Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Physics of Canadian Politics

First, a disclaimer: I Joseph Lane, know jack about physics. I avoided science's most mind-blowing discipline throughout the whole of my formal education. Physics has grown on me over the years, but to be honest, I don't understand any of it. There, just so we are clear, just so as to ward off any meandering bands of science purists. I know I am doing it wrong. I am little more than a fiddler of words. Take it easy on a fella, please.

So I was thinking, how am I going to describe what the hell is happening politically, in Canada, to a non-Canadian? How, for example, does a fella explain Contempt of Parliament, or 4 elections in 7 years? I a not convinced that the process is broken. Canada's system of government has worked fairly well for over 140 years. So what is it? Is it our fault? Have we become lazy, so underwhelmed  by it all ,that we have become almost unwilling to perform our democratic duty? Surely not! I know that I am still very much engaged in the political process. Almost obsessively so. It's not the game, or the spectators, it's the players. Canada has been let down by its political leaders, no matter their ilk.

The meandering science types are confused. The author has made a sports analogy, but where are the physics? Hold on to your electron microscopes. I am getting to it. I told you that I was a noob. I need to build up to it.

Here goes: The problem with Canadian politics is that we find ourselves in a leadership void. Our politicians are so bereft of personality and so lacking in inspired ideas, that Canada has found itself in an infinite loop (a computer term, I know, settle down) of minority governments. Despite repeated attempts to spin out of this loop, a majority government seems just as unlikely now, as it did when Stephen Harper first lost to Paul Martin  in 2004. Try as we might, it seems that Ctrl/Alt/Del-ing, or even repeated rebooting, is not gonna do a blessed thing. Nope, it's time to toss out the hole bloody machine. After this election and the debacle that will be another minority government, it will be high time, for the Canadian electorate to demand a political upgrade. The system has tried to reboot 4 times, it's broken. There needs to be a brand new option. A Canada 2.0. 

The meandering hoard of science types, now in complete facepalm, must be screaming, 'the physics, the physics, where the hell are the physics?' I am trying, be patient, Jesus! You try equating the mendacity that is Canadian politics to physics. You can't, can you? Go shine your beakers. I am doing the best I can.

The science is quite simple, really. There is a correlation between the void of leadership/sexy political ideas and the Canadian electorate's involvement in the electoral process. Nothing can exist in a black hole. The Canadian political system reached its supernova stage when Paul Martin decided that it was in his own best interest to push out Chretien and take his 'rightful' place as Canada's next Prime Minister. That was the tipping point. That's when democracy was usurped for egotistical gain and the snowball started to roll, encompassing everything in its path, until SPLAT! Here we are.   

But surely it's not all Paul Martin's fault. Of course not, he is but a tiny blip in a large, complicated chain reaction. One that might have started way back with Trudeau and Levesque (have there been any compelling leaders since those two?) The Bush years played their part. Neo-Conservativism is not an idea that is Canadian at its roots (Preston Manning, Stephen Harper, Sun News). Scandals caused by a complacent Chretien government, that had been in office far too long, also played its part. The formula is complicated, the ingredients many, but there is no denying that the finished product is barely palatable. YUCK!

The science-types scoff, 'who is he now, a chemist, or Canada's Julia Childs?' Screw you science-types! Go on over there to Ottawa and fix it, armed only with your fancy formulas and your inalienable logic. I double dog dare you. Logic, HA! It's all madness; politics is chaos theory. Similar to its cousin economics. There is a special place in hell for economists, they are little more than gamblers and storytellers, with fancy degrees. Anyone can fudge numbers.

So where are we science-types? What is the formula that explains the mess that is Canadian politics? Is it as simple as F=G([m1*m2])/D^2) (gravity). What goes up, must come down. Is Canadian politics just about to hit rock bottom? If so, then what? Would Newton's 3rd law then apply? It states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If Canadian politics is about to hit absolute bottom, would that not mean then, that its also about to reach its absolute apex? Is there hope? Could change be coming? Where have I heard that before? Hmmm...I dunno. I am as confused as the rest of you. Vote anyway. Try your best to be part of the process. Get involved. Let's talk this out. Let's be part of whatever comes next.

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