By Victor Schwartzman
September 21, 2015
It lumbers towards us, dead yet somehow alive: the Zombie Election. Don’t let it get too close. The Zombie Election will eat your brains!
As of this writing, we are halfway through one of the longest federal election campaigns in Canadian history. Why is a Zombie Election threatening us? Because this campaign is long enough to turn anyone into a zombie. Unfortunately, politicians are unusually susceptible to the zombie virus, they succumbed as the election began, and the result is a Zombie Election. (A Zombie Election Campaign has begun in the U.S., which will have its own Zombie Election next year.)
A Zombie Election is all about the Parties winning by eating your brains. After the Election, whoever wins will keep doing what whoever wins always does. Your brains take a while to recover, so the politicians get away with it every time. That is the way of Canadian politics. It helps explain why we are here today.
Politicians eating your brains is about fear. Voters are running scared from a frightening future. It no longer feels like our children will live in a better world. Politicians feed on that fear and feed it in return. Real solutions are threatening, so the politicians avoid them. Yet again this is an election where the voters’ choice seems to be the Party they are least afraid of, not which will do the best job.
Goodness knows there are plenty of issues the politicians could address. An election should fire up voters’ passions. This should be a time of hope and change. Yet none of the major issues have sparked a real debate. You will never see true passion or thinking in a Zombie Election. It is all scripted so the Zombie Politicians don’t have to think. They go from one campaign stop to another, delivering the same lines.
One major issue has been totally ignored: access. Four million Canadians have a disability and need better laws to support their involvement in society. The time has come for a Canadians with Disabilities Act, yet none of the Parties even mentioned access during the two televised debates. The three major Parties did not respond to a request for support of a Canadians with Disabilities Act. The Greens support a proposed Act but only with reservations, and good luck finding online what those reservations are.
Other major issues follow the by-the-Zombie-Election playbook. Our environment has already suffered and worse is to come. We continue selling our environment down the river for short term jobs. Climate change may cause that river to dry up and chunks of Alberta will be unlivable for decades due to the oil sands. Yet none of the Parties are willing to put their foot in oily ground and disturb it.
The housing situation is another growing crisis. Do we want future generations of Canadians growing up in rented small apartments because family houses or even condos are too expensive? And there are other problems the Zombie Election has inspired no one about.
How can you protect yourself against a Zombie Election?
First, don’t let the Election to get too close. A Zombie Election will eat your brains. Mostly just talk with friends and people at work (who are rarely your friends, but that is another issue.) Do ask the politicians in your riding what they will do on your issues, but never let a politician touch you.
If you must try the Election directly, do it from a distance. Never watch more than debate clips. An entire debate is too dangerous–many American voters turned temporarily into zombies when they watched the second Republican debate. In Canada the problem has been made easy because the politicians have avoided more than two debates (too many debates might encourage thinking.) Also, avoid reading any material from the Parties themselves. Instead read media reports of the material, to gain distance. Read several different media reports of the same source material, but do not do that too often, it might give you a headache.
It is important to catch the news on television or radio, but only if you are wearing an aluminum foil hat. A simple hat of aluminum foil is easy to fashion and will protect your mind from the Election, at least for short periods. Oddly, the one truly safe place in a Zombie Election is a voting area on election day, where political signage is forbidden. Maybe if you walked in and saw posters for the politicians, you’d walk right out.
Wear your tin foil hat for the next four weeks and vote on election day for the politician or party which will do the least damage. That looks like your best bet. You can’t bet the farm, though, because fracking caused earthquakes and pollution.
Next: Don’t Even Get Me Started On The American Election! What’s The Good Of Three Votes If You Can’t Find Anyone To Vote For?
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 lit site, http://www.redfez.net. He has poetry and short fiction published, and has edited novels. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.