Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Independent study project.

I am disappointed with the Liberal Party of Canada.

What bugs me most, I think, is that the lessons they need to learn are so readily available. Pop culture has more instruction on how to deal with bullies than any one person could possibly need, yet the Libs need it and are not getting it. So I have a homework assignment for every Liberal and liberal in this country.

At some point over the next few weeks or so, you are to rent the 1987 high school comedy Three O'Clock High. Take notes. Be prepared. Your final exam is on January 27. If' you're really strapped for time trying to figure out how to circumvent the democratic process and your own constitution, then you can find the plot summary on wikipedia and catch the final battle here. I'd embed it, but if you really care, you'll follow the clickthroughs. I can't spoonfeed you everything, you know. If you're interested in watching the whole thing, I think it's been partitioned and posted in its entirety on YouTube. It starts here.

The parallels are not absolute. For instance, Buddy Revell is alone, and while Big Steve doesn't seem to have any friends, he has lots of toadies. And I'll admit that the fundamental lesson in pop culture is flawed, in that the little guy rarely wins, even if he does have brass knuckles. But watch that fight and learn the following lessons:

Jerry is not alone.
His friends support him and put themselves at personal risk on his behalf. This might have been a useful lesson for you to learn several years ago, before feeding Paul Martin and Stephane Dion to the media, the public and the CPC after mortally wounding them. His girlfriend takes a hit, Jerry's friend jumps on Buddy, the authorities come to offer support, and Jerry's little sister and the principal offer advice and encouragement.

Buddy is alone.
As I said before, Big Steve does not appear to have many friends, but he does have toadies. The thing with toadies that they are not particularly loyal, and not very inclined to take a hit for the big guy. For further confirmation, check the fight scene in A Christmas Story. When the Opposition Parties told Steve to go to hell late last month, you may not have noticed that suddenly Steve looked very lonely. I saw dozens of Conservatives condemning your actions as undemocratic, craven and opportunistic, but I hear no one from the government benches say how awesome this economic statement was, and that you guys were idiots for not going for it.

The crowd was supportive.
Canadians don't want Steve in charge. Sure, around a third of us do, but most of us don't. Look at that crowd: they're on cars, hanging out of windows and standing on the roof. Everyone is cheering, none of them for Buddy. And the whole school is there: the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads, cheek by jowl, screeching for blood. There's the implication that any blood will do, but I'm not sure that's necessarily so. Everyone likes to see the bully get it.

However, remember that this is not fiction, and it takes more than simply being the good guy to win.

Stephane Dion is a good guy. A smart guy. Compassionate and passionate. He his not very articulate, but neither was Chretien. He has vision and a conscience. You guys let him burn. And as soon as Buddy was finished with him, you stood over him and started trying to figure out who was going to start managing the store.

They guy you picked, without consulting the members of the Liberal party, which strikes me as a terribly undemocratic thing to when you're actually being accused of being undemocratic, has some flaws. For one thing, he's even more "intellectual" than the guy you just roasted. He's also made a few errors in judgment. Errors which are eerily like those of the current beleaguered Prime Minister. Errors which will allow them to say, "See? He's just as bad as us. But even more smug and all "intellectual"."

That'll work.

Look at what you're doing. Chretien ruled the party like a despot, I know, and he very effectively hamstrung any pretenders to the throne. The man who succeeded him was capable, but uninspiring. You let him hang. When it came time to replace him, you chose a man who was idealistic and good natured. You let him hang. You have now appointed a man who is smart (usually), has been living in the US for a long time and comes off as smug. You have appointed a slightly more evil-seeming version of Stephen Harper. When he is trounced in the coming election, you'll let him hang, too.

I realize that messiahs are a little thin on the ground these days, but you're going to have to come up with something. You also really ought to elect them next time. You know, just to keep up appearances.

The left is not unified. If you'll recall, the Reform Borg assimilated the Tories a few years back, and we could use the Liberals to block for the rest of us. I was hoping, in fact, that this coalition would open the door to a rule change that would let some of the other guys in. Crowning Iggy has likely spiked the coalition and electoral reform.

Thanks a lot, guys.

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