Democracy as war

Tabatha Southey gives thanks.

God bless Prime Minster Harper for warning us that holding an election would “screw up” Canada’s economic recovery. In part it’s the sheer eloquence of the man that sustains us: “Screw up” the economic recovery, he said, rather than, say, “Totally mess with its head.” And it helps to be reminded that one should never rush headlong to “fight” an election and that, spun properly, living in a democracy becomes a very good reason to feel put upon…

An election, Mr. Harper also said, was the “one thing” that would derail our economic recovery (putting the ball rather firmly in his court, I would say, during what could be a very nasty flu season), and the Prime Minister’s right. That last election, the election to end all elections, has depleted us. And yet, still, still, when the young people ask me, “What was it like?” I smile a little sadly and I tell them, “I’m not sure that you can ever understand, but for those of us who lived and loved in those dark days of the last election, everything else will always seem a bit colourless. Not that I would wish another generation to make the sacrifice we made. Indeed, apparently, we voted then so that they would never have to. But oh, the friendships one made! The songs we sang! The stirring works of the great electoral poets …”

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