Outside the Commons chamber in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill, Ottawa:
In this undated file photo, an unidentified parliamentary staffer fields questions from rookie MPs.
For exhibiting moral courage at the highest level, Jody Wilson-Raybould deserves all the praise she receives. At the same time, don’t most of the rest of our current 338 elected Members of Parliament deserve equally vigorous doses of contempt and derision? How did it come to be that the primary job of the Canadian MP is to eat shit and say you like it? $172, 700 a year and our nation’s most honourable sit there like middle managers, personal integrity sacrificed to corporate hierarchy.
Meanwhile, over in Victoria, it turns out they’ve been doing everything but walking out the front doors dressed like the HamBurglar, slinging gunny sacks of cash so stuffed they're leaking twenties. Andrew Coyne refers to Canada as a “deeply unserious country.” I mean, there isn’t any credible counter to that argument presently, not from any vantage I can figure. It follows that when the head is rotten the whole body stinks, too.
“The failure of our capitalist democracy was collective. It was bred by ignorance, indifference, racism, bigotry and the seduction of mass propaganda. It was bred by elites, especially in the press, the courts and academia, who chose careerism over moral and intellectual courage. Our rights as citizens were taken from us one by one. There was hardly a word of protest.
Where were the lawyers, judges, law professors and law school deans who should have ferociously defended our rights to privacy, due process and habeas corpus?” -Chris Hedges
Canada’s public institutions have been trashed—like Animal House Belushi-trashed: like, “Seamus-bro! I don’t even remember ramming the Speaker’s mace into the grille of Cullen’s Austin Mini and hoisting it from the chandeliers at Centre Block!” trashed. The mediocrity defining our cultural and political class, I mean it’s starting to bear fruit, and, wow, are we ever jackfruit stinky these days. I didn’t get the numerical reference in the lyric “smelled like piss and 409,” on the Death Cab song “What Sarah Said.” A grim song about death and hospitals, I sang the words “409” a million times before I got around to looking it up. It’s like the American Lysol as far as I can tell—an industrial-strength cleaner with a pungent, artificial lemon scent. The stench of careerism will linger no matter how much 409 Wilson-Raybould sloshes around, but still it’s a good start.