KNOX – Getting to the bottom of Andrew Scheer’s vestigial tail

THE DOORBELL RANG, which is never good news. Who could it be? Too early for trick or treaters. Religious zealots? Bottle drive? Oh, Lord, please don’t make me explain the empties to another smirking 10-year-old.

I bent down and shouted through the letter slot. “Who is it?”

“Home invasion!” came the reply.

“Thank goodness,” I said, swinging the door open. “I thought it was politicia…”

“We’re ba-ack!” they chanted, just like that little girl in Poltergeist. Justin, Jagmeet, Elizabeth, Maxime and Andrew, jostling on the porch like kids at an ice cream truck.

“You lied,” I accused them.

“Get used to it,” muttered one in reply, though I couldn’t tell which because they were all trying to elbow in front and out-shout one another.

“Justin has two jets!”

“Andrew has two passports! He’s a secret American!”

“Your candidates don’t believe in climate change.”

“Yours don’t believe in 9/11.”

“Trudeau has a face paint addiction.”

“The Joker called. He wants his creepy smile back.”

“Take another selfie, Sunny Ways.”

“Hey, Max, check the back door. Somebody might be trying to sneak in.”

“Elizabeth May wants to make abortion mandatory!”

“OK, now you just sound desperate.”

One of them gripped my arm and stared into my eyes with great solemnity. “Brace yourself: Andrew Scheer is not an insurance broker.”

I frowned. “What happened to affordable housing?”

They paused. “Pardon?”

“I clearly remember you all talking about affordable housing when the campaign started. Trudeau even made an announcement in a Victoria condo project.”

Trudeau scrolled back through the photos in his phone: “Jeez, he’s right.”

“And health care,” I said. “Singh was rattling on about pharmacare when he was in town last week. Promised $40 million for coastal protection, too.”

Singh nodded his assent. “And don’t forget $30 million for B.C. Ferries. I was kind of in a groove.”

May elbowed Singh in the ribs, allowed herself a little smirk: “I said I’d tax robots.” They all grinned. Scheer broke into a robot dance (or maybe he was doing Harper).

Then they relaxed, began waxing nostalgic about all the policies and promises they have unveiled so far. Student loan forgiveness. Gun reform. Ceilings on cell phone fees. Growing the carbon tax. Repealing the carbon tax. Saving the world.

Frankly, it has been hard to keep up. Even now, promises rain down like candy from a parade float. A tax on luxury cars. A federal Family Day holiday. Caps on ATM charges. Planting two billion trees. Planting 10 billion trees.

Except nothing’s really sticking, is it? No one is quite sure what this election is all about, so now it has shifted to the trivial and the distracting, the sideshows outdrawing the main stage as the leaders go after each other’s supposed flaws.

Not that we in the news media aren’t complicit. It usually goes something like this:

Trudeau at a campaign stop: “Today I would like to unveil sweeping agricultural reforms that promise prosperity to canola farmers here in Broken Dreams, Saskatchewan.”

Media: “Boring. What about Andrew Scheer’s vestigial tail?”

Trudeau: “Um, vestigial tails have no place in a free and open society.”

Newspaper headline: “Trudeau rips Scheer over hidden tail.”

Scheer: “I don’t have a vestigial tail, but you might want to check Bernier.”

NDP press release: “Typical Scheer: Deny, deny, deflect — just like that sketchy Elizabeth May.”

May: “I thought Singh was better than this. You should be disappointed in him.”

Times Colonist editorial — “Tailgate: Let’s get to the bottom of this” (the TC has some very clever headline writers).

Then a Saanich man will step forward and, while coaxed by the cameras to drop trow just enough for the photos we all want to see, tearfully declare himself devastated by Trudeau’s “tailism.”

This will force Trudeau to go on the defensive: “I misspoke. Unlike  my Conservative, Green and New Democrat opponents, my government remains fully committed to a nation in which all Canadians may display their vestigial tails. As a sign of my commitment, I promise to grow one myself, because it’s 2019.”

In a cheeky piece of programming CHEK will air Wag The Dog, a documentary on democracy in action.

Jack Knox is a born-and-raised Kamloopsian who once worked at the Kamloops Daily News. He is now a columnist with the Victoria Times Colonist. Since joining the Times Colonist in 1988, Jack has worked as a copy editor, city editor, editorial writer and editorial page editor. Prior to that he was an editor and reporter at newspapers in Campbell River, Regina and Kamloops. He won the Jack Webster Foundation’s City Mike Award for Commentator of the Year in 2015.

About Mel Rothenburger (8312 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on KNOX – Getting to the bottom of Andrew Scheer’s vestigial tail

  1. In recent memory, this campaign has shown some of the shallowness of the leadership of the parties.
    In deciding how to vote, it came down to making a list of “plus and minus” for 3 of the local candidates. One of them got 7/10, one got 4/10 and the other got 3/10. My 10 questions included some personal beliefs and past performances of the candidates regardless if they served as a MP or a MLA.
    One of my questions was whether I thought the candidate was there for personal reasons i.e. feeding an ego or for service to the public.
    It had nothing to do with gun control, the inherent right of people to have a choice in making decisions in life nor did it have anything to do with whether all the personal sacrifice by Canadians would help the climate change we are experiencing.
    7/10 isn’t too bad and I think that I can live with the choice I made on the ballot.
    Let there be some mercy and may we Thankfully have one day without election coverage.

    • I want tough on criminals but with an understanding in some cases the criminal act is just the result of poor upbringing. I want a tough environmental stand but with an understanding the present economic paradigm can’t be switched off overnight. I want helpful government without it being overly bureaucratic. I want authorities to be held accountable whether elected or not. I want things like Facebook to be a benign platform for discussion and sharing ideas not a platform for misinformation and nonsense. Which party would I want to represent me based on the few points I mentioned above? None really, then who do I vote for?

      • John Noakes // October 14, 2019 at 8:26 AM //

        Humans are imperfect. Some deliberately practise deceit but there isn’t too much we can do about that.
        Locally, there have been disappointments. Provincially, the same type of thing. Federally, it’s a sure bet.
        Maybe because my uncles endured WW2 active service in Europe do I feel I owe something to them by feeling that voting is a freedom for which they risked their lives.
        You have to make the choice yourself, Pierre, whether you wish to vote or not. Either way, it’s a decision you get to make.

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