Saturday, October 10, 2015

Casting Pearls Before Swine or My Election Day Blues

"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, 

lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."

I get one vote, just the one. I wish I had more. Then again it's hard enough to get people to turn out to the polls to cast just one vote so it's probably for the best.

I wish I could vote on issues - policies and priorities that I wanted the government to pursue. Not an exhaustive list, mind you. Maybe just the top two or three things on which I'd like the government to give a little extra attention. I'd probably put the environment and climate change first, democratic reform second and inequality third. Then again most people might go for the usual - the economy, jobs, low taxes - and my altruism would be trampled underfoot.

Okay, forget all that stuff. One vote it is. But if it is to be just the one vote shouldn't we have better candidates? Shouldn't our candidates have to take some courses, pass some tests, to prove that they're not complete dumb asses like the Born Again dumb ass who used to hold my riding? He was the guy they had in mind when they coined the phrase, "useless as tits on a boar hog."  There were a lot of his constituents who couldn't remember his name and I couldn't find anyone, no one, who could recall a single goddamned thing he did for us or our riding.

Now admittedly he snuck into Parliament as a Reformer. There was a party that openly revered ignorance. I suppose ignorance, the Old Testament and thinly veiled racism were their platform. Then, through the effluxion of time, he got laundered into a Conservative although he remained fiercely committed to being bone lazy and stupid.

Can you imagine a candidate saying, "Vote for me. I'm everything you want in a member of parliament. I'm bone lazy and I'm stupid and I promise, if you send me to Ottawa, I'll stay that way. Fuck them Liberal elites with their book learnin' and their fancy facts." I can think of a good number of MPs from Harper's caucus who could run under that slogan.  Yesterday I wrote about another guy, Mel Arnold, from the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding who's trying to join that club.

I know it's none of my business who the folks of North Okanagan-Shuswap elect to be their next MP. Only that's not quite true. You and I and every Canadian and all of our institutions and the future of our kids are going to be affected by the next honourable member for North Okanagan-Shuswap and every vote that dumb ass casts on the floor of the House of Commons.

Now Mel has cultivated the art of stupidity, elevating it to near religious status. Here's how Mel responded to a question about man-made climate change. "Until science can prove conclusively and empirically that humans are the main cause of climate change, I will withhold my personal opinion."

The truth is, Mel isn't withholding anything. He's got a personal opinion. He believes the science isn't in. He believes that anthropogenic global warming hasn't been proved to his satisfaction. I'm sure the fact that Mel's entrepreneurship runs to selling high-performance, gas guzzling speedboats that spend summer days racing from one end of Shuswap Lake to the fuel dock at the other has nothing to do with his "belief" or the magical thinking on which it rests.

I don't want to pick on Mel, not when there are so many other Mels and Ronas and Cletises in the field, but I use Mel to make a point. You wouldn't want your kids boarding a school bus if the driver wasn't licensed. You wouldn't want your brakes adjusted by a guy who couldn't tell a wrench from a ladle either.

You see, all this matters - a lot.  Right now we get by with the likes of Mel and Rona and all the other nasty, narrow-minded, bigoted dumb asses because their intellectual, spiritual and cognitive defects don't matter. They don't matter because our parties whip their votes. What they think or even if they think at all doesn't matter so long as they damn well do as they're told. And there's your problem.

We need more free votes in Parliament. They should be the rule, not the exception. We need free votes on serious matters, not just on frivolous distractions. But, to have a culture of free votes in Parliament, we need MPs of a certain standard. We need people who will make the effort to learn what they need to know to cast informed votes. We need people who understand that being a MP, casting a free vote in the House, is a solemn responsibility that can't be met by bone lazy dumb asses.

Maybe there should be SAT-type tests that have to be passed before individuals could even stand as candidates. These might embody things like the citizenship exams immigrants must pass and basic tests of reading comprehension, simple math and logic. We don't have to set the bar very high. Serving in Parliament is a learning experience unto itself. Still is it unreasonable to expect those who aspire to high office to at least have a learner's permit?


Rural said...

Oh lord Mound, how I wish I was relaxed enough to have a good rant like yourself, I try to be reasonable and restrained in my blog posts but damn its hard eh!
I see all kinds of folk are bitching about getting held up at the advanced polls due to (mostly) swearing that they are not going to attempt to vote again at the main poll and hold ups due to address changes and the like, imagine what its going to look like with a 'reformed' system (something I am all in favor of) where voters choose more than one person / candidate. If our citizens want to have a democracy they must be prepared to devote a little more time to contributing to it, a half hour or even 3 hours every 4 years does not cut it!

Anonymous said...

Lorne said...

I share your disdain for the current crop of government members, Mound; to me their greatest deficiency is their craven (and in most cases, misbegotten) hope of advancement under Herr Harper. Like the fabled good soldier, they follow orders and talking points without question, revealing each time they speak their manifest unworthiness to hold any public office.

On a side note, I voted yesterday, and if the lineup was any indicator, I would say people are ready for 'change,' or perhaps 'real change.'

Owen Gray said...

Ignorance has become a badge these days, Mound. We've forgotten Mark's Twain's admonition: "If you keep your mouth shut, people will only think you're stupid. Open it and you remove all doubt."

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Rural - my critique of would-be MPs like Mel is grounded in my serious concern about the calibre of people we're sending to Ottawa, people who will be tackling the really major problems that our children will face. These dumb asses act like we're still in the 80s. The greatest threat facing the world, including Canada, is and, for the rest of the century at least, will be climate change and they see no need to act on it. They won't learn about it. They can't be bothered and, with that, they've abrogated their responsibility to their constituents and the nation. To return to that school bus metaphor, it's akin to telling them the brakes aren't working yet they go ahead and fill it up with grade schoolers and send the driver on his way.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Lorne - I really would like to see how many of these candidates could pass an immigration/citizenship test. I'll bet there wouldn't be many.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Owen - it reminds me of the "Know Nothing" movement in the States in the mid-19th century. Not coincidentally they won the Baltimore mayoralty election through rampant voter fraud.

Toby said...

The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam

You do remember who got the Americans into Viet Nam, don't you?

Aside from that, I do wonder how people can vote for the dumbest candidate regardless of party.

Dana said...

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

Winston Churchill

the salamander said...

.. your current essay should be front page Globe, Star in Ontario along with a mainstream paper in every province & city in Canada..

Anonymous said...

..... aaaaaand here comes the part where we lose another election.

This is why the 'left' always loses.

This why people hate "the left". Because they always lose.

Because they blow their votes into a million worthless, useless idiotic little bits over piecemeal, divisive little garbage issues that don't matter.

When confronted with a government that is an actual threat - an actual. demonstrable, criminal threat - the Left fall apart into greasy little camps of dimwitted dogfuckers who try to make their issue out of haircuts, or beards, or lez/bi/tranny flavor-of-the-month, flash-in-the-pan refugee concerns; and guess what happens?

Harpo wins again. Majority. For a party that gets, what, roughly, 38 percent of the vote?

Not because the majority want that, but because we, the Left, are too motherflicking stupid to work together. Even when it really, really, really matters.

Look, broskis and systerskis, we have already failed miserably in the most important election any of us will ever see in our lifetimes (2011), and it is largely too late to go back and undo most of the things that have happened since; but listen when I beg you:


Anonymous said...

Anyong said: "Stupid is as stupid does"...from the movie.