Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A vote for change.....sort of

It seems to me that I am surrounded by alarmists. The Conservative party has taken a measure of power, and now many people think that we're all going to be Heiling Harper. Gay marriage is lost, all our natural resources will be handed over to the US for a pat on the head, prayer is going to be reintroduced to schools!

As an explanation to any readers outside of Canada, who might not be in the know, we just had our second election in as many years. Paul Martin's Liberal minority government fell to a vote of no confidence, triggering a new campaign. Stephen Harper's Conservative party stepped into the gap with their own minority government. Harper has made several pledges that have distressed a great many liberal voters, including putting the gay marriage decision, which was already made by the federal supreme court, up to a free vote in parliament, in the hope that the right to marry will be taken away from gay couples. This is the example that many people both in the media and among the masses are using to paint Harper as a right-wing demagogue. Of course, he's not doing much to prove that he isn't...

It's no one's fault that they believe we're doomed though, as always the propaganda machine is more powerful than truth. The Liberals clung to power by extolling the horrific evils of the Conservatives. As always, the media spun both sides of the battle into caricatures of themselves. And now so many left-wing voters ahave been led to believe the Antichrist is in power. Soon we will be the fifty-first state of America. All hail the mighty Bush.

You can stop worrying. It's not going to happen.

The Conservatives are a minority government. They can't change anything without going through the other parties in the house. the Liberals and the NDP will put forward a united front. The Blod Quebecois is something of an enigma at the moment, but with Paul Martin giving up the Liberal leadership, they may be convinced to side with the Liberals against Harper's more preposterous ideas. People are largely afraid that Harper's proposed free vote is going to eliminate gay marriage. Here is the worst case scenario: Harper gets what he wants, the House says "Gays can't marry." The Supreme Court subsequently says "Yes, they can." Nothing changes, and Harper loses support. My only concern is that he plans on fucking around the tax brackets, which may cost poor losers like me in the long run. However, I give it a couple of years until the Liberals, revitalised with new leadership, come sweeping in, and it all starts over. If Harper makes any suggestions that sound like pandering to the Bush administration, he will be met with fierce resistance, probably involving questions directed to his moral character, much likes the ones already being directed. It's more likely that Harper's government will recognize their limited power for what it is - a probationary position. The worst thing they could do now is rock the boat.

The result we got this election was the best result we could have gotten. The Liberals have been given a clear message, the Conservatives have been given a short leash, and the NDP is still not in charge. We'll be fine.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Charge of the Light Brigade - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Some one had blundered:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre-stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not,
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

In an effort to be intellectually stimulating....

Once a month, I will post a poem. These poems will not be written by me, as I prefer my dignity intact. The effort here will be to enrich the minds of anyone who happens to read this. As I understand, no one reads this blog, so at least it won't bother anyone. These poems will be chosen according to only one guideline: poems I happen to like. Poetry is often either underappreciated, or hijacked by barely literate sycophants who think a few lines of poorly assembled verse will make them the next tragic hero of the miserbale human condition. To put it bluntly, most poetry is rancid crap. I will make a point of posting poems that don't suck. If you've had some literary education in your life, there's a good chance you may have already read them. If you haven't read them, no big deal, now's your chance. Enjoy.