All posts by Anna Davey

Known for her distinctive colouring and reclusive habits, the wild A. Davey is a species well-adapted to urban environments. A prolific breeder, this species subsists mainly on pho, gin and the internet.

An Analogy For Understanding Violent Protest In Baltimore

Let’s say you live in an apartment building, and the only way to buy groceries was to order them and have them delivered to your apartment.

Everyone is told “To place your order, simply call this toll free number, state your name, address, and what you want to purchase.” The cost of the groceries is automatically withdrawn from your bank account, and then the groceries are delivered.

For the people living in apartments ending in the numbers 1-3, this is exactly what happens, almost 100% of the time. On the very rare occasions the groceries don’t arrive, the customer service department at the grocery delivery service is tremendously apologetic, and goes out of its way to make amends.

For people living in apartments ending in the numbers 4-6, they figure out that if they want their groceries delivered, not only do they have to call the toll-free number and place their order, they also have to make sure they’re standing outside the building when the delivery arrives and carry the food up to their apartment themselves. And maybe, sometimes, the food just doesn’t arrive because the delivery service forgets about them, and they have a hungry day. Complaining to customer service usually gets them a half-hearted apology and maybe, on a good day, a $5 credit toward their next order.

For people living in apartments ending in the numbers 7-9, they learn that it’s not enough to call and place their order. They have to dial a secret number that is never publicized and is often changing, compliment the person taking their order in exactly the right way (without ever being sure what will be appropriate from one day to the next), sing the first two verses of “Happy Together,” pay double for their groceries, and wait all day in precisely the spot the delivery truck will come to a stop at, and have their groceries thrown, unbagged, onto the ground in front of them. If the delivery van shows up at all, because it often doesn’t. In fact, it doesn’t bother to deliver the groceries so often, people in apartments 7-9 are starving to death. There’s no point in calling customer service because they’ll be blamed for their complaint, no matter what it is.

For people living in apartments ending in the number 0, they don’t even bother ordering groceries. They have such good relationships with the owners of the grocery delivery service that they know food is going to show up and be hand-delivered to their door without them having to do anything. There’s no such thing as a missed delivery, and if they have a problem with their order, they call the owners of the grocery delivery service personally, who will often fire the delivery driver that day as punishment.

Now, if some of the people living in apartments ending in the numbers 7-9 woke up one morning and said “You know, my parents lived in this building, and my grandparents, and my great-grandparents, and people have been starving here for a long time. I can’t take this anymore,” and then went outside and hijacked a delivery van and drove it straight through the doors of the grocery warehouse, would anybody be surprised?

A Year Without Politics – Month 1

Just after 9am on October 1st, I sat down at my computer, left every political group I was a member of, unfollowed every political page I was a fan of (except PRS, because I write here), and hid every political post in my newsfeed posted in the previous 12 hours. I ended up hiding 16 posts, including almost every post made by one of my favourite people… and the bulk of those 12 hours were overnight.

I found myself questioning what constituted “political” an awful lot. This study that shows children who grow up on dairy farms have 1/10th the risk of developing allergies is basically just science, but the underlying issues of how and where we live is political. This post about how we should just teach kids that sex is about pleasure is a parenting concern, but attitudes toward sexual education have political ties.

There are political overtones to articles about parenting as a member of Generation X, articles about Ebola, articles about food. Where does the line get drawn? Eventually I decided that if someone without a lot of political awareness wouldn’t consider the political ties to a subject, it could probably stay. But man, my news feed was boring. Quizzes, petty complaints, videos of funny cats, and knitting patterns.

Unsure of what to read, or where to read it, I turned to Buzzfeed. But even Buzzfeed was a political landmine. A sampling of the front page headlines brought:

  • Hong Kong Walk to Freedom
  • 16 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the Way Business is done in the ARab world
  • Coming Thursday: When Battered women are treated as criminals
  • Russia Suspends U.S. Exchange Program, Claiming Student Was llegally Adopted By Same-Sex Couple
  • Facebook Requires LGBT People To Use Real Names Even In Countries Where Homosexuality Is A Crime
  • Nation’s Largest Teachers Union Plans To Spend More Than $40 Million In 2014
  • Mayor Of L.A. Suburb Fatally Shot By Wife, Officials Say
  • FCC Considering Whether To Ban Broadcasters From Using “Redskins”
  • Lawmakers Urge Obama To Include LGBT Protections In Immigration Executive Action
  • This One Photo Perfectly Sums Up Why Climate Change Is Real
  • The “totally ridiculous” Romney Boomlet
  • 17 Celebrities Who have the right idea about feminism
  • David Cameron Just got called evil in a rather unfortunate tweet

After the first few rough days, I started to gain an awareness of how futile it was to try to feign political ignorance. It was like trying to pretend I didn’t know where the streets in my neighbourhood went. Politics are as much a feature of my mental landscape as the streets are of my physical landscape. The only thing I could do was try to keep my head down and hope nobody asked me for directions.

