Tuesday, November 13, 2007

True Grit

Well, it's official - Gerry Reid has stepped down as leader of the Liberal Party. I'm sure there is a joke in here about Mr. Negativity saying "no" to keeping his job, but since we're all conservatives now post-October 9th I'm sure you can pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and make it yourselves.

This shouldn't come as a surprising development for anyone, of course - it was painfully obvious watching the man over the past year that he didn't want the job of Opposition Leader. And who could blame him? Personally, I wouldn't want to meet the man who was eager to play the part of Judas in what is very much Danny Williams' passion play. That, and his decision to step down should have been obvious to anyone who heard his concession speech, during which his emotional display ranged somewhere between "winning the lottery" and "holding your child for the first time."

Speaking of passion plays, the Premier, in his infinite mercy and compassion, doled out praise for Reid in his performance as the Moriarty to his Holmes; apparently underneath the vendetta politics and accusations of being a totally incompetent, ineffective and useless Opposition Leader who would destroy the province if elected Premier, there were actually no hard feelings on Danny's side of things and Reid really wasn't as bad as previously depicted. If I hadn't decided at twelve that the only appropriate emotional response to my first breakup was to become cold, detached and dead inside, this display of hypocrisynon-partisan goodwill would bring a tear to my eye.

Reid's accomplishments (or lack thereof, depending on your political orientation) as Opposition Leader aside, his decision to step down is a pretty intelligent one. Personally, as alluded to, it not only allows him to be done with the thankless job of criticizing the most popular Premier since Joey, but also to finally enjoy the pension that is the raison d'etre for most of the PC backbenchers elected a month ago.

That said, the downside to Gerry Reid throwing in the towel is that this allows the rest of the old guard to step into the ring again for another shot at getting the blood money entitled to Judas. Not surprisingly, John Efford is still jumping at the opportunity for moresome public attention, and though there isn't much discussion about it in the press, Danny Dumaresque's appetite for power and glory isn't exactly a secret. I would honestly be less surprised to learn that these men are actually in the employ of the PCs to try and keep the Liberals down rather than genuinely trying to make the party work.

And therein lies the true brilliance of Gerry Reid's curtain call - say what you will about him, but he's not stupid. The "New Liberalism" theme was thrown around alot on the campaign trail, but in the end it was little more than a cheap air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror of a campaign bus reeking something fierce; Reid is fully aware of this, and is equally aware of the fact that no one in this province will want to ride the Liberal bus come next election if they try to cover that stench with a few spurts of Febreeze.

No, the only way the Liberals will get rid of that smell is to take out the trash once and for all.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

The clock was flashing 12:00 incessantly; he hadn't bothered to reprogram the time since the last time the power flickered, but it didn't stop him from instinctively looking towards it every morning. Groaning, he rolled over and sat up in his bed, only to immediately fall backwards again as a flash of pain seared just behind his eyes. Another day, and another vicious hangover. He knew it was the only way his body could communicate "CEASE AND DESIST" to him but he shrugged it off as he did any other day. Whatever doesn't kill me can only make me stronger, he thought to himself as he stood up out of bed, and wondered if that saying had ever been true for anyone in any situation.

He lurched out into the kitchen and squinted at the floor, averting his eyes from the rays of sunlight that cut through the room like blades. He flailed his arms blindly at the curtains in an attempt to get them shut, but the curtains relented until the curtain rod itself snapped in half and the whole fixture fell into the kitchen sink. He sighed, unsurprised. Abject failure was not a new sensation for him. He poured a pot of water into his coffee machine, and tore another page off his 365 DAYS OF GARFIELD calender. November ninth.

Had it really been a month? The fruition of a month of seeing the city dyed in blue with the occasional red or orange highlight, CBC's news anchors feigning surprise when announcing the Tory majority after 20 minutes, the happiest speech of Gerry Reid's career as Liberal leader, the coronation of the new Caesar in the Fairmont's open bar, all of that happened a month ago? That night seemed to have happened in both the immediate past and some ancient, primordial memory only dimly recalled when smelling homemade bread or that perfume your highschool sweetheart used to wear. He raised a cup of black coffee to his lips and sighed again, thinking
yes, that certainly was an election all right.

He walked into the living room and looked over to the corner at his computer, its hard drive whining at him under the strain of a thousand different trojans and spyware programs because he refused to upgrade from Windows 98. Slurping loudly on his coffee, his thoughts returned to his neglected corner of cyberspace, buried under the weight of a thousand documents that needed immediate attention and an overpowering sense of political nihilism. What was the point? Luther could nail
95 Theses of Local Politics to the doors of the Confederation Building and it wouldn't make a lick of difference to anyone except that he'd be blacklisted from working in the civil service; an unread blog certainly wouldn't fare any better, even if time and workload permitted it.

He shrugged the thought off and sat down in front of his computer and cracked his knuckles.
Might as well get some work done, then. As he opened up his inbox to check for new email, he noticed an advertisement at the top of the page and immediately spit out his coffee. He blinked and rubbed his eyes. No, it was real. He leaned back in his chair and raised an eyebrow contemplatively.

He thought for a moment at the inanity of it all, and took another sip of coffee.
You know, he thought, maybe there is a need for Richard Raleigh after all.