Joe Where?

A client’s comment today on the sponsorship scandal said it all: “So what can we do? It’s not like we have a choice.”

Maybe Stephen Harper looks so sour because he’s smart enough to know that his recent surge in popularity has nothing to do with what he says, what he believes, or how hard he works. But he also knows that nothing could unite Canadians better than an election that kicks out a government. Joe Clark first said this. He of all people should know. The depressing thing is that The Rt. Hon. Mr. Clark was referring to something that happened almost 30 years ago. I first met Joe in 1980, as he was on his way through Charlottetown en route to defeat. It was a meeting that framed my political viewpoint for two decades. Only lately has it occurred that waiting for a new Joe (or Pierre) is a fruitless and irresponsible exercise. My client said as much: “We need someone to come out of nowhere to lead us.” Out of nowhere indeed.

I’m a typical Canadian. I’m mad about the sponsorship scandal, but it doesn’t eclipse my disgust at a political system that perpetuates and elevates mediocrity. It’s been a long time since someone patted my head and inspired me to follow.

I’m nearly 40. Joe is drawing a pension. My generation is oddly absent from the political scene — unless you count Jason Kenney (give me a break). I should do something, but I’ll probably just bitch here because party politics turns me off. Maybe that too is what the pragmatic bastards want.

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