An Actual Conversation That Took Place Between Me and an Intelligent Torontonian who Lives in Cabbagetown This Evening.
Scene: A downtown bar.
Actual Torontonian: I'm not a Liberal supporter.
Me: But you're going to vote for the Liberals?
AT: Yes. The Conservatives are scary.
Me: But in your riding it's a race between the Liberal and NDP candidate. Like everywhere else in Toronto.
Me: This is one of the few elections where you can vote NDP and have them really wield power, either in a Liberal or Conservative minority government.
AT: A Conservative minority is scary!
Me: I'm kind of rooting for a Conservative minority with the NDP holding the balance of power, actually.
AT: You're rooting for a Conservative minority!?! Oh that's right, I forgot. You work at the National Post.
Me: Dude, like, in the Arts section. I write about theatre. I think it's important for the Liberals to have time in the wilderness, you know. Come up with someone to replace Paul Martin.
AT: So you want Prime Minister Stephen Harper!?! Scary! He wants to turn the entire country into Alberta. The Conservatives are like the Republican Party of Canada!
Me: I wouldn't say that. They've moved pretty close to the centre. Truthfully, they're closer to the Democratic Party of the North.
Me: You find the Democrats scary?
Me: So, both the Republicans and the Democrats are scary?
Me: You don't find the Paul Martin Liberals scary, then? PM PM waffled on Iraq, he's tried to pretend like the Chaoulli decision never happened and has allowed private healthcare to proliferate, he wants to enact those corporate tax cuts AND increase spending a la George Texas-sized-Deficit Bush...
AT: The Liberals are the lesser of two evils.
Me: But the Liberals have behaved corruptly. There was an elaborate kickback scheme going on in Quebec.
AT: Yeah, corruption happens. It's not nearly as bad as what happens in the United States.
Me: I hate that kind of casual anti-Americanism.
AT: That's not anti-American! It's anti-Republican. If the Conservatives get in, the country could break up!
Me: But support for sovereignty in Quebec has increased under Paul Martin...
AT: It's because Alberta won't share its oil revenues!
Me: Okay, whatever. Look: Just admit you're a Liberal. It's fine. You can vote Liberal, if you want. I'm cool with that. Some of my best friends vote Liberal.
AT: I'm not a Liberal supporter!
Me: You're just going to vote Liberal.
Me: In Cabbagetown. Because you're scared of the Conservatives.
AT: Waiters are scary!
Note: I may have embellished some of this. But the word 'scary' was used frequently... just like in the newspapers!