Thursday, March 5, 2009

When the coffee kicks in

Now that the coffee has kicked in, and the reality of Curious George's Circus is sinking in, it might be useful to offer some observations about the politics:

1. Mr. Curious must really, really like Harper. In fact, DW and all the Wingnuts must, in their heart of heats, be secretly pulling for Harper to win a majority in the next federal election. With Duceppe too disciplined and too seasoned a politician to lob Harper any polling gifts, Harper must be extremely grateful to have DW and the Sunshine Band around. Stirring up the rancid pot of separatism (regardless of the fact that it's never going to actually happen) helps Harper solidify his base and extend his support with wavering voters (let's call them Harper Liberals, since they are like Reagan Democrats), who are patriotic and will respond strongly and genuinely to threats to break up with country. Not only that, but The Curious Circus will provide a shot in the arm to Harper's campaign to reform, if not abolish, the Senate.

2. Mr. Curious must really, really hate Iggy. He has placed him in the untenable situation of having to defend the indefensible. He has forced him, for the second time in the New Year, to walk an impossible line between opposing Harper and pursuing his party's interest in avoiding an election. The Curious Circus shows, at the worst possible time, the deep fractures and evident contradictions within the Liberal Party. It shows that it accepts well-paid hypocrites who trash-talk Canada without having to face actual voters to keep their jobs. It makes it appear that Iggy is a weak leader incapable of confronting the Wingnuts within his own party, let alone in the rest of the country.

3. Mr. Curious must really, really like Gilles Duceppe. He is beating the drums of separatism and generating, if only for one news cycle, national media coverage without having to be paid one Quebec dollar. Mr. Curious is doing what Gilles himself couldn't manage: showing the worst side of federal politics, exposing just how opportunistic and reckless Ottawa really is; showing how Ottawa doesn't work.

4. And, last but not least, The Curious Circus is a gift from the political gods for DW. In the short-term, it offers a convenient distraction from the real news of the Cameron Inquiry and the wave of popular anger over the fact that Wiseman remains in cabinet. In the medium-term, it offers an effective stalking horse for his favourite hobby horse, i.e., Newfoundland nationalism. Now DW can say, "No, it's not me -- it's George who wants out of Canada. I'm just organizing this anti-Canada rally and referendum because he has released the pent-up gasses of separatist angst." In the long-term, it will help DW continue to worm his way into the Liberal apple, steadily eating away at its commitment to federalism until everything has rotted away.

This brings us back to language and logic. One of the worst aspects of Wingtalk and Danspeak (usually they morph into the same thing, but they are distinct sub-species) is the way they abuse the English language. The bit in the Tely about the supposed distinction between predicting and promoting separatism would be funny if it wasn't so disturbing.

As I've commented on before, DW has a flair for conflating everyting from his haircut to his nationality; so, in light of the conflations that have been littering the media and blogs over the past 24 hours, let's point out some basic facts. Let's call it Reality 101:

1. Harper's regime ≠ (i.e., does not equal) Ottawa

2. Ottawa ≠ Canada

3. Canada ≠ Federal Funding

4. Newfoundland nationalists ≠ Majority (or even plurality) of people in NL.

5. Newfoundland ≠ Newfoundland and Labrador

6. Promoting separatism ≠ Actually holding a referendum in accordance with the Clarity Act

7. Noise and media attention ≠ Significant popular support for a referendum

8. Angering the rest of English Canada ≠ Bettering NL's position in Canada

9. Trashing Canada and the Canadian flag ≠ Supporting soldiers fighting under that flag.

10. Federal politics (dysfunctional) ≠ Canada (rated by numerous international agencies as one of the best countries, if not the best, in the world to live in).

Here is something to ponder: what the Wingnuts want, and what the Curious Circus is all about, is the bizarre notion of separating from one of the best countries on the entire planet, one of the few that is in a good position to weather the global financial storm, at the same time as other small independent nations, such as Iceland, are facing ruin.

What's the end-game? Who knows at this point, given the recklessness of the politicians involved. But, as I've said before, the countdown is on to the April Fools.

Media links update (if you have a strong stomach):

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