The Merry Little Minuet


In 1959, The Kingston Trio released an album called, ‘The Hungry I’. It had a clever, short song called, ‘The Merry Little Minuet’…a protest song:

‘They’re rioting in Africa,
They’re starving in Spain,
There’s hurricanes in Florida,
And Texas needs rain.’

‘The whole world is festering,
With unhappy souls,
The French hate the Germans,
The Germans hate the Poles.’
You’ll see where this is going, soon.

After the recent explosion on the Rainbow Bridge, according to CBC News, Poilievre was asked during a press conference if it was responsible of him to label the incident as terrorism before officials had indicated whether that was the case.

There are two issues that are of concern here: one being the fact that he got his facts wrong and didn’t own up to that, and secondly, the manner in which he dealt with the reporter who asked the question…she, who was only doing her job.

In just under two and a half minutes, he managed to state that the Canadian Press had set a Guinness Book of Records record for incorrect facts (fact-checked to be false), and accused the reporter of making, ‘yet another falsehood in your question’.

And he finished up by telling her that he wasn’t going to answer her question because it would just lead to her having to apologize for making yet another wrong remark. He is the one who should have had the grace to apologize. But that, seemingly, is not in his nature.

What we are seeing is the real personality of the leader of the Opposition: he is a nasty piece of work. When challenged, he pushes back and is insulting. He does not like to be questioned or corrected. Like the last Conservative Prime Minister, if Pierre gets to sit in that chair, he will not speak to the press, nor will he consult with the Opposition parties. He will be an authoritarian leader. He will bi-pass every step in the Parliamentary process that limits his authority…the same as the guy in the U.S. who wants back into the Oval Office.

Some people are not fit for the job. Some people would dismantle our democracy to serve their own ends. The damages would go well beyond the interests of any particular party…the damages would be institutional and national in their negative impact.

His party has been trying to polish his image, but when he is questioned and backed into a corner, their work is undone…there is no shine or lustre left. The expression about swine and make-up comes to mind: ‘It doesn’t matter how much lipstick you put on the pig, it is still a pig.’

‘Italians hate Yugoslavs
South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don’t like
Anybody very much.
But we can be tranquil
And thankful and proud
For man’s been endowed
With a mushroom shaped cloud’

At a time when American politicians have turned unintelligent, rude and blatant lies into an art form, we are seeing more and more of the same creep into our culture. I understand completely the desire to replace the current Prime Minister. His best before date was a long time ago. We should have a two-term limit on all provincial and federal leaders. And, we should not be going for the most boorish candidates to appease our discontent.

They may be loud and they may be against everything, but wouldn’t it be nice if they had some decorum as well as some well thought-out solutions?

‘And we know for certain
That some lovely day
Someone will set the spark off
And we will all be blown away.’

Peter Johnson,
Upper Oxford Mills


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