Election Campaign Coverage Begins!
By Victor Schwartzman
The Canadian federal election campaign has begun. To cover it, we invited the best people we could think of: Pollyanna and Franz Kafka.
Pollyanna: Golly gee everyone! A federal election! It will be one of the very longest ever! And every vote will count!
Franz: Hopefully every vote will be counted. And hopefully voters will not receive phone calls telling them to vote in the wrong place.
Pollyanna: It makes me feel so good nothing like that could ever happen here!
Franz: Why do you think Victor asked us to cover the campaign?
Pollyanna: He told me it was because I’m so good at the Glad Game! When everything seems sad and pointless, you play the Glad Game and find something to be glad about, so you stay happy. Victor said this particular election campaign needed a Glad Game expert!
Franz: He told me it was because I write about unreal things.
Pollyanna: I began by listening to each Leaders’ first campaign speech. I focused on what they said about disabilities and access. But golly gee, it turned out there was nothing to focus on. None of them said anything about access.
Franz: Tell me you weren’t surprised.
Pollyanna: I was surprised! So I went to each Party’s website to look for disability and access issues. Were there comments about the failure of the AODA implementation in Ontario? Was there support for a Canadian version of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which gives power to individual people? (Go to www.civilrightsnow.ca, where you can find out more.) Would I read about proposed laws or policies?
First I went to the Conservative Party’s website, since they are the current Government. There was nothing on access. Playing the Glad Game, I decided it wasn’t necessary. They have been the Government for a way long time, so if we don’t know their policies by now, will we ever? I was not happy but I did like Prime Minister Harper’s hair.
At the New Democratic Party’s website there was also nothing on access. That was a surprise, because I’m pretty sure they must have said something in Parliament. There were attacks on the Government but the NDP is the Opposition and they’re supposed to oppose. I didn’t see how they opposed the Government on access, so I was not happy, but I did like Mr. Mulcair’s haircut and beard.
The Liberal website had nothing either. I was getting the teeniest bit disappointed.
Franz: But you didn’t give up.
Pollyanna: Not Pollyanna! The other sites did not have a search function but the Liberal Party’s did! I typed disability into the search engine and up came a page! There were maybe five items. Some had nothing to do with access. There was support for an International Day For Disabled People, and for a Global Disability Community Involvement Initiative. The Initiative was a free download of keyboard and mouse apps from eSSENTIAL Accessibility ™. But Franz, then something really funny happened!
Franz: I desperately want to be amused.
Pollyanna: I did that research last night! This morning I went back to check and the Liberal Party website no longer has a search function! I can’t find anything about access. So all of that is gone, including the free apps to help with access.
Franz: That is less amusing than I’d hoped.
Pollyanna: However, I did like Mr. Trudeau’s hair.
Franz: It’s shorter for the election.
Pollyanna: Finally, the Green Party. Its site also had a search function. About five pages turned up on access, but they were old statements in Parliament. While there was support for pensions and other issues, and that was good, there were no new proposals. But I did like Ms. May’s hair. To sum up, none of the Parties’ front pages had a word about access.
Franz: You were disappointed?
Pollyanna: What I liked most on each site was the Leader’s hair. I began to play the Glad Game and decided that when choosing a Prime Minister, good hair models are important.
Franz: So, to sum up, people interested in access issues should expect this election to be hairy.
Pollyanna: Franz, you’re so funny! The best thing about this election so far is that it so totally has room to improve!
Franz: Pollyanna, I have nothing to add. Your report is surreal enough. As for your comments on politicians and hair, beware the hair.
Pollyanna: Donald Trump? Is that hair?
Next: We Continue Campaign Coverage! We Predict Nostradamus Will Be Involved!
Victor Schwartzman has contributed this weekly satirical column to Accessibility News and the AODA Alliance since May 13, 2013. Check out the first nine chapters of his current satirical fantasy novel, King Of The Planet, for .99 on Kindle at http://www.amazon.ca/King-The-Planet-Victor-Schwartzman-ebook/dp/B00NE0CCRC, or for free on Facebook. The unpolished first nine chapters got a “4 out of 5 star” review! He is currently polishing the novel. His graphic novel The Winnipeg Weakly Herald (where each chapter is one issue of a community newspaper) is serialized on the great Canadian lit site, http://www.redfez.net. He has had poetry and short fiction published, has edited novels and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.