That didn’t work, by the way.

With a municipal election looming for most of the month, it seemed impossible to avoid political discussions, especially when my children asked me questions like “Why is Dad voting for that candidate?” A lawn sign supporting a candidate for city council that went up before my political abstention started just raised more questions. “Why do we have a sign for him on our front lawn? Why do you like him?”

Well, because he represents a change in political culture that I’ve been waiting a long time to see in this city. Because he’s been fighting for this ward on his own time for years. Because he’s kind of a friend of mine, because when you’re politically active, you’re kind of friends with everyone who is politically active in this city.

Which is another problem in and of itself. To divorce myself from politics is to divorce myself from my entire social circle.  I get invited to voter engagement brainstorming meetings (because a 34% turnout is bullshit and everybody knows it), and I accept because why wouldn’t I? Not only am I interested, but all my friends are going and it’s a cheap morning out. I get invited to educational workshops about urban planning and modes of transit, and I accept because knowledge is beautiful and all my friends are going. I have coffee with friends and we talk politics. I stand around on the playground after school and my friends are talking politics. I screw around on the computer after my children are in bed and my friends are talking politics on Facebook, and my husband is talking politics with his mouth.

I thought this whole political vacation was going to be easy, because all I had to do was stop doing something. It turns out that the inertia of decades of political awareness and activism makes just stopping almost impossible.

Let’s see what November brings.

A Year Without Politics

From October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, I will be abstaining from politics.


Those who know me are probably wondering if they should be dragging me to the nearest emergency room and demanding expensive brain scans. Those who don’t are probably just confused as to why I would bother in the first place.


I don’t have a great answer, except to say that I am curious as to how a lack of personal awareness shapes our lives. We all know people who live in a political void. They don’t vote, they don’t discuss politics, they don’t understand how the political process works. I find it fascinating, and I want to understand how people live, think, and act, when the vast political system is something they don’t feel they have any interaction with.


For the next year, I will be abstaining from municipal, provincial, federal, and international political news (and discussions thereof), voting, protesting, petition signing, letter writing, speaking to my city councillor, MPP, and MP, and all those other little things that make up a vibrant, politically active life. In areas where some politics are unavoidable (you really can’t be an active public school volunteer without some politics being brought up), I intend to divert my efforts to concrete actions, such as volunteering with the school’s nutrition program, bake sales, and so forth. I will post monthly updates chronicling my adventures in apolitical living.

Well, that’s the goal.

In the last two days, I’ve accidentally discussed politics twice (once regarding school board politics, once regarding the upcoming municipal election), volunteered to research school board and city policy regarding improvements to our school grounds, and received a phone call reminding that I had previously committed to volunteering next week for my municipal ward representative of choice’s campaign. It has invariably taken me hours to realize I have broken the terms of my own challenge, which leaves me a little uneasy about the long-term success of this project.


Lesson of the first two days? I just don’t know how to shut up.


Questions Left Unanswered By McGuinty’s Resignation

At this point, it’s hardly news that Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, has resigned. His resignation may have come as a surprise, both to party members and Ontarians at large, but now, more than 24 hours after the announcement, it’s nothing more than a fact of life. The real interest lies in trying to determine why he resigned, and what his future holds.

Liberal insiders, Warren Kinsella most notable among them, suggest he might be ready to campaign for federal party leadership. What’s more, there are suggestions he might win.

Others ponder the timing of his exit, suggesting that the prorogation of parliament, combined with the scandal of canceled power plants, might hint at a larger disgrace to come.

In the absence of new information, it’s impossible to tell what direction McGuinty’s winds are blowing in. But there are a number of questions that are useful, and possibly even necessary, to ask. Questions such as:

* Why is he insisting cabinet ministers resign from the cabinets if they want to run for party leadership? The official reasoning is that it is too demanding to run a cabinet and campaign for leadership, and that contenders need to commit themselves to the campaign. But in a minority government, why would McGuinty endanger the operations of the party’s cabinets?

