It’s Christmas time, and even Margaret Wente was feeling unusually charitable in Saturday’s column (and pretty much plagiarism free, for the time being). So if you’re hoping to get your regular dose of venom and bile from the chattering classes, you’ll have to settle for me.
I’d like to juxtapose a couple of stories from today to demonstrate the sad spectacle of Canadian democracy as it now exists. First of all, there’s the relative non-story of a First Nations chief slowly starving to death in protest that the Prime Minister and Governor-General of the country refuse to meet with her. This would seem a fairly paltry demand, but both men are reluctant to do so. Earlier this week, the Governor-General absurdly explained that he did not have the authority to meet anyone without approval from the Prime Minister.
He does not, apparently, need any such authority to write simpering nonsense in a national paper about how Canada is busy converting the heathen natives of Mexico to the wonders of adversarial common-law court systems, which, he says, are the absolutely necessary bedrock on which democracy is built. (This will no doubt come as something of a disappointment to the residents of Quebec.)
There’s still a possibility, but I really hope that Theresa Spence has second thoughts. I don’t want her to die, and it’s a safe bet that some cynical young partisan activist in the Prime Minister’s Office has already drafted a suitable speech for the occasion. (“Like all Canadians, I was shocked and saddened. But let me be clear: this government is working as hard as ever to solve the Indian problem, which was caused by the Liberals.”)
And our second story: the state broadcaster, aka the Conservative Broadcasting Corporation, has for some reason found it necessary to explain in excruciatingly painful detail the government’s plan to provide Santa Claus with a CF-18 fighter escort on his upcoming trip across Canada. The CBC isn’t the only media company to waste time on this utter propagandistic drivel, but unlike all the others, I own the CBC. So my comments are directed specifically to them.
For as long as I can remember, NORAD has “tracked” Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. But in recent years they’ve steadily upped this story. This year, it comes complete with a promotional video, a lengthy interview with one of the pilots, and specific details of Santa’s sled and flight pattern.
I know Santa occupies a special position in families where children are normally taught that they must tell the truth at all times, but at some point we’ve got to call a stop to this nonsense. There is, obviously, no CF-18 escort. There are no fighter pilots providing such an escort. At a time when the nation’s democracy is in crisis, surely we have better things to do than to trot out an increasing number of people to spread an increasingly detailed series of blatant untruths over the public airwaves. And I’m not stupid, either. This is a blatantly obvious attempt to insert the military into a jovial family celebration at a time when the military’s multi-billion-dollar plans to appropriate our taxes and spend them on unnecessary American fighter jets is front and centre in the news. Nicely played, assholes.
To add insult to injury, the military provided CBC with a graphic of the schematics of Santa’s sleigh. The graphic states that the sleigh’s emissions are classified (how can they be classified when Canada doesn’t even own the sleigh?) and its speed, which is “faster than starlight.” But not, apparently, light from other sources, which as we all remember from high school physics is much, much faster still — if it wasn’t so, why would it take so many years for light from most stars to reach our telescopes?
Apparently, CBC made a show of calling the minister’s office for comment on the planned escort mission, to which the minister responded with a poem. The only question they should have asked is how much money the military spends on this ridiculous public relations charade every year. And they should have noted that the minister’s office refused to answer that question.
I only ask because a few days ago the government released a transparently self-serving “response” to a request from its own MPs, showing that it costs as much as $150,000 to respond to a question tabled by an opposition politician in Parliament, and therefore that opposition politicians should not be permitted to ask questions of the government.
This is yet more evidence of the fantastic fiscal competence of “Canada’s responsible majority government,” I must say. The British government says that the average written response to a question costs just £164.
Merry Christmas, everyone.Tweet