I’m not sure why people were outraged by Bev Oda’s $16 glass of orange juice. I refuse to drink any juice that hasn’t been squeezed by a nectar barista using a platinum-plated press designed solely for that occasion by a rocket scientist.
But that’s just me. The days when a politician could pass a law requiring Led Zeppelin to play at a family birthday party are decades past. Now politicians have to pretend to care about the common folk, fairness, and respect for the trust of the public.
I only offer this as background to a discussion about politics I had this past week with George Martin, my walking companion on a particularly stormy day.
If you don’t know George, you’ve likely seen him completing his daily eight-kilometre walk, a small dog dancing at his heels the whole way (Cookie, now passed away at age 15).
George works for the government – the Cobequid Housing Authority – so he needs to be a little careful what he says. The danger is real. I know a guy who worked for a certain government agency in a certain community who had a car accident. He was OK, but there was $800 damage to his car – and he didn’t even speak to a reporter!
“Harper, Mulcair, Elizabeth May or Trudeau?” I asked.
“Harper,” said Martin.
It would be a mistake to assume he’s a party man, though. Right and left aren’t of much interest to Martin, unless you’re telling him in which hand you’ve concealed an enraged skunk. He doesn’t vote on party lines, he votes for the person he thinks has the power to get things done. When it comes to Nova Scotia, he leaves the conservative camp, and picks McNeil over Baillie or Dexter.
“Jamie’s gonna be angry,” I said. “I’m going to email and tell him. No Christmas card for you.”
Martin doesn’t like big government payouts to big corporations, and while he likes members of town council, he has some questions about the raise they’ve given themselves.
I have a question for council about those raises, too, one I like to use when I’m texting: WTHDYTYWDYASOW?
Martin agreed that politics is a big deal in Cumberland County and Amherst. He blames it on our outsider status in Nova Scotia: we have to kick and scream in this part of the province or we’ll be ignored. One thing he thinks we should kick and scream about is the loss of good jobs in this town – government offices shut down and positions moved elsewhere.
“I don’t mind if they move those jobs elsewhere, as long as they create new positions to replace them,” I said.
Martin asked for an example. I was happy to oblige.
“How about ‘nectar barista’? We could also use a search and rescue helicopter and crew stationed here in case an elected official needs to run errands in Moncton.”
Disclaimer: Take a Hike is a mix of fact and fiction. Eric’s guest may or may not have said what appears in this column. It’s probably best you assume s/he didn’t.