* Why was the email sent out to party members, announcing McGuinty’s resignation, so poorly written? It’s very easy to believe the Premier himself authored it. Why would an announcement of so important a change in the party not be directed through their Media Office?

* Why did the Premier end his press conference yesterday so abruptly, and why did he choose to do so when questions turned the current gas-plant scandal?

* Why is he suddenly concerned about renewing leadership within the party now, and not last year when the Liberals were seeking re-election?

* Why is he committed to leading the party until a new leader is elected? Why is he not appointing an interim leader? Why is he resigning as party leader, but apparently still intending to act as MPP for his riding? Will a by-election occur after a new party leader has been elected?

Hard answers to these questions might never be forthcoming. Ontarians might never learn what prompted their Premier of nine years to announce his resignation out of the blue. But the questions are still worth asking, and might shed some light on the future of Ontario’s political landscape.

Dear Jack

Dear Jack,

It’s 2012. Do you know where your children are?

They’re wondering why our Prime Minister would cut the funding for the science he claims will determine the future of the Northern Gateway pipeline, a project that a significant portion of the population opposes.

They’re in the streets in Montreal and the rest of Quebec, protesting fee hikes that would signify the end of affordable post-secondary education in the province.

They are bickering about whether it is important for your family to disclose the specific cancer that killed you, in the ostensible name of the public’s right to know the health concerns of their leaders.

They’re discussing Mulcair’s style of leadership, whether he’s taking the NDP in the right direction, whether the gains in Quebec are worth the shift toward aggressive, divisive politics.

They’re criticizing Harper’s decision to buy largely untested F-35 fighter jets.

They’re writing letters to you.

And as for me, Jack?

I’m remembering lots of things. Speeches, public appearences, campaigns, political coups. But mostly, I’m remembering a cold, wet night in 2003, standing outside a coffee shop, when a diminuitve woman I barely knew ran up to me, hugged me, and sobbed with relief and delight. “We got him! We got Jack!”

It’s 2012, and I know where my children are. (Two sleeping upstairs, one sleeping over at her best friend’s house next door, one chirpily refusing to contemplate sleep at all.) And I’m thinking about the Canada that I want to leave them, and I’m realizing it’s your Canada.

A Canada of love.
And hope.
And optimism.
A Canada that can change the world.

Casseroles Night in Canada

It’s the evening. It’s 8pm. Dinner has been cleared away, the children have finished their homework. What is a family to do?

Take to the streets, of course.

Pots and wooden spoons in hand, the family all gathers in the street. They exchange pleasant conversation with their neighbours, who are carrying a colander and a tiny pan designed for frying a single egg.

They walk down the street, encouraging the children to make as much noise as possible. They meet up with other neighbours, with people from the surrounding streets, taking over the roads and joyfully raising their voices to protest the actions their government is taking. “On s’en calisse de loi speciale!” they chant, giggling self-consciously as their tongues stumble over a language they haven’t spoken since high school.

They’ve been doing this every night for a few days now, and every night they notice there are more and more people in the street, making more and more noise. They’ve spent their days reading about Loi 78, about the manifencours, about the erosion of civil liberties in Quebec. They’ve met people on the street who are as angered by the Gateway Pipeline as they are, or Bill C-38, or the gutting of the CBC. They’ve made connections to people who are fighting for issues they care about, and they’ve started to think about what actions they could take to affect change.

They’ve heard they’re not the only ones doing this. They’ve heard that people from Kelowna to London are in the streets come 8pm, and that more cities are joining in every night. They’ve even heard that Stephen Harper is worried about the demonstrations.

They’re part of a national movement to take back their country, and they feel proud.

While the above might sound like a piece of fiction, I prefer to think of it as prognostication. The manifencours in Quebec have proven that protest works. Public support for tuition increases has dropped 41%, and support for Loi 78 has dropped 36%.

Enter Casseroles Night in Canada and #MapleSpread, movements that aim to take the protests from the streets of Montreal and help them take root all across the country. Far from just wanting to show solidarity to striking students, they are movements aimed at mobilizing Canadians to stand up against a government working against Canada’s best interests.

Getting involved is easy. All it requires is communication, determination and some household goods. There are more arduous ways to change the world.

Pride for the Maple Spring

I know it’s such an Alan Moore thing to say, but people shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.

We should be proud of students in Quebec for rejecting Charest’s offer.

