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Friday, April 29, 2011

Election, final week: All right, all right. A small measure of hope

Leavened, as always, by a heapin' helpin' of caution.

The polls, to the extent that they can be relied upon, continue to show a surge in the support for the NDP, to the consternation of both the traditional parties. Bay Street, apparently, is shitting its drawers. And the gutter press is all but disappearing up its own ass in a desperate attempt to make a smear stick.

Is Paul Wells onto something here? After all the contempt, all the lies, all the scandals, all the smears, all the hypocrisy, all the embarrassments, all the injuries to civil discourse, all the partisan actions undercutting the infrastructure of democratic governance, all the authoritarian signals, all the dog whistles, all the insults to the body politic and all the myriad ways Stephen Harper and his minions have combined to diminish us, does it all boil down to this?

Canadians have got their backs up because they don't like being told what to do or how to think? Is it really all about that?

Hey, whatever. If it brings that arrogant lying bastard down, I'll take it.

Give Wells credit. Corporate-media pundit he may be, but he's perceptive enough to recognize when the manufactured script isn't getting buy-in, and he's honest enough to acknowledge his role in crafting and propagating it.

Really? It all boils down to not liking people telling us what to do?

Again, one is torn. The simple straightforward explanations often have an intuitive appeal, not least for the faux-populist pleasure occasionally derived from flipping the bird at those who would argue that "it's just not that simple." And yet, honesty and reflection demand a recognition of precisely that.

If we really are on the verge of a seismic change in Canadian politics, then it's in our interest to understand how and why we've gotten to this point. We need to know what we've been doing right so that we can keep doing it. We need to know what we haven't been doing right so that we know not to do it any more. Above all, we want to be able to focus our efforts in the areas where they've been most effective.

This may all amount to a bottle of smoke, don't forget. But at the end of this long campaign of meme-crafting, narrative-bending, and bullshit-calling, let's allow ourselves a short moment of pleasure. Harper and his minions are running scared. The corporate media don't have an explanation for it. The traditional servants of power have revealed their own hypocrisy and emptiness, not to mention the essential incoherence of the narrative they've been trying to sell us, in ways we've almost never seen before.

One wants to sum up with some sterling insight, some succinct little nugget of wisdom, but we've still got a couple of days to go ...

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