Metroblog

A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

27 September 2006

The Old Scout

Nope--not a rusting vehicle built by International, but Mr. Garrison Keillor, a man who has sort of hummed in the background of my life.

Keillor once broadcast A Prarie Home Companion into Canada on a regular basis. He's a genuine, folksy kind of guy; patient, tolerant, and contemplative in his outlook. Positively Republican, in fact.

He has, until lately, been fairly quiet about politics, for a writer/comedian with a multi-million-listener radio show habit to feed.

But since the appointment of the Current Occupant (a term I have used for ages and which I assume he borrowed from me--I acknowledge the compliment) he has become rather more forceful in his statements.

I was browsing back issues of his column The Old Scout when this pretty little thing popped out at me:
"You might not have always liked Republicans, but you could count on them to manage the bank. They might be lousy tippers, act snooty, talk through their noses, wear spats and splash mud on you as they race their Pierce-Arrows through the village, but you knew they could do the math. To see them produce a ninny and then follow him loyally into the swamp for five years is disconcerting, like seeing the Rolling Stones take up lite jazz."
Quite so.

I post this as bankers everywhere are taking a firmer grip on their seats to keep from running away to Mexico with their pension funds. In Canada, we already see the likely nosedive of the overheated US economy in the tea leaves, and being chained to the success or failure of the US model we wonder if it might be worth, figuratively, chewing our hands off to get free.

Basically it's a bad day for Canada when a US president relies on family debt outstripping family savings in order to prop up a programme of tax cuts for the rich, followed by billions spent in a futile and unnecessary war.

But it's also bad news when our economy looks rather sturdier, due to 15 years of sound Liberal finance policies (with the mighty exception of the Federal Sponsorship Scandal) and our dollar pokes its head above the 85ยข US mark.

So while the idea of paying off our debt is sound and responsible, one has to wonder if perhaps we might be better off using some of that surplus money in shoring up our social programs. I refer particularly to the medical system and the pension system, both of which are likely to be significantly overburdened in not too short a time.

More significantly: considering our huge surplus (a nice legacy for Harper courtesy of the previous Liberal government) why are they paying off debt by cutting programs aimed at the worst-off of all of us?

Aboriginals, women, the poor--what consistent theme can we find here?

Is it that the disposessed don't vote much?

Or is it that they don't vote Conservative?

4 Comments:

At 12:04 AM, Anonymous raincoaster said...

Well, exactly. This is also why they consistently cut education: poorly-informed, dumb people tend to vote Conservative!

 
At 3:17 PM, Blogger Metro said...

But on the other hand, so do super-rich white guys.

What a dilemma!

 
At 1:22 AM, Anonymous raincoaster said...

You're assuming those are two different groups. Cast your mind's eye over a few world leaders, wouldja?

 
At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Lydia said...

Touche' Raincoaster! Metro when I applied to upgrade my electrical guess what department I had to contact? Aboriginal and Women's Ministry!!! No guff.

 

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