Here’s what I find interesting as a parent: We often strive to teach our children discernment. We try to instill in them the understanding that they don’t have to accept the first offer that someone makes them, that they should examine whether an offer meets their needs, whether the other party has another agenda, whether an offer would give them short-term gain to their long-term detriment, etc. It seems to be generally accepted that discernment is a fairly mature reasoning process, which might be why so much emphasis is placed teaching it.

So now, we have thousands upon thousands of students who are utilizing those discernment skills to understand and reject an offer that does not serve their needs. Not only are they utilizing their discernment, they’re doing all sorts of other wonderful things we generally try to teach out children.

* They’re doing the right thing, not the easy thing. They’re sacrificing their academic year to see that this conflict comes to a just conclusion.
* They’re advocating for those who can’t advocate for themselves. This isn’t just about tuition fees this year, or next year, or five years from now. It’s also about the precedent this sets for the way tuition fees are regarded in the future.
* They’ve organized themselves quite enviably. Every parent who has ever despaired of their child’s scattershot approach to organization should be able to appreciate this.

And those parents, those thousands upon thousands of parents who have clearly taught their children well, are probably telling those kids to get back to school and complaining to co-workers about what spoiled assholes those students are. The media, the government, the experts… it seems that everyone is decrying the student strike as immature, despite the fact that the striking students are clearly demonstrating mature reasoning faculties.

What’s the problem? Jealous? Give your kids a hug and give yourselves a pat on the back for doing a good job. Be proud of your kids. Be proud of yourselves. Jesus Christ.

Weekend With the NDP


Mornings are sub-optimal for me. Mornings that begin at 5:30 are even less functional. Nevertheless, I found myself waking up at a time I think is more sensibly reserved for going to bed. After dressing, re-packing (after developing a sudden mania to fit everything I would need into only my purse and camera bag) and having a brief (extended) cry about not wanting to leave the baby for two days, I was out the door. I was resolute. There was journalism to be had.

My trip from home to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre was a caffeinated one. Many of the notes I took during the journey comment on both the quantity and quality of the coffee I was drinking, including an especially poignant and profane comment about the lack of cup holders on the GO bus.

Registration was a smooth affair, complicated only by me not seeing the media registration desk (twice) and trying to register at the wrong place (twice). I cannot fault the NDP for this, as the media registration desk was far from hidden. I did mention I don’t function well in the mornings.

One of the NDP staff was kind enough to show me to what the convention organizers called “the blogosphere”. In reality, this consisted of a round riser with some tables and power bars, and a crescent of monitors hanging above it to display tweets about the convention. Despite my frequent references to it as “the bloggers’ ghetto”, it really was a nice enough setup. The power bars were ample, the tables were sturdy and it was probably a wise idea to segregate the bloggers from the Monied Media, as we were by far more garrulous with our colleagues.

The NDP took us all seriously, even if some of us were writing for blogs and sites they had never heard of. We had full access to everything happening at the convention, including access to the leadership hopefuls. Where the CBC could go, so could Politics Re-Spun. Of course, I didn’t have quite the pull as Evan Solomon did, nor did I have sufficient height to attract attention in a scrum. Still, it was a heady experience to be taken seriously as a member of the media.

Friday’s atmosphere was noisy, enthusiastic and at times, borderline desperate. Everywhere you turned, there were clumps of supporters exhorting you to pay attention to their candidate. Campaign rooms ringed the upper level of the convention, booths occupying the middle. Sadly (for me, at least) none of the booths offered concessions of any sort. Cotton candy would have been an excellent complement to the carnival atmosphere.

Campaign rooms were very obvious reflections of the campaigns themselves. Singh’s and Ashton’s rooms were quite bare-bones, although Ashton’s room had pastries and dishes of candies. She also had a media rep available to talk to me, while Singh did not. I cannot fault him for that, though, as he had very few people on the ground at all. Cullen’s campaign room was informal and energetic, and his media rep was by far the most accessible, going so far as to give me her cell phone number so I could call or text with any spur of the moment questions. I never actually saw the inside of Dewar’s campaign room, having been intercepted at the door and passed off to his media rep, who was in the hallway outside the room. I thought the campaign was striking a weird note when Dewar’s rep promised me there would be a hip-hop tribute to Jack Layton in Dewar’s showcase. Nash’s room was high-energy (I must say, also, that she had the nicest-looking swag – those t-shirts were fantastic), but focused. Topp’s campaign manager, Raymond Guardia, took the time to speak to me, which seemed to be a reflection of how earnest Topp’s campaign really was. Guardia was also the most reflective, offering the greatest amount of insight into how the entire leadership race was proceeding. And, perhaps most tellingly of all, Mulcair’s campaign room was slightly inhospitable, and contained no one that could speak to me.

