People have been asking me to write a funny blog about the election and heaven knows I’ve been trying to see the humour. I’ve been trying to find the facetious angle that I love. Yes I know I’m very trying (insert rimshot here). I’ve even Tweeted my desperate attempt to find the humour.
Today on CBC 1 comedian and actress Mary Walsh addressed the issue of the lack of humour in the Federal election campaign on The Current. Since it’s April 1st, she had renowned actor Gordon Pinsent on to declare a new political party comprised of seniors (largest voting demographic). I got all excited and then they yelled April Fools. It’s not like they would have been allowed to debate anyway though because only the cool kids are allowed to do that.
The Hill Times recently released a list ranking politicians for their humour or lack thereof. Check out their “savvy survey”.
Minutes later I find a Tweet about http://hereforcanada.ca/. I hastily clicked to see what the Liberals had to say. Sigh. The banner states “Fear for Canada.” Then if you scroll down you can see in small print “Click here for hope.” Really? We’re leading the country with fear now? Yeah that should work. Let’s appeal to the basest emotion we have to motivate voters.
All I can find are laughably ineffective attempts to reach voters and mocking rhetoric. Candidates are hiding behind animated bears tearing apart opponents. They are using carefully selected sound bites taken out of context as usual.
Brilliant local artist Mark Whitbread pointed out, “He only came back to be Prime Minister” … or the one a few months ago… (in a deep voice) “If he loses, he’ll go back to teaching at Harvard”. …That might be the only time I’ve heard anyone in the history of the world being dissed for being a teacher at Harvard.” Now THAT made me laugh. Thanks Mark, I needed that.
Candidates need to remember that this election feels like watching young adolescents arguing. “He started it!” “I’m not going to play with Elizabeth”. “They’re going to gang up on me with a coalition”. “I’ll tell on you!”. If it weren’t so sad it would, in fact, be funny. But we can’t ground them because we are paying for all of it with tax dollars.
A good campaign has humanity, a face, approachability, goals for prosperity and humour to warm up the voters and earn respect. No one wants to play with the petulant kids on the Bloc. As much as Canadians want a transparent campaign, the negative campaigning insults our intelligence and is a truly transparent attempt to distract the voters from the really important issues like Harper’s hair or the size of campaign tour buses.
Show me the funny Canada! Where is the satire? Rick Mercer has finished his season and this Hour has 22 Minutes can only do so much.