fter watching the Canadian Alliance convention i'm not sure if i'm any closer to understanding what the party stands for - except to say that they're not Liberal.
the candidates were active in your usual fare of grandstanding and rallying. there were a lot of signs, hoots n hollers, and even a few visible minorities prominently placed in the audience. the main candidates (Long Day Manning - sounds like a pirate) carefully followed the prescribed rules of leading a propaganda rally. the CBC panned the audience full of wide-eyed followers with perma-grins.
besides the three main celebrities there were two others. one name that many had heard of before was that of Keith Martin. the only thing remarkable about him was how he flaunted his M.D. status in a cheap ploy to look smart. it's too bad he sounded like he was reading his speech for the first time from cue cards.
i think the most incredible part of the show was the final candidate. John Stachow.
John Stachow, John Stachow, John Stachow. at first i was blown away at how amateur he sounded in comparison with the other trained monkeys. you could sense his sincerity. he came across as a real person, unlike the others which appeared to be more like caricatures of human beings. conservative robots posing as living, breathing politicians.
unfortunately for Stachow, people clapped out of time (if at all), and there were plenty of annoyed and bored people in the audience as he spoke. the camera even panned to a visibly pained Preston. Stachow was treated as little more than an embarrassment to the party. which is sad really, because he seemed to represent the party better than anyone else. the thing which impressed me most about his speech is that he spent $25,000 to say it.
some might say that 25 grand is a lot to pay to nationally humiliate yourself, but i think he did a brilliant job of showing that politics shouldn't just be about well-manicured figureheads who have expensive suits, have taken French lessons, and have a bunch of spin-doctors working for them. John Stachow represented something that is missing in politics. i don't think it was necessarily his point (admittedly, i kind of zoned out because conservative drivel bores me) to show the misgivings of professional politics, but he succeeded at doing so. he was a dose of reality to the affair, making everyone else look like just a bunch of talking heads.
it's a pity that in the CBC closing video clips Stachow was not even shown, although the other four candidates were. the stock video sequence they had during the closing credits didn't show him either. this kind of bias is sickening. i think when a citizen spends 25 big ones to practice their democratic right, the media could at least treat them as equal with the other candidates. regardless of whether or not we agree with Stachow's platform he deserved to be treated far better than he was.
in the end Stachow seemed to be nothing more than a big embarrassment to the whole affair, being treated that way by both the Alliance and the media. this is discouraging. i would like to see more people take on the political system like this. however, i have to admit, i can't stop thinking that Stachow was an agent provocateur there to undermine the whole event. in fact, i'm sure there are some conservative conspiracy-theorists currently working this whole idea out while you read this.
the big lesson to be learned from this? i don't think i'm any closer to knowing what the party stands for (again, it certainly ain't Liberal). i think i like most of the candidates even less than i did before. and, finally, i wonder why people are still entranced by political rallies and the big wave of flatulence they release.