"Jim Brownell's Free Picnic", the wheel-up sign proclaimed beside Highway 2. Jim is our local Liberal MPP; from the number of times I've seen him attending local events from ribbon-cutting to church suppers I can confidently reveal that the man has the ability, like Padre Pio, to appear in more than one location at once, unless he has a body double. He's been at Queen's Park for several years now, but has managed to hang on to a guileless, open face and quick smile. The waistline creep tells another story, of the stress and busy-ness of the job. Jim has done a lot of good for our struggling area, which is why, apart from being a Liberal anyway, I vote for him.
Guy Lauzon is our MP in Ottawa. The thing about having this small rural riding as your turf is that you know you're not going to rise to your feet in the House of Commons and have the attention of the world riveted upon you. You may as well devote your time to improving the lives of the ordinary people in your riding, which is what Guy does. I vote for him in the Federal Elections, though he's a Tory.
When I let slip this convoluted logic to my elder daughter she was aghast, as though I'd confessed to running a cat-house for these past few years. "Typical bloody Boomer," she sneered. "Talking Liberal and voting Conservative." She filled me in on the evils of Stephen Harper, who is not regarded as Calgary's favourite son. (Where have I been? I must have had my head in a bag.) I'd always thought he was too cozy with the US; one morning we're going to pull back the curtains and see that Lake Ontario has been piped down to Arizona, so they can squander it on artificial lakes for their golf-courses, in 45*c desert heat. Or all of BC's water has been siphoned away to fill the swimming-pools and wash the cars of Californians.
"Check out 'Security and Prosperity'" she said. "There's a whole body of negotiations going on without the public's knowledge or input."
Water is the new oil. Will the US one day be parachuting troops in to "restore peace" in Canada, seeing as we're such a terrorist threat?
Guess I'll not be voting Conservative, then.