Canadian politics and watching the grass grow

“Unfortunately it has also widened my rear end”

One of the unfortunate results of ageing – for me – has been a growing and hard-to-resist fascination with my laptop computer and the endless, inexhaustible capacity of browsing on the internet.

While it may have widened my knowledge of the world, unfortunately it has also widened my rear end in my comfy armchair…

The weather of this past winter hasn’t helped – I used to be able to rely on the necessary doubly-required exercise of some reasonable snow clearing in the winter months in Kitimat – and twice-weekly grass-cutting, front and back, in summer. That’s usually enough to keep away the few pounds I’ve managed to shed in the past few years.

This winter has not exactly encouraged me to get outside on a regular basis to clean the driveway – our snowfall was extremely limited – and now the cool, but very sunny spring promises to get me out at least for the faster-growing grass – courtesy, I assume, of my fall fertilizer, because we have also been under-supplied by rain – so maybe I will be able to at least sweat away a few excess pounds.

The problem now is simply one of will and energy.

I’ve never really – in the past – lacked incentive to get out in any weather to work on home and garden problems and chores, but I’m slowly acceding to some facts of life – it takes longer now to mow the lawn, and “ye olde legs” are only really good enough for front or back in any one day.

Maybe I’ll get back into the swing of it, but there seem to be so many distractions.

Despite the regular claim that there’s nothing worth watching on TV, just the daily news in the past few months alone has become a compulsion for me. My TV is wearing out my Optik box…

It may be a good thing in one way that Donald Trump is the U.S. president because his antics really do succeed in turning me off CNN at least, but he’s so hard to get away from.

For obvious reasons, even all of the nighttime comedy/talk show hosts appear to find him exclusively at the top of their late evening monologue material list.

So he seems to be ever-present – he also keeps me away from some social media, especially Twitter, his happy hunting ground. But the CBC, CTV and Global newscasts relay them to all of us anyway.

Canadian politics has become something of a series of flash fires as PM Justin Trudeau is simply having a hard time getting anything done with his legislation in recent months – at perhaps the worst time for his future – approaching a federal election with a Conservative blue wave descending on him in province after province and with unremitting bad news emanating from national polls.

He is like a reverse Midas – nothing he touches turns to gold, just the opposite – it turns to crap and the Conservatives and NDP are having a field day as they ratchet up the heat on the prime minister.

The SNC Lavalin affair, the resignation of two prominent female cabinet ministers, the series of announcements by Liberals that they will not return to the polls in October, the deterioration of relations with China following the arrest of billionaire Huawei chief financial officer, Meng Wangzhou, the embarrassingly challenging range of Liberal government problems presented by the Auditor General’s report all have had the prime minister reeling – although his capacity to show a politically cheerful face to the public remains startling.

My sense is that I had better take at least a short holiday from the computer and TV news soon because it is becoming overwhelmingly evident that the upcoming federal election campaign is going to be a down-and-dirty affair – and it’s best to be prepared for the inevitable eyestrain.

Email Allan Hewitson

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