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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A night of magic

What a night it was. After weeks of wrangling, it all came down to a handful of hours while the ballots were cast, tallied, tabulated, and presented. We all bore witness to many upsets.
Somehow Harper (as one clever wag of my acquaintance dubbed him: one of the lizards from “V”) was granted a majority mandate. This will be interesting on many levels, as he ruled us all like some Old World king, minus the crown, when he had a minority government. What will he do now that he has the House in his iron fist? Still, he deserves to be applauded for his victory (or else he might come and get me).
More surprisingly, the NDP made official opposition status. Good for you Jack! It’s been a long time coming. For both of you that read my blog, you’ll remember that I never thought I would live to see the day. But he convinced Quebec to give him a chance, and it paid off.
The Liberals went down in flames. So did the Bloc. For my entire adult life, the Bloc has been a force in national politics. I am very curious to see how their absence changes things, if at all. And our persistent friends in the Green party finally managed to make it official. It’ll be lonely in the House for Elizabeth May, but I’m sure she’ll make her voice heard.
In an evening of thrills and spills, joys and disappointments, there was one thing that stood out among it all. By far the most disturbing and harrowing scene of the night, it haunted me every time it showed its ugly head. For those who watched The National, you already know what I’m about to say.
Whenever they displayed party standings, they showed us pictures of the party leaders in little rectangular borders. Instead of still shots, though, the leaders were moving. They had filmed each one smiling and blinking and shifting for maybe fifteen seconds, and then endlessly looped the footage. It was creepy, like some ersatz-life had been given to these tiny little playing card homunculi. If you’ve seen the Harry Potter movies, it was exactly like the paintings in Hogwarts, the ones that move and chat and annoy. Definitely an odd choice, and one I hope they do not repeat in five years.
Ironically, the playing card Harper looked more alive than the actual one. Go figure.

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