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in the same strip mall as the shopper’s drug mart of shared prosperity


 

Work commitments will leave this space static for a few days. I therefore offer up as paltry compensation my column from this week’s magazine. If you are a candidate for elected office, feel free to crib as much as you’d like.

My fellow Canadians:

Election day approaches. We have as a nation arrived at a juncture near a precipice that is located alongside a crossroads on the edge of the potential of a new horizon. So, please, watch your step.

My friends, I have been traveling our vast country to spread the message that we must bring change to Ottawa. But not just any kind of change. It must be bold change. It must be progressive change. It must be crazy change. I’m talking about change for its own sake – wild, flailing change unburdened by rational thinking.

My opponents talk about change, but what kind of change will they bring? Will it be unthought-through enough? Will they, like me, replace O Canada with Sign of the Gypsy Queen? Because I’ll do it. If it makes you vote for me I swear to God I’ll do it.

In the 21st century, we must move Canada forward, not backward. Upward, not downward. Diagonal, not perpendicular. Also, Barack Obama was on CNN talking about the world becoming more competitive. So we should probably look into that, too.

Now is not the time to retreat to the garrisons of fear or the barracks of prejudice. Now is the time to push ahead toward the huts of progress, the condominiums of hope and that huge castle of unicorns. You see the one I’m talking about? Next to the Arby’s of common purpose? Just hang a left at the forest of metaphor.

Let me say for the record that my rivals in this election are good people. They are decent Canadians who happen to require medication to combat their fetishes and chronic narcolepsy. In their defence, there is nothing in our Constitution that disqualifies a Canadian from seeking public office just because he killed a hooker.

Besides, I want this to be a campaign about the issues. I want my words to serve as eloquent testament to the power and virtue of my ideas. For more on my solemn commitment to elevating our public discourse, please visit my website. Just click on the ostrich that’s taking a leak in my rival’s ear.

My friends: this is the most important election since Canada was formed, since democracy was birthed, since prehistoric man gathered to focus-group the discovery of fire (consensus: too orange). The differences between my positions and those of my rivals are enormous and critical.

I would lower your taxes by a negligible amount. My opponents would lower your taxes by a slightly different negligible amount. I would reduce greenhouse gas emissions eventually. My opponents would reduce greenhouse gas emissions ultimately. I believe children are our future. My opponents told me they think your children are ugly and stupid. (You’re not exactly easy on the eyes yourself, they said.)

People of Canada: I come before you tonight as just a man – a humble, ordinary man wearing a sweater selected for me by a team of stylists and advisors. The sweater is powder blue: feminine enough to appeal to women 35-44, with just enough navy undertones to keep men from actively debating my sexual orientation. Got it at Banana Republic.

At this point, I would like to mention my family in a forced and obligatory manner.

I love my family. My family provides me with strength, spiritual nourishment and heartwarming anecdotes for my television commercials. Basically, I’m just a family man. In fact, I’m such a family man that one family is not enough for me. I must travel the country meeting other families, entering their homes and yards trailed by 50 reporters, pretending to find their children adorable. There may even be a family standing awkwardly behind me right now. There usually is. Hello, Wongs. What’s that? But I asked you if you needed to go before the speech, Grandma Wong. Just hold it, OK?

In conclusion, let me say: Canada is a country whose health care system defines us – as a nation with tremendous patience and a high tolerance for pain.  Canada is a country with old people in it, and they must be pandered to, often while using the word “dignity.” To them I say: you deserve to live with dignity!

From the down-home hospitality and fishing villages of the east to the open spaces and soaring mountains of the west, Canada is a land of bounteous clichéd images used by politicians to crudely evoke patriotic sentiment. Also, there are Prairies.

Canada is a great country. In fact, it’s the greatest country in the world. What I’m saying is: Portugal can suck it. Ditto Japan. Those places are holes and we all know it. Don’t even get me started on Greece.

I shall now speak French in a manner that suggests I’m merely repeating what I just said in English – when in fact I’m telling Quebecers they’re my favourites and giving away the farm.


 

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