Saturday, June 26, 2004

You gave me a pet name, which is not to say I like it

While working out this morning, I watched part of a CBC Newsworld election special with former party leaders and analysts making their predictions. Alexa McDonough reminded me with her spiel why I'm so eager to avoid giving the NDP any power at all. She recited chapter and verse of the "Stephen Harper is Scary" mantra two or three times, before segueing into the more general "Conservatives are Evil" variation. But she presented a perfect example of something that's been bugging me all election - constant repetition of the words "conservative," "reform" and "alliance." It's not like it's a bad strategy, either. Canadians have been conditioned by years of Liberal scaremongering to reflexively recoil in horror. Even I do it unconsciously occasionally, before remembering half a second later which side I'm on. It almost makes one long for the traditional system in Quebec, where the Liberals and Conservatives, respectively, weren't known by their names, but by their colours - the parti rouge and parti bleu. It removes the stigma either side attaches to the other's name, which is a plus. Of course, no doubt within a few years of such a system in a modern national context, blue would be implied by CBC and the Globe & Mail to be the decorating choice of Satan himself.


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