I can't quite shake the feeling that if I don't engage in last night's Leader's Debate, I'm not engaging in my country's political culture. But really, what was there for a viewer to engage in? The three stooges in Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition leveled their accusations against the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister serenely shrugged and said, They're wrong. I gave 'em exactly what they asked for, but they just want to call another election. Those three sad souls, oh me oh my, could only gawp in disbelief and repeat platforms that haven't exactly been selling themselves.
Any elementary school teacher could tell you exactly what's going on here. There isn't a classroom that isn't blessed with the presence of one smug, supercilious little prick (equal opportunists should feel free to substitute the female anatomical counterpart) who wheedles and whines, bullies and cajoles, threatens and presumes, pokes, pinches and gropes anyone of either gender within reach, and in general behaves execrably — in the playground. Back in class, should one of the victims be foolish enough to raise the issue with the teacher, said cretin will don the most innocent look imaginable, and say the same thing over and over again: that's not at all what happened. If you'll just review the facts, you'll see that I'm the one being put-upon here. It's just that nobody likes me because I'm the only one in class who's nice all the time. Everyone in the classroom, including the teacher, wants to string this kid up from the highest limb. At the end of the day, however, most will just give this stinker a very wide berth and manufacture what fun they can from the classroom resources he can't be bothered with.
If there's a weakness in my metaphor, it's in portraying the Opposition as victims. Although there were moments when I felt some pity toward the physically infirm Jack Layton, for the most part the only thing these jokers fell victim to was their incapacity to engage — the Prime Minister and his pathological evasions, or the voters and their very real desire not to let any one of these asshats call all the shots on Parliament Hill. If we have to deal with the people we're given, then we'll accept a minority government, thank you.
But we never want to see the “Who? Me?” kid get his way.