It’s sunny once again and the endless days of rain long forgotten. ‘The elections are over, and we have a minority government, just as I predicted,’ I said to Camp who was busy on his phone.
‘Just adding up some numbers,’ he said apologizing. ‘Christmas is coming and Kelly, my new help, seems to manage me along with the store. She wants the November and December sales stats for the last five years. She thinks it will help to build a strategy for the upcoming season.’
‘She is probably right. It’s good to have a strategy, I said. ‘Look at the Bloc Quebecois. Their strategy obviously worked.’
‘Yes, thirty-two seats with 1,2 million votes, twenty MPs more than last time around. And only candidates and voters from Quebec, for Quebec and what they can get from the rest of Canada. Compare that to the one million votes for the Greens across the land, which only garnered them three seats,’ Camp pointed out. ‘Doesn’t seem fair.’
‘What about Jagmeet Singh and the NDP who lost 17 seats, most of them to the Bloc,’ I said, ‘and he celebrated and danced like he won the election.’
‘I personally like Singh,’ Camp said, ‘his eloquence, sincerity and commitment for a more equal society, but the elephant in the room was Quebec’s bill 21. In other words, people in Quebec didn’t vote for the guy in the turban. Simple as that but nobody pointed that out.’
‘That Bill 21 is a strange animal,’ I said.
‘It bans public workers from wearing religious symbols in public places. No turbans, no kippahs, no nun’s habits no priestly collars, no crosses, no hijabs, no burkas,’ Camp pointed out.
‘Dreadlocks and religious tattoos are apparently allowed,’ I said. ‘But what about native, feathered headdress or beaded necklaces.’
‘Those are cultural accessories or jewelry,’ Camp said.
‘I thought it was about identity hiding garments like the niqab but then they got carried away.’
‘I’m all for removing crosses and bleeding Jesuses from class rooms and court rooms but turbans.? I think they’re fun, Jagmeet wore a different colour every day.’
‘Scheer on the other hand was about as colourful as cottage cheese,’ Camp said.
‘Except in Alberta and Saskatchewan where the conservatives got every seat except for one lonely NDP riding in Edmonton. I guess they all watch Fox News and hate liberals and climate improvement advocates. It’s a nasty polarization. They want regime change.’
‘But they had one of their own for nine years and even Harper couldn’t please them. Between 2004 – 2014 Alberta made over 100 billion dollars in resource revenues, which successive, conservative governments squandered, along with Lougheed’s Alberta Heritage Fund. Not sure what they want now.’
‘At least Trudeau can read and write unlike the guy in the White House. Did you see that letter Trump sent to Erdogan., ‘Camp said, shaking his head, Don’t be a tough guy, don’t be a fool. Call you later.’
We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and instead focused our attention on our drinks.
‘And then he threw the Kurds under the Turkish bus and gave Putin and Erdogan control of Syria and helped Assad retake the North East of the country. Just like that. The Turks are not well known for their benevolence for other peoples. I’m referring to the Armenians? The Ottoman Turks killed over a million of them in 1915.’
‘At least here at home we don’t invade and kill each other. We are still like a large family, always bickering and arguing but at the end of the day we sit around the same table and drink from the same well.’
‘What about the Swiss? They just elected a new parliament?’ Camp said.
‘Yes, they did and nine parties vied for the 200 seats. The conservatives ended up with 53 seats, loosing 12 but the Greens gained 17 seats and now hold 28, the most ever. But only 45% of eligible voters cast a ballot, whereas here 66% of voters turned out.’
‘I’m glad the election is over,’ Vicky said as she swapped our empties for full ones.
‘Did you vote?’ Camp asked
‘I didn’t bother,’ Vicky said, ‘by the time I got off work at six the election was already decided, before the polls were even closed here. I went home and watched a movie instead.’
‘What movie?’ I had to ask.
We drank to that.