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Damnatio memoriae (On he who shall not be named)

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In my commentary from now on I shall endeavour not to use the name of the previous head of government. Nor to use any images. I would hope folks might respect this in the comments, but this is a fairly open blog, and I don't insist upon it. But the Romans were on to something.

We have endured nearly a decade of devastation -- of environmental protection, of scientific inquiry, of Parliament, of the rule of law, of basic civility and decency. We have been ruled by a comic-opera government, a motley crew of fools, jackals and yokels, urged on by the gutter media and their patrician cousins.

It's been like waking from a nightmare this week. Everything I, my parents and my grandparents prized about this country was up for destruction -- or auction. Fellow citizens were spied upon, harassed and stalked for daring to be critical of the government. Some of us were threatened with loss of citizenship, even if born here: no right to appeal, and with an endlessly flexible definition of the word "terrorism" to enable the powers that be to pick and choose among us.

It was a more and more openly racist government, colour-coding its citizens, sometimes even exiling them. For that despicable regime, anger was better than love; fear was better than hope. Sado-politics were the order of the day, exalting cruelty and hatred to the status of supreme Canadian virtues.

Then we open our eyes, and sunlight is streaming in through our windows. We shudder with relief, trying to shake off the remaining vestiges of a troubled night.

Perhaps -- as is likely -- this has only been a dream within a dream, and we have yet to wake. The sunny days have only just begun. Perhaps it's all style, with the same content -- we've been down that Liberal road many, many times.

The new Finance Minister is a Bay Street multimillionaire. Former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, a dangerous threat to Canadian civil liberties, but praised to the skies by the new Prime Minister, sits in the ranks -- if thankfully not in cabinet. The Prime Minister himself seems like a big pleasant kid, too easily open to manipulation by savvy backroom handlers. This was only an election, after all, not a revolution.

But even the most cynical among us -- let's be honest -- felt a ray of hope yesterday. It's a good feeling. We should savour it. We have had nothing like it for 10 years, and we're due -- even if it's just a glorious magic show of fairies, unicorns and sparkle dust, from which we emerge, still smiling, into the streets of winter.

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