April 08, 2005

Politics: Risk/Reward

I'm reading my latest bit of motorcycle porn, in this case the Robb Report. The Robb Report is an unholy combination of Cribs and People Magazine for the stupidly wealthy: don't expect any actual reporting. If they were handed shit on a stick and told it cost $450,000 they would be delighted to describe its beautiful features. Just look at the pretty pictures and you'll be fine.

In any case, one of the featured bikes this issue is a custom made by a fellah from BC that's called the Goldammer. Brilliant piece of work that is street legal while hearkening (is that a word?) back to the days of the board trackers.

Board trackers were the utterly insane folks who raced motorcycles in the first couple of decades of last century. It was on a wooden track (duh) with no helmets, no banking, no brakes (you pulled the plugs from the engine and let the bike eventually roll to a stop) and few discernable rules. Once you decided to start the race, you were stuck with that decision until the end. These tracks were uncleanable, so the oil spilling out of the engines (they were a total-loss lubrication system at the time) stayed on the tracks; riders who fell off frequently ended up with massive splinters; spectators had the occasional bike slide into the stands.

May I present these riders' polar opposite: The Conservative Party of Canada.

Bit of a jump there, wouldn't you say?

Not as much as you might think. During and after their fete in Montreal, the Conservatives were constantly describing their boundless energy, youthful vigour, and their eagerness to hold the Liberals boots to the fire as far as ethical and financial issure are concerned. Then they sat on their hands when it came time to vote on the budget. And now, despite the damning testimony being revealed from the Gomery Inquiry (which Deputy Conservative Minister MacKay calls "...a criminal conspiracy of the like never seen in this country...") they still refuse to call an election. Actually, the information isn't much worse that the Auditor Generals report from 2004, which was (and is) plenty bad but that didn't really make much of a dent in public consiousness. Trials are just sexier, reeking as they do of Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson and Scott Peterson et al.

The Plastic Man himself must be gnashing his teeth over not causing an election by opposing the budget in February. Imagine being in the middle of an election fight right now, trying to reach undecided voters, and the Gomery Inquiry gives you a great big club. But the Conservatives got deked out of their shorts by the psyche-out the Bloc Quebecois pulled on them, and they ended up looking like frat pledges at a hazing ritual, not sure if they're being laughed at or with...

The NDP has too small a number of MPs to do much (a frequent complaint - in politics, size does mean something), so they can vote for or against the 80s Porn Star or Mr. Dithers or Spooky just as much as they want and it won't make a bit of difference. The Bloc are dancing with the Conservatives for the spotlight in the only area that matters to it, and the Cons still have no clue how to approach Quebec. The Western Protest Party that was the Alliance isn't going to convince anyone in La Belle Provence to vote for them until they have at least one leader from Quebec, and that's not going to be for a while yet...

In a minority government, it falls to the official Opposition to decide when the next election will be called, and the longer they delay doing so, the more they give tacit approval to the actions of the party in power. The Conservatives are waiting for the message from their convention that they are "newly moderate" to reach the public before forcing an election. News flash, kids: it's not going to happen.

The only chance for the Concervatives ratings to go up for the next election is for them to have less attention paid to themselves, and more attention to the Liberals (or rather, to the Liberals Past). One way to do that is to bring down the sitting government over an issue, any issue.

The track is waiting, ladies and gentlemen. Start your engines, or pull the plug.


posted by Thursday at 2:23 pm


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