“I know it’s [prorogation] a big issue with the Ottawa media elite and some of the elites in our country, but I got to tell you if reaction in my constituency is any indication, I’ve had maybe three dozen emails”

Tony Clement 

What Clement says he meant to say:

“I guess my point was, yah, I know this is a big issue in Ottawa. I know that a lot of people are running around with their hair on fire in Ottawa. All I can say is, in my riding so far, there are some people who are upset – I am not belittling that, I am not denying that – but on the Richter scale of upset, it’s somewhat different from last year. That’s the way I should have said it, I guess.”

Tony Clement 

Oh Tony, ye of the $233,247 annual salary and multiple university degrees, to dismiss us opponents of your government’s dastardly machinations as “elites”, then follow the first statement with a tamer but still dismissive rejoinder; what a muddled mush you mouth.

The Conservatives, who seem to have the Republican playbook memorized page for page, have latched on to this hideous political meme that to be learned, educated, and have thoughts, is “elite”.

To help you understand what the Conservatives mean when they use certain phrases, let me present you the Conservative Lexi-CON:

Chattering Classes: See “Elites”. Reserved for eggheads, academics, and anyone with book-learnin’ who challenges us. But don’t worry. We’ll do to this class what we’re doing to the middle class – stretch it thinly and then turn it on itself using dark arts, magicks, and divisive politics.

Democracy: Used sparingly. Democracy is good when things are going our way (such as taking us to a majority government). Bad when it interferes with the markets and when people oppose us.

Economist: What the Prime Minister instantly becomes whenever he’s trying to burnish his economic bona fides.

Elites: See “Chattering Classes”. Use this word often as it never needs explaining. At the moment, it means smart people who use big words and oppose us. For smart people who use big words that support us, please use phrases like “real Canadian”.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Global Warming): Socialist plot. No evidence. Just ask our petro-patrons; they have the money and the smarts to tell us (and support grassroots groups) that this is all nonsense. Rather, we should be afraid of trees because they produce more pollution than cars. It’s true! The Gipper said so.

Liberal media: All media are liberal. Except for the National Post or anything under the Canwest banner. And chunks of the Globe and Mail. And the Sun chain. Okay, maybe just the CBC is liberal (except for Rex Murphy), but as far as we’re concerned, if any media outlet criticizes us, it’s certainly a liberal rag.

Olympics: Phew. Thank goodness for sports in the snow. This is a perfect distraction for Canadians. The Olympics are the new opiate of the masses.

Prorogue: Don’t worry about explaining this. It’s what we do to keep the heat off us, but most Canadians can’t even spell “prorogue” (unless they’re elites) and taking a break for spurious reasons won’t bother them. The only people who care about prorogation are chattering classes and the liberal elite.

Recalibrate: We know this word is synonymous with re-measuring the caliber of a gun, but in this context, we mean the Boss is doing some serious thinking.

Socialism: This word, uttered with the right amount of vitriol, scares Canadians (at least those who aren’t elite and have no understanding of what socialism means or the role it’s played in Canada’s history and development as a nation). The tea-baggers in the US use this word a lot, even when they’re telling government to keep its hands off government-funded Medicare.

Sweater Vest: How to make the Boss look like he belongs in your home. By your fire. Wearing your slippers and reading your paper. Apparel that screams Norman Rockwell coziness or Leave it to Beaver.

Tim Hortons: Always good for a photo-op. It’s where real Canadians drink coffee (elites sip expensive lattes at posh establishments). Also, the Boss works here part-time.

Troops: Once, this meant a group of soldiers. Now it can mean one soldier. Why? Because “soldiers” make us think of guns and war. “Troops” sounds so warm and welcoming (only elitists think of baboons when presented with this word).

When Stephen Harper and his Ministers start dropping their g’s and winking at the camera, know this: SarahPalinitis can only be cured by not taking anti-rationalism seriously.

So, enjoy the laughs my elite, chattering class friends.

Eric Mang

Eric Mang

Eric Mang served as a political aide in the Harris government in Ontario and the Campbell government in British Columbia. His politics have since shifted left. He works full-time in health policy, part-time...