I can think of quite a few reasons to be concerned about another federal election. For a start there’s lack of worthwhile candidates, voter burnout due to so many elections on all levels of government in the last 5 years and spending ridiculous quantities of money to accomplish nothing. But no matter how long I sit here coming up with things, I never would have dreamed upH1N1.
enter Judy Wasylycia-Leis, the NDP MP for Winnipeg North and Really Hard Name To Type Land. she wrote a letter to elections Canada last week outlining her concerns about keeping the spread of the dreaded flu that nobody actually dies of unless they’re about to die from something else anyway at bay.
“As you are no doubt aware, experts expect a strong resurgence in H1N1 infections in the coming months, with high incidences in some communities, including remote aboriginal communities,” she writes.
Let’s stop right here and clear something up. There is no such thing as a flu expert. In order to be classified as an expert, you need to be right about things now and then.
she continues: “An election poses significant potential public health risks. Large public events, canvassing and other typical campaign activities, not to mention polling booths and long line-ups to vote on election day, all result in a great deal of contact between members of the public.”
Lord knows we only have to deal with large public events, small spaces used by many people and long lines during election season. Grocery shopping, going to a ball game or using a public washroom are nothing to fear…just be sure not to vote while you’re there.
She expanded on some of these issues in an interview with the CBC.
In an interview with CBC News, Wasylycia-Leis said the idea of politicians wearing gloves as they knock on doors and meet the public during a campaign doesn’t sound appealing, but she’ll do it if required.
Note: If I were to make it, the remark about the public wearing gloves to prevent harmful exposure to politicians would go here.
“You shake a lot of hands, you hug and kiss a lot of people and you are in many large gatherings, so the conditions are ripe for the spread of a flu,” she said.
“Is there going to be hand sanitizer at every polling station? Will there be reusable pencils so no one is touching the same article? Will there be rules about gatherings and using masks and gloves?”
Um…aren’t all pencils reusable, and aren’t reusable pencils the exact thing you’d be wanting to avoid if your main concern is not having people catching Overblownitis left and right?
For some reason I can’t help but think that this letter was written less out of legitimate concern about the flu and more as an election delaying tactic. If there’s one party that doesn’t want an election right now, it’s the NDP. If they don’t make gains in parliament or even worse lose seats, Jack Layton is probably done as a leader. He’s already hinting that he’ll support the Conservatives in a confidence vote, so I really don’t think it’s too over the top to think that this could be another part of a strategy to put off the inevitable. Get people all worked up about death by voting which won’t be hard since the media has been more than willing to play along up to this point, tie the whole thing up in bureaucracy while every MP and worthless civil servant trips over themselves trying to assure the public that “really, we’ve been working on this all along”, and then use all of the free extra campaign time to try winning a few extra votes by going around talking about how the NDP is the party that puts the health of the working family above all else while a series of money wasting meetings are held to come up with a voter protection plan. It won’t work, but they probably figure it’s worth a try.
I put forth this scenario not only because I think there’s likely some truth to it, but also because I refuse to believe that reasonable people take the fucking Swine Flu this seriously. It’s right up there with West Nile on the list of things to be worried about dying from. That reminds me, if West Nile is the big deal the media and the rest of the Ministry of Collective Pants Shitting makes it out to be, where are the oh my god letters about people having to be outside during elections where they could be bitten by a mosquito or be hit by a falling dead bird? I’m just sayin’.