The energy on the floor was huge, and delegates supporting their candidate stood in clumps at every turn. Nash’s supporters, in particular, were out in force. I could tell whenever I was within 2 floors of them, simply from the sheer volume of their chanting and cheering. They were also the best mobilized, right down to the flash mob Nash’s campaign organized.

The energy during the opening ceremonies was huge. It was like everyone in the crowd was giddy. In all honesty, they probably were. Up until the opening ceremonies only staff and media had been allowed into the hall, with delegates contained in the frenetic upper levels. Nycole Turmel received a fantastic response to her speech. Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario NDP, also received a lot of love from the crowd. The feeling on the floor was one of excitement, anticipating and joy.

The showcases were fairly well received on a universal level, although specific response was hit or miss.

Cullen’s decision to walk onstage and start talking, free of gimmickry, probably had the most polarized response among delegates. Some loved it, some thought his speech was awful. There seemed to be no middle ground.

Dewar’s foray into urban music was an awkward flop. Another flop was the moment he announced he had “shooken” hands with thousands.

Topp’s showcase featured a lot of messaging about him being “ready” to take on party leadership, emphasis on ascendancy. His supporters were the first to crowd the stage. Topp wasn’t begging for votes. He knew he was a strong candidate, and delivered his message efficiently and confidently.

I wish I could report more on how Ashton’s showcase was received, but I spent most of it conducting an interview with Andrea Horwath. The parts of Ashton’s speech that I did hear were catchy, well-written and masterfully delivered.

Mulcair’s showcase was… special. From the drummers that preceded him every time he entered or left the hall (and the source of many amusing “war drums” jokes on Twitter), to his rushed speech, the impression he gave was less “future national leader” than it was “arrogant” or possibly “baffling”.

Nash’s showcase was easily the shrewdest. The 18 million introductions (or possibly it was seven) were a bit much, but anything featuring Alexa McDonough is tolerable. Nash entered to Florence + the Machine’s Dog Days Are Over, which was a sly nod to the University of Guelph’s vote mob campaign. Her speech also ran past her allotted 20 minutes, which found her standing her ground and shouting her closing remarks over her outro music as they tried to play her off the stage. If that wasn’t a deliberate move to reinforce her “tenacious fighter” brand, I will eat any hat of your choosing.

Singh really surprised everyone at the convention by starting his showcase with an animated video explaining his family’s history in Canada, as well as his own personal history. It was a very likeable move. It touched briefly on his key policy platforms, explained why he was different from other candidates and generally made for a refreshing change of pace. He also had his son play the fiddle onstage, which was endearing. I wish I had more to say about Singh’s showcase, but it was utterly forgettable once he started speaking. It was a weak ending to the candidate showcase portion of the convention.

Voting happened, people ate dinner, and it became time for the tribute to Jack Layton. T-shirts were handed out by volunteers to those entering the convention hall, and by the time the delegates were seated it was a sea of white and orange. “I am the Layton legacy” on the front, “Je suis la releve de Jack” on the back. Shawn Atleo gave a typically terrific speech, in which he reminisced about Layton’s ability to simply listen. Humorous clips of Layton on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Rick Mercer Report and Infoman were shown. Mike and Sarah Layton remembered their father with poignancy. Clips of Layton discussing his beloved granddaughter, Beatrice, and the sort of world he wanted her to grow up in, were played. Turmel spoke lovingly of Layton. An announcement was made that the NDP headquarters were being renamed the “Jack Layton Building”. Olivia Chow came onstage and energized the crowd, promising us all that we were indeed the Layton legacy.


First ballot: Ashton was the first to drop off the ballot, with only 3737 votes. Singh and Dewar voluntarily withdrew from the race after the first ballot results. Supporters were released with out direction from all camps.

Second ballot: Nash was next off the ballot, after voting hours were extended twice to accommodate people having technical trouble voting. She released her supporters without direction, but the fact that she was backing Topp was the most poorly-kept secret of the weekend.

Third ballot: Plenty of technical trouble, and the voting times were extended again and again. DDoS attacks were made on the NDP servers, slowing the entire process down. Cullen came in last on the third ballot, leaving the fourth ballot a dogfight between Topp and Mulcair. Sometime between the closing of the second and third ballots I became violently sick of hearing the word “kingmaker”.

