Loonies in USA and Canadian politics

By Sujay Kumar

If you’re one of the Americans who has pledged to flee to Canada if your presidential candidate of choice is not elected this November, you may want to reconsider any evacuation plans.

Reports of the crumbling state of American politics have been greatly exaggerated.

While the prospect of four years of political turmoil under “the worst president ever” may make you lunge for your passport and one-way ticket to Saskatchewan, it would be wise to note that not all is maple syrup and loonies in the government of our friendly neighbors up north.

On Tuesday, Canada held its federal election to elect the Canadian House of Commons. Never mind who the elected MPs are or what powers they have in the alleged Canadian government. Instead, we Americans must focus on the more troubling issue before us.

As mind-blowing as it is to think that those sneaky Canadians have a fully functioning government that isn’t run by Tim Horton’s or Wayne Gretzky, it’s true. Not only that, but Canada had an election during our monumental American election season.

As if an October Thanksgiving wasn’t enough to stick in American faces.

But back to the pressing matter at hand, the reason the threat level has been raised from one Moose grazing to four Mooses in RCMP gear. With the ushering in of the federal election came a diabolical and unprecedented 21st-century Canadian political weapon: scare tactics.

Last week, some Toronto residents in upper middle-class neighborhoods became the victims of political extremism. It turns out that the peaceful Toronto-ins were targeted solely because of the political signs displayed in their front lawns proudly promoting a mainstream Liberal candidate.

In a society where political buttons and bumper stickers are absent, some fanatics took it upon themselves to seek out Liberal political expression and stamp it out.

Brake lines of cars parked outside were severed using a knife. Telephone and cable lines were cut. Political graffiti was scraped into car doors or sprayed onto homes.

The graffiti featured the Liberal Party’s or politician’s name accompanied by the word “Lies” in neat handwriting which the International Herald Tribune described as being like “something posted as an example at the front of an elementary school classroom.”

No one said scare tactics and ingenuity had anything in common.

Fortunately, there were no deaths or injuries because of the election-fueled tampering. And aside from beefing up the night patrol, the TPD has created a special unit to investigate and eradicate the perpetrators.

While these Toronto incidents were fairly isolated, the violent tactics of the anti-Liberal Party renegades are a nasty turn for Canadian politics. That being said, it’s a safe bet that the Canadians who had their lives threatened will not be intimidated and will still vote as planned.

But what if here in America every time you were caught wearing an Obama or McCain pin you were in danger of having threats written in feces on the side of your house?

What if uncontrollable mobs at McCain-Palin rallies threatened to cut off Obama’s head?

Oh yeah, that actually happened.

It wasn’t actually an uncontrollable mob screaming for Obama’s decapitation, more like one loonie Republican. But the rest of the crowd was pretty angry, and McCain didn’t say much to stop them.

The old man’s trying not to alienate the fuming far right who loathe Obama. But McCain’s treading a very thin moral line between political pride and the evolution of violent radicalism.

The next step, not that it would ever happen, would be something like what was seen in Toronto.

Of course, if a few nuts screaming empty threats are the worst fear tactics used here right now, then maybe the Canadians will have to do without us. Because post-election, we’ll be just fine with whoever takes office here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. And if need be, I hear Mexico is great this time of year.

Sujay is a senior in biochemistry and is dreaming of a Red Sox vs. Manny and Nomar World Series. At least he was Wednesday, when this column was written.