I can’t believe how upset I am. Couldn’t fall asleep last night. Woke up at the crack of dawn, teary. This is just bad. The conservatives got zero comeuppance. For all their arrogance and tactics they were rewarded. The result is a huge nose thumbing solely to the liberals and the BQ. I can’t even feel happy about the massive surge in the NDP. Jack and Olivia at Stornoway. All dressed up with nowhere to go.
At the end of the night I had a classic exchange with my dad, him yelling at me that this was a good thing, that Stephen Harper was a good prime minister, that this was precisely the outcome he was hoping for - strong Government, strong NDP opposition, decimated BQ. Weird, he didn’t even vote Conservative. He’d just spent 14 hours straight scrutineering for Bob Rae. I told him I thought Harper was an asshole with no respect for Democratic process.
“Look how he operated under minority conditions? How do you think he’ll do things now?” I said raising my voice because my dad always does first and I’m compelled to follow suit. I hesitated to use the word dictator but said dictatorial instead thinking perhaps a critique of the style as opposed to a direct attack on the man might be less inflammatory.
“Come on Aviva! He’s not an asshole,” my dad yelled back. He seems to think the term uncalled for and consistently gets wound up if I use it on someone he considers deserving of respect, not really understanding that that’s a matter of perspective. My father has no volume control when it comes to irritation. We were both watching TV in our respective homes, me sitting in my orange Cheetos T-shirt and my ratty orange hoodie. (Just yesterday I’d lamented the dearth of good orange items in my wardrobe. Now there is so much more to lament.) Gilles Duceppe came on CTV, to give his rejection speech.
“What an asshole!” my dad said and I laughed.
“You don’t get to call him an asshole if I get yelled at about calling Harper an asshole.” He agreed.
“It will be just fine Aviv you’ll see.” “No you’ll see Dad!” Our definitions of “just fine” are worlds apart so ultimately neither of us will “just see”.
I think I’m old enough not to need to simply prove my father wrong. I don’t need the Conservatives to behave badly, cut the services I believe are fundamental, erode the rights I now think of as the fabric of this country, just to say “See dad.”. Would I vote for them next time if they didn’t do those things? No. But if they did way less damage than I believe they will I would not be unhappy. Point is they won’t!
Then he moved on to a more important question. “So what’s happening with your writing? Are you doing anything with it?” Our definitions of “doing anything” are also very different. His means getting things published, mine means getting things written. “Are you promoting yourself?” he asks. I’m not even sure what that would look like but I know I’m a lousy self-promoter. “Look Aviv, you’re a nobody,” he says pumping up the volume once more.
“Thanks Dad!” I know what he means. We’ve been having these kinds of conversations my whole life. It’s impossible for him to get to helpful without trudging at length through critical. “I’m going to Blog,” I said. “So what,” he says. “Look Aviv you took this year off…(read - what the hell do you have to show for it?) I should be old enough not to do it but my little kid defense mechanisms always kick in. I start adding up how many pages I’ve written – hardly the point. So that’s how I spent the first few hours of a Tory majority. At 12:30am I got on facebook looking to depose my lamentations. Ended up chatting with a friend and agreed to start a new political party. Oh that pesky A.D.D. again.