Empty Days

Monday, June 28, 2004



Canada - federal election day.

So I went to vote. The poll-station happened to be situated pretty much across the street from my front-door - in that very same synagogue-cum-disco where all the rich people go to parties and make horrible noise until 3am while poor folks in the hen-houses all around are trying to get a night's sleep. Anyway - it was so close-nearby that not to go would have been a statement of civic disobedience.

The dancing hall where the polls were installed looked nice indeed (though I somehow felt like smashing the windows), there were plenty of very old seniors (I went before noon) and it was all so very orderly and comfortable that I naturally thought of similar poll-stations in some of those many disturbed countries where you can get shot while trying to cast a bulletin. Nice.

So I firmly put a fat cross in the circle saying "Liberal", and got rid of the ticket with the help of a very affable and kindly black guy who couldn't remember when the last election was either. We had a laugh and I left to buy some bread. The end of my election campaign.

Now typing this, I somehow feel a tinge of regret that I didn't vote for that nice left-wing environmentally-minded candidate with a hilterian moustache and smashingly white teeth who promised "no one left behind" and a garden in every backyard - but then again, if I didn't vote Liberal some determined revolutionary would have voted Conservative... and then what? That's the truth of our anglo-saxon elections - there are always really only two parties worth bothering about, the rest are there to make mayhem mostly. A garden in every backyard... perhaps not after all.

The slow trickle of humanity continues in the street below and will continue all day long in that same orderly manner. A police car is waiting at the corner (I suppose because it's all in a synagogue - but they're exaggerating: who would want to bomb a poll-station in such a nice country as ours?). I've been thinking about what I wrote yesterday concerning leftism. NGO's and the fight for water-resources in Africa are the face of charity. I have nothing to say against NGO's and the humanitarian vibe. But I do not believe there is any place for a truly ideological stance here: it is a charitable instinct and should be seen as such - nothing more.





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