What if they threw an election . . .

and nobody came? With the turning of the season, some genetic alarm clock rings off in the limbic sub-brain of our politicos (do they even have any other structures in the space between their ears?). Fall colours, cooler nights – and we have to have an election! Yes, that’s it. As soon as their leaders give the word party honchos, like demented squirrels scrambling to pile up the acorns, go into overdrive to build up their “war chests” and pile up stacks of flyers nobody wants. Wouldn’t it be great if for once the public just told them all to take a flying leap? If the response to the call was a total non-response, i.e. a boycott. Imagine an election where the turnout was 5% - candidates, their wives/husbands, campaign staff and other hangers-on and party hacks ... and nobody else. It wouldn’t make any difference, of course, but it would at least be an appropriate symbolic gesture.

If you think about it, there are probably few things as richly irrelevant as Canadian politics. The big issues (global finance, global trade, global warming, the price of oil, the coming pandemic, etc) are beyond our control. The parties are indistinguishable apart from their self-important heads; if the Conservatives and Liberals swapped everything except their leaders and colours it would be months before anybody noticed. Jack Layton might as well be in the prison dimension with General Zod for all that the average person knows or cares. Government spending is all spoken for – debt, transfers to provinces, individuals, etc. Set in cement. There probably isn’t more than $1.3 million in discretionary funds. Let’s see, to fund the Court Challenges program, or revive NAC, or maybe something new and different, like rent a Predator to hover over Ellesmere Island for three months (standing up for Canada!) or establish a chair in family law at the University of Malawi (building the global rights culture).

And imagine the campaign. EI. Omar Khadr. Saving the auto industry in Southern Ontario. Carbon capture and storage between now and 2050. Unbelievable and unbearable. If ever there was a time for total, supine apathy, now is it. Election response: don’t watch, listen or participate. It's like feeding the baboons. It only makes them behave worse.