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ALRIGHT, HEAR THIS The political hangover Leah Scheitel COLUMNIST The 78-day political party has finally ended, and it ended with Justin Trudeau doing a keg stand next to Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair’s passed out bodies. Election Night was the perfect party for everyone in the country that was wishing for Harper’s demise, but now we’re left with this hangover – was Trudeau the right choice for the country, or was he just the least shitty choice? Will he do even half of the things he promised to do during the campaign – electoral reform, restoring relations with First Nations, tax cuts to the middle class – or will he just silently ignore them, hoping that we just forget and resettle into the mundane, less-political life? Trudeau is not even a week old as a prime minister, but it appears that he has already made steps to alter some of the policies and structure of government. He has promised to compose half of his cabinet with female MPs, said he would immediately pull troops from the coalition against ISIS, opting for more of a peace-keeping mission and will attend the

environmental summit in Paris later this year. That is something that the Harper Conservatives weren’t prepared to do, just like how I’m not prepared to date anyone named Todd. Right now, Trudeau is basking in the attention and conquering the conversations. He’s also been able to conquer his social media demons, making his strip tease and his falling down the stairs party trick look sadly cool. Trudeau definitely won the party, and people are still talking about how awesome he is. But this is usually how most political reigns – and relationships for that matter – start, with a honeymoon phase, where we are just so excited to have a new partner that we neglect to think that the new lover is anything less than perfect. Obama had probably the most historic political honeymoon of any recent politicians before his party got decimated in the mid-term elections in 2010 and he lost the democratic majority in the House, basically blocking him from doing anything cool for the rest of his time in the White House. There was even a political honeymoon phase when Margret Thatcher rose to power in the 70s, albeit it was probably a little shorter than most. What I’m trying to caution is to not get

too comfortable with Trudeau at the helm of the country. Just because he and the Liberal team were able to oust the Conservatives in a small sweeping majority doesn’t mean that the country is going to run with the ease of a Canadian moose. To ensure that the country operates how we want it to, it takes the public to pay attention and hold the government accountable. Nothing scares politicians more than an educated public, especially when they write poignant yet vulgar letters. Most people are bandwagon politicos, paying attention at the right times, kind of like how most people are with the Blue Jays right now. They don’t care until the payoff is more rewarding and it’s not so depressing. Social media feeds, mine included, were bursting full of the equivalent of political junk mail spouting the views of specifics parties while concurrently slandering any other party. And John Oliver’s 15-minute rant about Canadian politics was probably the most attention that it ever received, even up here in Canada, and it aired the day before the election. While his rant was on point and a piece of comic genius, it made me a little sad that the most aware people were of the election came from a Brit-

ish comedian who makes his living in the States and it came the day before the election. I guess it’s better than the alternative, where people didn’t care at all, sinking deep into apathy, but this isn’t a binary situation. There are other options. We can pay attention, mock it and humour ourselves with it anytime. Politics isn’t only interesting when people are vying for your vote – Canadian politics is a classic Canadian shit storm, filled with apologies, odd scandals and photos of prime ministers doing stalefishes on snowboards, which is worth a night of Google with a bottle of wine. Paying attention to politics is pretty fun. Start by watching Power and Politics on CBC with the badass Rosemary Barton, and make it a drinking game – every time they have Paul Calandra or Michelle Remple on as a Conservative mouthpiece, you have to drink whiskey. Every time someone tried to interrupt Barton, it’s one drink and every time Barton interrupts someone with facts, you double down for two drinks. By the time the episode is over, you will be back into the honeymoon phase, loving politics and excited to know more. That’s why I’m politically educated and perpetually drunk.

WHAT IF I LEAVE THIS TOWN? One way to ruin a favourite day Sabrina Kuhn COLUMNIST

adults get dressed up in skimpy costumes and go out. Halloween got all too real. The fake blood wasn’t fake in the slightest and screams of anguish weren’t forced. The family returned, Jessie, her boyfriend and I returned to her room as we were before. I put on the CD of our favourite band and the one I knew would soothe her, and I let her take all the space she needed. “I just flushed my twins,” she said, “I couldn’t even tell if it was them, or if it was just another blood clot or a piece of my womb or what.” Her miscarriage felt like the worst period of her life, and Halloween hasn’t been the same for any of us since.




I had never found someone who loved Halloween as much as I did until I became best friends with Jessie Sawyer. She walked into junior high and was everything I wanted to be – her hair was died unnatural colours, her eyeliner was thick, her clothes were black and her hair was styled like the scene kids on Myspace. I knew looking at her that I had two choices, I could become her friend or I could hate her and wallow in my asinine jealousy. Thankfully, I chose the former. In the ninth grade, we started a new tradition of taking her little sisters trick-or-treating. Her youngest sister was still a toddler at the time and so really, it meant that we could take a cut of the candy with very little interference. This continued all throughout high school, but in the 11th grade things changed. One thing that Vancouverites will probably never experience is trudging through ice and snow in minus-35-degree weather, plus the windchill, just to go door-to-door on Halloween. I can’t count the times I’ve tried to pad a princess dress with a winter coat and had a meltdown because princesses don’t wear winter coats under or over their dresses. This evening was no different, but thankfully I didn’t have to dress up. We were just going to take the girls up and down a couple blocks and then turn around home. Jessie was pregnant with twins, and had been since the summer. It had been intense at first – all her family and friends reacting, people constantly weighing in on how she was

going to manage and most intense of all was just listening as she tried to make a decision for herself and for her kids on how to proceed. Sometimes in life, our choices are made for us. When I walked into the house, the girls were in their room and everything was too quiet. Jessie’s mom told me what was going on and my heart sank and broke. This was such an unfortunate turn for the night to take. There were no guts and fake blood for me that Halloween, I opened the door and saw a pile of discarded towels, underwear and bedsheets that couldn’t keep up with Jessie’s bloodshed. Her boyfriend sat cross legged, leaning against the wall. He either didn’t have the words or couldn’t share them because he was silent most of the night. Jessie, meanwhile, was a wreck. She was weary of being a patient in a hospital and resisted going until her mom and I finally convinced her that she absolutely needed to get checked out and confirm what was actually happening. We all knew, but we didn’t want to say the words. Trying to keep some semblance of normality, I dressed her sisters up with mittens and scarves and we went trick-or-treating. We went up two blocks before turning around and going back home, the houses we had visited had been generous and it was too cold to continue. When we got back I sorted out the candy to make sure it was safe, set the girls up in their room with a movie and cleaned up the common areas of the house as much as possible. I knew no one would have the energy to. Halloween is shock full of creepy ghouls and dead people, usually in the form of zombies. Ill-advised folks mess around with Ouija boards, people prank or scare their friends,

Capilano Courier | Vol. 49, Issue 8.  

October 26 to November 1, 2015 >> Our annual Death Issue, featuring a look at what happens when you die, Body Worlds' new animal exhibit, lo...

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