Brush with idiocy

Brush with idiocy

Joe, that's who. Charlottetown, 1979, with Valerie (left) and Stuart Hickox.

A friend invited me to a conference on campaign tactics. The two-day meeting, held in the industrial town of Hamilton, Ontario, was hosted by the Mike Harris PC Party. They also flew in a few small c conservatives from the US.

I knew I was in trouble when the other groups in the lecture hall started to spontaneously chant “Harris, Harris!” and our group leader told us she had some cool “prizes” for us: Posters from the George W. Bush campaign. When I realized my predicament, that this was no place for a Red Tory (even after travelling for 7 hours to get there) my group leader noted: “You don’t look very happy. Is there anything you want to say before we get into this session?”

“Yeah, is it a problem if I don’t like Mike Harris?” (deep and frightened gasping sound)

So I did a quick poll of my group: Alliance supporters/workers and Harris Tories. One other Federal PCer who was looking a bit pale.

I added that I didn’t respect people who bolted from the PCs out of opportunism, or who are in politics out of a preoccupation with money over a sense of community and public service. I expressed my best wishes to the group, stood up, and left. I felt a sense of euphoria I haven’t felt since I wrestled my backpack back from a group of armed thugs on the border of Syria and Lebanon. “The New Jerusalem” was playing in my head. You know, the theme from the sappy ’80s movie with Melanie Griffith when Sigourney Weaver finally gets her due…

“Let the river run.
Let all the dreamers
Wake the nation!
Come, the new Jerusalem!”

I looked back to see if the other PC was following; when I caught her gaze she looked like she was drowning, and then she slipped under – back into the group.

I wonder what kind of weekend she had.

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