Mean Girls

Do we have a principal to set things right?

It struck me the other day: Canada is stuck in a Mean Girls high school movie plot. Then the robocall scandal broke and confirmed it.

Twenty years ago a new kid showed up in the parliamentary cafeteria. He was a big deal in Alberta. The son of premier, but in Ottawa he was just an upstart from the country who needed to be put in his place. The in-crowd had nothing but scorn. They made fun of the way he talked, the clothes he wore, his nerdy glasses, even how he combed his hair. It wasn’t long before his dream of improving democracy was dashed and he was headed home. But he brought a few young buddies to Ottawa who stayed, vowing to teach those eastern kids a thing or two. They chose a new leader who, like Lindsay Lohan, was very talented — but with a flawed personality.

Along with their new leader they met up with some kids they knew from down south who showed them how to get even. They learned to comb their hair, wear the right clothes, keep their mouths shut and never express their real feelings. Most important, they got a big bag of mean and nasty foreign tricks to take home.

Some in the audience started wondering if the devil bought their souls? Anyway, they started winning by doing some very mean things — some might say meaner than any of the tricks ever played on them.

This is the point in the movie where the star usually has a heart-to-heart with Richard Dreyfus or Sidney Poitier and realizes the error of their ways. Unfortunately, this isn’t Canada’s movie plot. Good did not triumph over evil and everyone did NOT head off to college as better people.

The outcasts got their revenge, but instead of growing up and shedding childish ways and “reforming” the school politics (some would say maturing) they became the mean girls.

Lindsay Lohan is running the country, torturing anyone she takes a dislike to and making life hell for school kids who don’t toe the line. Anyone who challenges her faces attacks on their character and reputation. She is taking lunch money from the unpopular kids and giving it to the football team and the bullies.

This week she may have been caught cheating … do we have a principal to set things right?

John Bennett, Executive Director
Sierra Club Canada
[email protected]