Signposts

There is nothing new under the sun. Somebody said that, anyway. I was thinking of that expression the other day, because Ontario goes to the polls in just two days. And that led my thinking to another famous axiom, by Hippocrates: Do thy patient no harm.
So what the hell is going on here, old man ?
Politicians have been insulting each other up ever since one australopithecus hominid held up a coconut and said that it reminded him of his rival’s brain. Really, as far as that goes, we haven’t progressed too far up the evolutionary ladder. And did the new guy, who probably bashed in his rival’s head with said coconut, provide any better leadership ? The historical record just depends on whose memoirs the tribal historian got a hold of and published as his thesis at old Precambrian U.
Which brings us to June 12, 2014 in the province of Ontario. Who to vote for ?. I’ll admit that I am a small, selfish and self-serving man. Having made my living at the public trough for the past thirty one years, and now dining out on the Cadillac of public pensions, I have never, and will never, vote Conservative. It makes about as much sense as a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. Tim Hudak saying that he will improve the economy by cutting one hundred thousand jobs seems to me like the Romans saying they are only trying to help out their conquered enemies, the Carthaginians, by first salting all of their fields.
So sorry, Tim, but I’m not voting for someone who not only will spear me in the solar plexus, but promises that it will be the first thing he will do. I like Kathleen Wynne, she seems like that patient, sincere, hard-working and well-intentioned teacher that I wish I had in Grade Four, but never did. I know you are not to blame for wasting over a billion dollars of tax-payers’ money just so that you could try to win a majority government, but Kathleen, you might have been in the room while the heist was being planned. And as for your party’s big accomplishment; the improvement in high school students’ graduation rates ? Sorry, Kathleen. I know that’s only because your administration made it impossible to fail anyone in a high school class, even if they couldn’t spell CAT without spotting them the C and the T. It’s hard to scam someone when they were in the room while the plot was being hatched.
So that leaves me with, realistically, the New Democratic Party. I know…I know. I haven’t voted for the ‘socialists’ since my naïve student days when I thought they would provide me with peaches and cream every night. And they didn’t exactly cover themselves with glory in those early years of the 1990s when they swamped the province with debt. But as a teacher, they did provide me with a good living. And before I pay off the deficit I have to feed my family.
Jennifer MacKenzie, their candidate for Ottawa Centre, came by my house last night. She could see by the voters’ list that we have four possible votes under one roof. I told her what I thought; she agreed with me ! Imagine that ! Because she is such an intelligent woman I allowed her to put an NDP sign on my lawn, the first time in my life I’ve gone public with my vote. The only other Jennifer MacKenzie poster belongs to my next door neighbour, a man who has invited in two street people, a crackhead and an alcoholic, to live with him in the past four years with, ahem, rather mixed results. This man is already in deep trouble with his neighbours for, shall we say, compromising the neighbourhood. Maybe the villagers will also now be at my house with their pickaxes and sharp-edged spades, ordering us out of the neighbourhood.
But as Hippocrates warned his brethren thousands of years ago, the Number One priority of any physician is, if you can’t help the poor devil, at least don’t harm him any further. And as the case currently stands, that’s all I look for in my elected officials as well.

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