the lowly voter that Seperatists (whom some would call “traitors”) would have a say in running a government that they were sworn to defeat.  But…technically…it was fine. While most mature Canadians breathed a sigh of relief when Harper used proroguing to protect democracy…the poly scis…saw nothing wrong with a coalition of power hungry imbeciles.

That was a great time for political scientists. I don’t recall…ever…so many University political scientists being interviewed about their opinion on the matter. Suddenly…for each of them..all those years of studying and rote teaching had born notoriety…even a kind of fame. Here they were…spouting political theory on the local Edmonton evening news…to tens of thousands of viewers who were obviously desperatly seeking their opinion on whether such an obviously convoluted and inbred mish-mash of political gamesmanship could possibly be considered constitutional.  “No Problem, they declared…slyly aware in their own concious or unconsious hearts that such a devil’s brew would provide no end of discussion for them and their innocent high-school graduate audiences for months to come. Self-serving? You bet.

Now, the latest “scandal”. The Political Scientists are even banding together…signing petitions. They are outraged that that evil Conservative despot will be making key decisions…essentially running the whole country for three whole weeks without the wisdom provided by the genius’s who masquerade as fools during Question Period.  Yes Bob Rae…who prorogued the Ontario Legislature…and Iggy..who’s predecessor, Chretien, was the master proroger….are indignant, outraged. We’ll see.  I would love to see them take this issue to the electorate in a real test of democracy in action. They’d get their assed kicked, they’d never be able to show their faces again…except perhaps at political science lessons at U of A.