Don’t Wake The Sleeping Giant

Election eve, with Canada’s immediate future to be determined tomorrow by franchises asserted by the sheep we call citizenry. Some, like me, are so sheeplike that they still don’t know who to vote for.

Tomorrow is also open-heart surgery day for my beloved father. So maybe I will skip voting this time as a sort of electoral sacrifice to the gods. We shall see.

My prediction still stands: Conservative minority, though with a margin smaller than that being predicted by the polls. And while this may look like a safe bet, do recall that I made this prediction way back when the election was first called; so no poll watcher I!

The last time Ontarians were pissed at the Liberals, they inflicted us with Mike Harris. His retarded policies are in large part responsible for much of the suffering of present day Ontario. The cut-backs in certain kinds of health care contributed to a poor response to SARS. The cut-backs in some prevention programmes contributed to the rise in some kinds of crime. The list goes on. Bob Rae’s NDP actually gave use something resembling a balanced budget; Harris and his successor gutted it in their rush toward privatization and corporate welfare.

Well, the nation is mad at the Liberals now. As a result, they may inflict us with Stephen Harper, who would have taken us to Iraq, denied gays their rights, sold off the environment piecemeal, challenged abortion rights, cut programmes for impoverished aboriginals, waste money on the unneeded expansion of our military, sign on to an unproven money-swallowing US missile defence programme, and possibly (though this part is speculation) hand over all our softwood lumber concessions just to appease the Americans.

However moderate he may appear now –and he does appear quite moderate and inoffensive– the old Stephen Harper hasn’t gone away. He’s hiding beneath that inch of makeover magic. And his party’s bloviating dinosaurs –Stockwell Day, Preston Manning and their like– haven’t gone away, either. It’s their policies which will win the day in any Conservative government. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

But what I really wanted to talk about today was how to play with toddlers. Two cute little Korean kids, aged 18 months and 4 years, live next to my parents. They consider my parents to be their grandparents, and their photos have replaced mine and my siblings’ over the mantle; that’s how absorbed they’ve become into my family.

Anyway, I was playing with them yesterday, and getting tired after a few hours of running about. So I discovered the perfect toddler game. It’s called “don’t wake the sleeping giant.” See, I go to sleep in the middle of the room, and they take turns tip-toeing past me, trying their best not to wake me. And they never do! Brilliant, I say, brilliant!