I have to think after this week’s public squabbles in BC politics that our representatives in Victoria might be hitting the egg nog a little early this holiday season.

Truth is, BC politics have never really been “normal”. I’m the first to admit I don’t really get it. I’m still trying to figure out why our liberals are really conservatives, our NDP constantly turn their fame into infamy (remember Bingogate?) and what on earth Socred is.

Before moving to BC, I lived in Ottawa where I was sure my destiny was to work in politics. In first year university, I was a parliamentary page in the House of Commons. Great work if you can get it. Nice uniform, good pay, nice perks including the occasional dinner invitation to a fancy doo.

Then I worked nights at Hansard as a typist. We made revisions to the days proceedings all through the night. Also a great gig. A taxi home every night. Decent pay. Lots of pizza while we waited for the next batch of revisions. Also a fool proof way to learn how to type very quickly.

My final Ottawa gig was as a hill staffer working for the local MP as a correspondence and research assistant. The pay wasn’t as good. But the cafeteria food and prices were impossible to beat. Best meal in town. And there’s something to be said for walking up to Parliament Hill every day, hearing the Peace Tower chime (it’s hard to be late for work when there’s chimes involved) and seeing it all happen.

Anyway, in 1990 when I decided to move to Victoria, I thought their Parliament might be a good fit for my skill set. I started asking around. This was pre-internet days afterall so I had to talk to actual people to form an opinion. The research was astounding. Nobody in Ottawa knew much of anything about BC except to say it was “la la land” out there. They had no liberals, they had no conservatives. They had this socred thing but nobody really knew what that was about. Apparently EXPO 86 had been fun, but that was all I could find out.

Indeed, when I did get to Victoria, I had no luck whatsoever. So I spent 9 glorious months being unemployed, reading the paper, listening to Gzowski, talking long walks along the ocean, and questioning everything. Which is why I’m no longer in politics, come to think of it.

But this week was a doozy. I don’t pretend to have ever known what goes on behind that beautifully lit building on Victoria’s inner harbour, but this week, I really had to wonder. Suffice it to say, I quite enjoyed the brutal honesty. It’s too easy to forget that our politicians are real people with real feelings – and if that means I live in la-la land, well so be it.

Maybe Ottawa could learn a thing or two from us afterall. Maybe they need a little egg nog too.




2 Responses

  1. […] Wallace’s latest post  Po-la-la-la-la-la-la-tics on The Blahgg Blog features a holiday mix of political reminiscence with a titch of ‘nog. Before […]

  2. Love ur stuff, time for your own column in NYT or at least the G & M

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