“Shame on the Moon”

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by Peter Johnson

Greetings North Gremlins. If you are reading this on or near the 27th of this third month of the 2019, then you have gone through 86 days of the year, and there are a mere 279 left to go. We have had three ‘Super Moons’ already: January’s full moon was labelled a ‘Super Blood Moon’, February’s a ‘Super Snow Moon’, and last week’s had the interesting moniker of ‘Super Worm Moon’. Are you like me in wondering if there is a person sitting in a room somewhere coming up with terms like ‘polar vortex’, instead of cold Canadian conditions (alliteration alert)? How about anatidaephobia? The fear that somewhere in the world there is a duck watching you. Really? There was a need for this word? A good name for a pet duck might be ‘Bill’, or ‘Webster’. But I digress.

As of the time of sitting down and composing this – a time of contented digestion, compliments of a pancake supper and fine festive fellowship (not more alliterations!) at the Maplewood School – a Spring Equinox/Super Worm Full Moon Pancake Dinner no less, that was put on by the Oxford Mills Community Association – I found myself reflecting on the state of affairs in this wonderful community that we are so lucky to live in, and in this unparalleled country.

Our singularly unique Prime Minister is struggling to deal with the departures of Ms. Wilson-Raybold, Ms. Philpott, and now Ms. Celina Caesar Chavannes (do name alliterations count?) Those three super moons seem to be having a profound effect on Canadian politics. Even Lanark’s own Randy Hillier is making a change. Roiling Randy has been expulsed from the Conservative Caucus of the provincial Party. How would you feel if your behavior was judged to be so lacking that it did not measure up to the standards of Rob Ford?

Randy is not one to take being ‘expulsed’ lying down. He made public a letter listing 10 points that he took issue with – perhaps the reasons for his expulsification (I feel like Shakespeare, making up new words). I don’t have the room to list all of his grievances – I took up too much space ‘mooning’ about the Equinox – but most notable were:
a) Refused to seek permission to speak to the media; b) Refused to put the ‘party line’ ahead of the interests of his constituents; c) Refused to do a video supporting Doug Ford’s plans to use the ‘notwithstanding clause’; d) Refused to hush up about the illegal lobbying of the ‘friends’ of Doug Ford.

This was like deja vu all over again. When did we see this before? Could it have been in the regime of Stephen Harper? Under the delicate guiding hand of Mr. Harper, no sitting member of The Conservative Party of Canada was allowed to speak to the media without first getting permission from the PMO. The same is true for the provincial Conservatives? Is there a secret Conservative Manifesto that lays out the process by which all political organizations using this name must operate? Has it been formalized by Monsieur Poilievre, the life-long politico from north of the Rideau River?

What is wrong with today’s politics, when our representatives cannot talk to us until they have been censured? What is wrong with a democratic process in which the peoples’ representatives have to be loyal to the Party ahead of their loyalty to the interests of their constituents? And furthermore, what is wrong with backroom political hacks calling the shots and deciding who has to be removed from caucus, instead of the electorate? In a word? Everything.

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