Oversion

The difference between the politics of the U.S. and Canada

It’s crazy man hair thats for sure: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/peak-trump

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Sometimes National politics just gets so stupid you have to hang back a bit
and say to yourself, “but yes, there are some intelligent sensible people in the world
and they do wind up having a hand in things… just not so you’d always notice it at first.”

I’m liking having the US Primaries run simul with the Cdn election
where we’re disgusted by the 11 week campaign, instead of the usual month or so.
The Cons have had their program stuffed by an expenses scandal
that the prime minister’s office frantically tried to cover up
and finally to make go away by having a rich top aide simply pay the money back
for the guilty party then tried to force all other branches of govt to accept that.
A message shows the Prime Minister was “good to go” with the plan –
but there’s dispute as to whether he was good to go with the pay off
or just with the lying campaign to have everyone say it was something else.
In any case, it all blew out like a mine explosion and now it’s a court case
so all the fretful emails are being printed in the newspapers.
The Cons answer to this is to ignore any question about all of it
and instead answer every and any question with a flat statement
of their party line on it. They will soon attack the opposition about something
and all talk about nothing but that, hoping to kick enough dirt onto the story to keep the smell down.

While not quite Watergate or the Iran Contra affair, it is exclusively composed
of a kind of grey excrement that no one finds appealing.

American politics always seems like it about 70% doesn’t even have its
feet on the ground. Sarah Palin would be an utterly absurd Vice President for instance,
just as she would be an absurd store manager or social studies teacher,
but Ronald Reagen was just as absurd, equally so, and there are many in Congress.
Most Canadian politicians are lawyers so whatever they do they can
mop it into a dulling language and for whatever reason lawyers really are
less prone to verbal slipups when talking. I always wonder about the training
for that. Near everyone else alive does make verbal slipups at times.
But these lawyer politicians are able to say the exact same unanswering thing
literally thousands of times, despite the agro that builds up those doing the asking.
They just stare back and their lips keep moving and nothing new is transmitted.

They would seem zombified to an American audience. The American observer
of politics expects the politician to be doing something, if only seeming to,
but they have to be seeming to, and that includes when they are talking.
“You have to have a reason to be on television.” So they’ll be passionate
and exacerbative and express emotion about the topic at hand, and then
as secretly as possible do what they actually do, which is usually cover asses of donors.
I would think it more stressful to be an American politician
because you need to satisfy two very different beasts,
the big donors and the many voters. So it’s secret deals and
frenzied window dressing. It amounts to a bad influence on Canadian politics
which our current government. They’re in the pocket of barely known monied forces
with an agenda to eliminate taxes for the rich including especially corporations
and eliminate responsibility to the public except by way of preventing
the public making this difficult. Prime Minister Harper doesn’t care
about seniors in peril and poverty, or sizeable communities disadvantaged
and getting nowhere but for the most exceptional.. It’s quite Darwinian.

There’s all sorts of things neither country is able to do,
and this is why the topics never arise in their competing discourses.
It’s impossible for the government to actually cause world events
to go in a way that works out for the best all the time.
There’s no way of getting just the right balance in policing
so that the entirety of all forces are accurately respectful
and precise and non-emotive in their careful handling of all situations.
Any moreso than office workers can endure the conditions of their days
and be precisely accurate and clerks in stores. And this is what
these politicians are actually governing, and what governing is.
A whole lot of tasks, basically infinite tasks, infinite working,
to keep the world organized so everything functions at once,
just tons of working, and thats why workers should be respected
and all treated fairly, and not dispatched into peril either on the job
or in frailty or old age. And thats where the two prime combatant agendas
meet head on. Caring about people or not.

In my case many of the immense costly programs have managed
to disadvantage my own personal chequebook, under this regime, it is true,
they nearly all do, as I don’t use institutional reality well. I’d work fine
in a government office. Being born on an Air Force Base caused me to
have an a priori sense of honour and accuracy for its own sake
and the betterment of all including myself. Accuracy keeps
all the paperwork aligned, a joyous feeling so the mind is then free

Even so I seemed to have 4 errors in a 7 page computer task
on a clear day when I felt good last week, a remarkable error rate.
I remember the task well and felt very confident. As always there
were interruptions and distractions and having to attend to other things at instants
but I remember it going well. And there’s no way to investigate or backtrack
and no time, how the same thing could happen 4 times for no reason.

One reason to care is that turbulence can result from not caring.
People who wind up homeless because of unfair dealings with landlords
or bivouacced by some Revenue Canada processing error
or drummed out of economic feasibility by lawyer costs
and all the predatory exits out there, from bank fraud to
tripping on a branch in the woods. Fate can knock people down.
It’s like an accumulative conglomerate over time of
any of the headline grabbing disasters. It is the ongoing life cycle
and the food industries and alcohol and pharmaceutical industries
if taxed at a solid and reasonable rate might just pay 10% of the
cost of their recipes back. The damage to lives is vast and the
people are practically punished for being victims of it – ludicrous packaging
All part of a brutal, cynical, betrayal of the very purpose of being government:
Not power, but tasks.

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John R Barlow

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