Fourth ballot: Audible groans from the convention floor as voting was pushed back for what seemed like the millionth time. I ultimately left before the fourth ballot results were announced, as 1) it was late and 2) Mulcair’s victory was a foregone conclusion by that point.

And that, mes amis, was my weekend with the NDP.

Girl Talk

Hey there, ladies.




Just… not girls, okay?

We all stopped being girls a long time ago. Calling ourselves girls once we were old enough to menstruate was a slight stretch. Calling ourselves girls once we were old enough to vote was a bit ridiculous. But calling ourselves girls, perpetually? Grown women calling themselves girls? Can we stop that now, please?

I am a mother of girls. I was a girl. I am not a girl now, nor shall I ever be again. I have developed secondary sexual characteristics. I am capable of bearing young. I am old enough to pilot a motor vehicle (my lack of a driver’s license notwithstanding). I am legally an adult, with all the voting/military service/lotto, alcohol and cigarette rights that entails. I am, by physical development, experience and legal standing, a woman.

Nature has already provided us women with shorter statures and higher voices than men. Evolution has tried to fool men into thinking we’re basically overgrown children in the hopes that they would stick around and protect us while our stomachs were comically disproportionate to ours bodies, while we were vulnerable in our care of a tiny, floppy proto-human. We don’t need, in our modern lives full of cars and solid houses and very few sabre tooth tigres at all, to compound the issue by openly referring to ourselves as immature members of our gender.

I could go on about entrenched patriarchy. I could hold forth about disproportionate poverty, access to reproductive health care, illegally trafficked sex workers or a number of other subjects. But ultimately, until we believe ourselves to be fully adult members of the species – believe it inherently enough that we don’t even think about seriously referring to ourselves the same way we do our children – we’re probably not going to change a whole lot of that stuff.

After all, those are adult problems.

All’s Not Right: Splitting The Conservative Vote

People who are willing to listen to me rant and foam at the mouth about politics (not as large a population as you might think) have heard two consistent messages from me over the last few elections. One: Canada needs more than one right-wing party. The Conservatives are currently the only game running for right-leaning Canadians, while the vote on the left is split between a number of parties. Two: Canada needs another Trudeau-esque Prime Minister. We need another rabble-rouser who is less concerned with placating the United States and maintaining the status quo than actually doing what is best for Canada.

On November 25, 2010, I thought Danny Williams was going to be the answer to my profanity-laced wishes. As he announced he was retiring as Newfoundland’s Premiere, I started to fantasize about what his future in politics might look like.

As the days passed and no hint of scandal attached itself to ol’ Danny Boy, I grew more and more excited. My dream is a simple enough one and Danny Williams has the potential to be the man of my dreams. (Words I honestly never thought I would say, but there you have it.)

Do you remember when we had a national Progressive Conservative Party? I do. And while I was no fan of Mulroney’s… well, the way the CPC have been running things, I’m finding I miss the guy. I miss a ham-fisted Prime Minister that counted our nation’s pennies like an old woman buying cat food at the grocery store. I miss having a PM that couldn’t grasp the finer points of Native relations, but at least understood that Canadians expect their government to provide certain things, like education and health care. And, well, I miss the Refooooooooooormers being a national joke.

If the latest election results have shown us anything, it’s that roughly twenty-five percent of the country’s population wanted a conservative government of some sort. But twenty-five percent of Canadians are not Reformers. They’re mostly progressive conservatives, craving fiscal conservation and liberal social policies.

This is where Danny Williams ought to be riding in on his white horse, leading a rebranded national PC Party (maybe even with a snazzy, royal purple colour scheme). He has a proven track record of fighting for what’s best for his province, no matter how unpopular it may have made him at times. He has a proven track record of turning his province’s finances around. He’s popular and populist, bull-headed and colourful. He could be exactly the sort of Prime Minister who would stiffen our national backbone, remind us once again what we have to be proud of and maybe even amusingly embarrass us on an international scale. He would be a fantastic antidote to the furtive dealings of a federal government run by The Man With The Homolka Eyes.

It’s true that Williams doesn’t have a fantastic environmental record, but with Stache Layton heading up the opposition again, the worst environmental excesses could easily be curtailed. Williams’ tendency toward freezing wages and neglecting the arts would be mitigated, too. We could once again have a Parliament to be proud of.

And maybe, just maybe, we’d see some fuddle-duddling progress around here.