In the immortal words of Dark Willow: Bored now. I never thought I’d say it but, honestly, I’m bored with the current Federal election. Maybe that was the intent all along – get Canadians bored enough that they don’t notice if the Conservatives slip back into power. Well, it’s working. So for the next week I’m going to avoid writing about politics. If I can. It’s a bit like saying you are not going to eat fudge when you spend every day browsing in a candy store.

In any case, partisan politics – the cut and thrust of sound bites and photo ops has never interested me much. As Kim Campbell famously said, an election campaign is no time to discuss policy. And we all know what happened to her.

Policy, for me, has always been more interesting than politics. Policy is a calling, a life work; politics, a mere game or hobby. Unfortunately, most politicians prefer the campaign to the hard work of governing. Maybe that’s why permanent campaigns have become so popular in the United States and now Canada. An endless opportunity to bluster, complain and attack while avoiding the hard work of problem solving and legislating.

Such is the life a frustrated policy wonk – someone who is well aware of the political differences between people (I’ve never worked for an organization whose policies I’ve agreed with more than 50%) but is fascinated with how you can still find common ground and acceptable solutions to most problems.

But enough – see how tempting that fudge can be? I was talking about boredom. Which, of course, in itself, is a fairly boring subject. It ultimately devolves into that classic teenage conversation: What do you want to do? I don’t know – what do you want to do? I don’t know, etc.

The trick is to stop thinking life should be exciting – after all, as events always show, life will find ways to scare the crap out of you without you having to go looking for it. So, I’m not so bored that I want to go climb trees in the rain. No really – you can do that in Ottawa today which is the site of the Ontario tree climbing championships. Who knew there was even such an event? The things you learn when you passively listen to the radio, lost in a fog of ennui.

Now there’s a solution to boredom – figuring out how you can slip in words like ennui and anomie into your conversations. So, that’s what I can do this week. Fight boredom with words. It will be fun for me, maybe not so much for you.

But it’s better than maundering on (another good one) about the nattering nabobs of negativism.

And that’s ten minutes.


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