Scandals, brawls and the state of the nation

Allan Fortheringham November 11 1996

Scandals, brawls and the state of the nation

Allan Fortheringham November 11 1996

Scandals, brawls and the state of the nation


Allan Fortheringham

Zowie, Dr. Foth, it is propitiously pleasant to perceive you perambulating.

Elucidate the specificity of the phantasmagorical puzzlements in the upper cavities of your cranium.

Well, gee, I can’t figure out what’s going on with the Frime Minister. He told those high-school kids in Manitoba that he slips out secretly and sits down to talk with homeless people.

If you met those dullards he has in his cabinet, you’d want a change too.

But did he really do it?

Mr. Chrétien suffers from delusions of adequacy. Since he has no Opposition in the Commons, he doesn’t have to think. Sometimes his mind wanders. He needs a new job.

But I thought Preston Manning had just come out with a new tough platform that is going to frighten the Liberals.

Parson Manning is demanding a national referendum on abortion.

That is as stupid as a referendum on the death penalty. Even his own par-

ty is running from him on this one. When they gave him the new haircut the barber must have shaved too close to his brain.

What about the Official Opposition?

It is disappearing faster than the autumn leaves. Its leader, whose name is unknown to almost all Canadians, is more invisible than an X-ray.

So there is no hope?

Yes. The Conservatives will win some 25 to 30 seats just in Ontario in next year’s election and will be on their way back.

When will the next election be?

In May.

How do you know that?

I talked to the homeless man that Chrétien talked to.

Gee, Dr. Foth, you’re always so helpful. What else do you see?

Canada is in great shape. A guy from Houston is attempting to buy the Toronto Raptors. Just as a guy in Seattle now owns the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Vancouver Canucks. And a guy in Detroit still owns the Ottawa Rough Riders. (While Vancouver, one of the richest cities anywhere, has to recruit a guy from Hamilton to rescue the B.C. Lions.) Makes you proud to be a Canadian.

I guess you’re upset that those international beauty contest chaps

banned the little girl from Newfoundland who was charged with bopping a rival female in a saloon.

Let’s get this straight. This wasn’t an ordinary bar. You used to have to go to ordinary bars to get into a fight. This was a bar on the campus of Memorial University. Shows you how far education has advanced. Let’s keep our brawls close to the books. You can do your right hooks between the homework.

But isn’t it unseemly for a beauty queen to be punching someone?

Not at all. We all know the bathing suit bit has become a bore. Let’s get serious and combine the contest with pro wrestling—

which has the highest ratings on TV. We want an all-round girl, especially a Newfie with a swift uppercut.

Why don’t you deal with serious topics?

How can you get serious when the Republicans, who had control of American politics, run for president a guy who thinks the Dodgers still live in Brooklyn, which they left in 1957?

What do you make of this political scandal coming out of the Saskatchewan courts?

Like it. Shows the province is finally growing up. For too long it has been church-going, producing such idealists as Tommy Douglas. Now it’s in the big leagues, up there with the well-known Quebec corruption and the Maritimes, where voting time always comes with a newly paved driveway and a mickey of rye.

You’re kidding, of course . . .

Of course not. British California, a bigger brother in the West, has had Bingogate. Ottawa has a junior minister who didn’t know she shouldn’t have put her holidays in Hawaii and

Mexico and her fur coat on a government credit card. We’ve got to get up to the Washington level where Vice-President AÍ Gore, in a Buddhist temple where the priests and nuns take a vow of poverty, managed to snare $140,000 for Democratic campaign funds.

I notice you’ve been steering away from the Quebec situation.

Not at all. I love watching the Quebec situation evolve. It is like, as the lovable Jacques Parizeau once told us, a continual visit to the dentist.


And there will never be another Quebec referendum.

Why do you say that?

Because of the economic morass which will only get worse. Lucien Bouchard, who has never been in a position of real power before, must decide how many Montreal hospitals he has to close and which public service unions he must take to the wall in contract demands.


Quebecers in the crunch vote with their wallets. There won’t be another referendum.

Wow, Dr. Foth, you’ve certainly managed to muddify the fuzzification.

No probs.