Monday, January 5, 2015

Mockery Is All They Deserve

Crawford Kilian of The Tyee poses an interesting question/suggestion:

What If We Made 2015 the Year of Poking Fun at Conservatives?

While there is certainly no dearth of mockery emanating from the blogosphere and people like Rick Mercer, Kilian suggests that 2015 is a propitious year for Canadians to return to a time when we were known for our irreverence and refusal to defer to those who claimed to be our betters:
The first Canadian volunteers to reach Britain in the First World War soon gained a reputation as bloody-minded, disrespectful and insubordinate. Today's Canadian is defined as the kind of person who says "sorry" when you step on their foot; the Canadian of a century ago would have punched your lights out.
Kilian notes that our formerly insouciant ways extended beyond soldiers' disdain for pretentious officers to politicians themselves, and continued well into the last century:
In the midst of Trudeaumania in 1968, the great man was already being lampooned in books, opinion columns and cartoons. Journalist Stanley Burke and cartoonist Roy Peterson collaborated in the 1970s on Frog Fables and Beaver Tales and a sequel, which portrayed Pierre Trudeau as a frog -- amusing many and scandalizing none.
Nor were Conservatives granted an exemption, as
the CBC's Max Ferguson made his reputation with a sendup of John Diefenbaker's pompous, wattle-shaking speaking style. The Royal Canadian Air Farce skewered Brian Mulroney's oily good cheer, Joe Clarke's awkward laugh, and Preston Manning's Prairie whine.
The writer suggests that somehow, things gradually changed, and not for the better:
In interviews, journalists began to speak with excessive respect to prime ministers and their cabinet officers, as if the politicos were the bosses and not the servants. Mulroney, Clarke and Manning lived to become statesmen, not jokes.
One need only note the recent deferential year-end 'interview' the most reverent Peter Mansbridge conducted with Stephen Harper for an egregious illustration of that fact.

Clearly, the time has come for some widespread and much deserved disrespect, given the material the Harper regime supplies on an almost daily basis:
So Pierre Poilievre had us rolling in the aisles with: "The root cause of terrorism is terrorists." He and his Conservative colleagues have themselves become punchlines, like Paul Calandra and Dean Del Mastro.

Stephen Harper must wonder how long he can keep a straight face. For eight years he's been the guy with the boffo gags (Prorogation! StatsCan! Vic Toews! The F-35! Robocalls! Julian Fantino!) while seeing off a string of inept straight men like Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff.
Kilian concludes with this observation:
It's going to be a very solemn 2015 indeed if the NDP and Liberals (and the media) don't lighten up and start giving the ridiculous Conservatives the ridicule they deserve for running this country into the ground for the past eight years.
I suspect there are few among us who could disagree.

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