Monday, September 08, 2008

Whither "The Worst Form Of Government (Except For All The Others)"?

I have gone out of my way to ignore the circus to the south of us, but this is becoming an increasingly difficult proposition now that McCain has moved himself out of the picture and pitted a lovely young hockey-mom against the coherent (and lovely) young black man. "Young" ... there was a time when kids couldn't trust anyone over 30. Now we can't trust anyone under 70. Are these, by any chance, the same "kids" making up the rules of the Trust Game?

The chattering classes up here guess as to why Canuckleheads are so resolutely in favor of the Democrat candidate when it is a matter of record that Republican presidents have been better for our economy. I think there are two reasons for this trait. First of all, Republicans leave the impression with the rest of the world that they are more trigger-happy than those soft-hearted, soft-headed liiiiii-brul Dems.* This matters to Canadians, not just because we're likely to follow our American neighbors on at least some of their military misadventures, but because ... well ... we took this country by force ourselves. It's only reasonable to assume that sooner or later someone is going to do unto us -- right? And who is better equipped for it than the Americans?

The second reason only became clear to me this morning, when I woke up to see that our government had called a "snap election" for this October. You don't have to look too long and hard at the candidates for Prime Minister's Office to realize that the most capable of the bunch is Stephen Harper. How pathetic is that? This guy likes short election campaigns because the less he has to explain himself the better he sounds. I sometimes wonder if most Canadian voters don't look at how sweet things have been for the province of Quebec, and secretly wish the Separatist Gilles Duceppe was running for PM.

But the truth of the matter is we want Barack Obama for Prime Minister. His youth, his brains, his skin color and ability to communicate are no impediment so far as we're concerned. The only thing keeping him from the PMO is his citizenship. So, my American readers, please consider: should you actually send the hockey mom to Washington, could you please forward Mr. Obama up this way? We need him -- now more than ever.

*Post-script: on this issue too the public record suggested otherwise -- until Iraq.


DarkoV said...

From South of the Border.
Severe depression is setting in.
What appeared to be a sure thing and what then appeared even more sure after McCain's VP choice was made has now skidded toward the impossible.
Obama/Biden may actually lose.
"Given how little vetting McCain himself has received this year — and that only 58 days remain until Nov. 4 — they just might pull (the Election) off." from Sunday's Op Ed Page by the always on target Frank Rich proves it. Mr. Rich has been on the Obama wagon for a while and his resigned last sentence is cause for a serious choke in one's outlook for November.

If McCain wins, I'll really know that my thoughts and hopes for this country are totally out of whack with my fellow Americans. Truly. Even more so than when Dubya won the last two times. How bad does it have to get here before a change, a real change, is made? I'd prefer PM Harper, on his worst day.

paul bowman said...

The foreign policy insiders I work tell me, almost to a man, that the thrust continues to be eastward from Iraq for at least another few years. And of course bringing China & Russia to heel will ultimately be part of that. So expectations are that we won't be able to be fully committed aggressors in our own hemisphere for a while yet, maybe up to a decade. I would rest easy up there a bit if I were you. (Of course, optimists see a 2010 or -11 changeover to a Palin presidency accelerating the program for total near-region dominance, but for my part it still seems too soon to get very excited about those prospects.)

: )

ジョエル said...

There have been a number of articles over here in Japan around basically the same question. Republicans are better economically for Japan, and yet Japanese intellectuals love the democratic party.
Probably some of the same conclusions for Canada holds true for Japan. With all the US military bases on the Island, Japan is in danger of getting sucked into the US military adventures, and in fact (despite their pacifist constitution) has done so in the past.

On a different note: It's amazing to me the this race is even close. Barak seems so much obviously the better candidate, and after the past 8 years, I couldn't imagine anyone voting republican.

paul bowman said...

Such a fascinating thing to watch. Obama is the better candidate in so many ways, undoubtedly -- and the better man generally in some important ways, a wonderful, indeed lovely man. And yet McCain too is something extraordinary in his own several ways. (Perhaps in large part because of the amazing figure of thriving humanity that his mother appears to be. I about fell over when I walked in, briefly, on the speech-watching, just in time to see her stand up & get introduced.)

Maybe McCain proves yet to be the better politician. Maybe the country is ready to fall in love with Barack Obama but not ready to elect him. In my conflicted gut, though I don't like McCain -- have never liked Republican candidates in my own generation's time -- I can see him in the role. -- That aside from all weighty problems of agreement & disagreement with either party.

Whisky Prajer said...

McCain is not difficult for me to envision, or even consider, as Prez; nor is Palin as Veep (how could she be any worse for the Union than Dan Quayle?). Palin as Prez, however, is a much more disturbing prospect for me than Quayle, or to use a more accurate comparison, Mrs. Clinton. I had hoped I'd be the last to admit this, but her religion alarms me. I don't know to what extent she buys into her church's world view, but her congregational participation strikes me as sincere. Frankly, W's "sincere when it suits me" approach is almost welcome in contrast.

paul bowman said...

To be quite sober about it, all these figures make me pretty nervous. To my mind each one leaves a lot to be desired, where this peculiar modern form of national & supranational headship is concerned. The politics scene does feel like a circus -- perpetually. So much power in play. So much always at stake. It seems obvious that we give too much attention to a handful of interesting, even admirable, individuals -- whom we expect to stand for something bigger than any of us really grasps.

Whisky Prajer said...

I suppose if I were fair I'd have to concede that if any of these jokers committed themselves to the ideals I wished for on their behalf we'd probably all be in a heap of trouble. Still and all, what I wish for more than anything is some sense of "plays well with others." VERY short supply, that.

paul bowman said...

This lite-ish fare from First Things yesterday is vaguely comforting.

Whisky Prajer said...

Mm. "Vague" to be sure. At the time of his commentary Strachey was at least spared the specter of global nuclear armament.

Time for me to walk around the neighborhood...

paul bowman said...

Can't help wanting to add this much of a follow-up note, that nothing I'm hearing suggests McCain proves to be the better politician even in the very crass sense. (Should admit that I'm only barely following campaign news, though.) Obama's job seems to have gotten a lot easier since the banking crash, and obviously McCain's, then, a lot harder. But you'd think somebody as seasoned as McCain would run things so as to resist this blood-in-the-water taint of desperation that now naturally (even where one allows for a lot of expected pro-Democrat bias) has the press closing in what increasingly seems to me a thinly masked excitement of derisiveness & the ordinary journalistic schadenfreude. It doesn't have me feeling bad for McCain/Palin (or good for Obama & friends for that matter). Does have me feeling a bit like we've been denied something by the politicians & other players in the spectacle again, something that would allow us all to have a little respect for the process -- not to mention some needed respect for ourselves as participants.