Perfesser Dave

Some stories are just too complicated for ordinary bloggers to explain. That’s when we turn to the expert knowledge offered by Perfesser Dave, the Answer Guy. Perfesser Dave knows practically everything there is to know about politics, economics and labour relations in Canada. In fact, if he were any smarter, he’d have to be hired by the Calgary School! You know, like Ted Morton, Tom Flanagan and Stephen Harper! If you have questions, don’t ask me! Ask Perfesser Dave!

Questioner: Oh, Perfesser Dave, I’m just so upset I just don’t know what to do! The government’s been infiltrated by separatists! I’m just sick about this! What should I do? For sure it’s going to change the way I vote. But what can I do right now? Can you illuminate my deep, deep fuzzification?

Perfesser Dave: I agree, Questioner, you’ve identified a very serious problem here. We’ve had separatists in the government of Canada for a long time of course, but we’ve never had one in the top job, that’s for sure. Canadians should be gravely concerned. And we need to be thinking of ways to root out this separatist rot….

Questioner: Well, you’re the Answer Guy, Perfesser Dave. How do we do it? I mean, my friends and I, we’re all really, really worried about this.

Perfesser Dave: You are correct, Questioner, and the first thing we should do, though, is stay calm and not get our knickers in a twist…

Questioner: You wear knickers?

Perfesser Dave: Of course I don’t wear knickers! I’m a perfesser, aren’t I? Perfessers never wear knickers. They wear knickerbockers, and smoke pipes, and think deeply about things that really worry our questioners. Now, are you feeling better? Where were we?

Questioner: Well, Perfesser, I am breathing a little easier. But what are we going to do about those separatists in the top jobs on Ottawa?

Perfesser Dave: As I said, you’re right to be concerned, but they’ve been there for a long time in the Conservative Party and we’re going to have to think to ways to get the message about this terrible problem out to Canadians…

Questioner: The Conservative Party? I’m not talking about the Conservative Party! There are no separatists in the Conservative Party! I’m talking about the NDP! The Acting leader of the NDP is a separatist … Nycole Turmel … and the NDP is the Opposition, so that means the Leader of the Opposition is a separatist!

Perfesser Dave: You’re talking about the Leader of the Opposition? The Leader of the Opposition has been a separatist as long as anyone can remember! Ms. Turmel is the first one in a long time — other than Jack Layton, I mean — who’s not a separatist!

Questioner: She is too! She was a member of the Bloc Quebecois! It said so in the Globe and Mail!

Perfesser Dave: And that means…?

Questioner: That means she’s a separatist!

Perfesser Dave: You mean like Richard Hatfield?

Questioner: What’s Richard Hatfield got to do with this?

Perfesser Dave: Well, he was a member of the Bloc Quebecois!

Questioner: Awwwwww! Perfesser Dave! He was not!

Perfesser Dave: Calm down, Questioner. He was too. It doesn’t mean he was a separatist, though. Anyway, he was also a Conservative, so even if he was a separatist, it would be all right with the Globe and Mail. No, what I was driving at is the fact that Prime Minister Harper used to be a western sovereignist, and the Conservative party’s always been lousy with all manner of separatists. We really should be doing something about it.

Questioner: What do you mean Prime Minister Harper’s a western sovereignist? What the heck’s a sovereignist anyway? And where do you get off saying the Conservatives are lousy with separatists?

Perfesser Dave: Watch your language, Questioner. One thing at a time. Here in Western Canada, a sovereignist is a separatist who doesn’t own a pickup truck. In Quebec it’s a separatist with a parliamentary pension. Mr. Harper is a sovereignist because he signed the Firewall Manifesto…

Questioner: The Firewall Manifesto?

Perfesser Dave: That’s right, the Firewall Manifesto. It was a letter to Ralph Klein, who was the premier of Alberta, signed by the prime minister, and by Ted Morton, another western separatist, and by Tom Flanagan, who’s just a nut who thinks the Americans ought to execute the founder of Wikileaks, but who hangs around with those guys. Plus some other guys. The Firewall Manifesto said that Alberta needed to act more like Quebec back when Quebec was run by separatists. They thought we should pull out of the Canada Pension Plan, fire the RCMP and threaten to separate if Canada wouldn’t elect Senators… You know, the kind of stuff the Parti Quebecois and the Bloc Quebecois were always saying… Plus Link Byfield, that nutty Wildrose senator guy, of course…

Questioner: Gee, that sounds serious…

Perfesser Dave: It could have been, but Mr. Klein threw the Firewall manifesto out. We’re not sure why. There’s a group of historians who think it’s because all Conservatives aren’t separatists, and there’s another group who think he just used it to mop up a beer spill and then he couldn’t read it. Whatever happened, nothing came of it, at least until Mr. Harper organized the putsch against Preston Manning and became leader of the ReFarm Party…

Questioner: But that doesn’t make Mr. Harper a separatist!

Perfesser Dave: Not necessarily…

Questioner: You mean…?

Perfesser Dave: Yes, Questioner. I do mean. You don’t have to worry, though, it doesn’t mean that Richard Hatfield was a separatist! … But lots of other Conservatives are, and we need to do something about it.

Questioner: Like who? I mean other than the prime minister, Ted Morton, who could be the next premier of Alberta, and Tom Flanagan… Hey! Aren’t those guys all Americans?

Perfesser Dave: Don’t worry. The prime minister is definitely not an American, although he sure wishes he was one. Anyway, he’s just having a little fun with you getting you all tied up in knots about Ms. Turmel.

Questioner: But why?

Perfesser Dave: Really, Questioner, that’s a pretty silly question isn’t it? So you’ll vote for the Conservatives instead of the NDP next time…

Questioner: But you said the Conservatives are full of separatists, how can I vote for a bunch of separatists… Hey, like who, anyway?

Perfesser Dave: Do you remember Brian Mulroney?

Questioner: Yessss…. Surely you’re not saying he was a separatist?

Perfesser Dave: Well, no. But you know that he was the politician who gave us the Bloc Quebecois. He certainly didn’t have any trouble drafting half the separatists in Quebec – they were the only people who could challenge the Liberals there. … Does the name Lucien Bouchard mean anything to you? Plus of course, there were all those WCC nuts from Alberta…

Questioner: Uh, yeah. Bouchard really was a separatist, for sure, I guess…

Perfesser Dave: Mmmmm-hmmmm… And he was Mr. Mulroney’s No. 1 guy in Quebec… Later of course, when he was officially “out” as a separatist, he became … the leader of the Opposition…

Questioner: Awwwww! That’s so upsetting!

Perfesser Dave: Well, it didn’t seem very upsetting at the time, did it?

Questioner: Yeah, Perfesser Dave, but that was different. I mean, Jean Chrétien was prime minister then…

Perfesser Dave: Well, you’ve certainly got a good point there, Questioner…

Questioner: Awwwww! Are you saying the prime minister is jerking my chain? I’m so confused! You’re making things worse!

Perfesser Dave: Well, Questioner, didn’t I assign you to read Plato? If you’d done your reading, you’d know that happens sometimes. But it’s a step on the way to making things better, maybe even knowing how to vote…

Questioner: Plato! Is he a sovereignist too? Geeze! Perfesser Dave? Perfesser Dave? Are you there?

Perfesser Dave:

Questioner: Perfesser Dave?

This post also appears on David Climenhaga’s blog, Alberta Diary.

David J. Climenhaga

David Climenhaga, author of the Alberta Diary blog, is a journalist, author, journalism teacher, poet and trade union communicator who has worked in senior writing and editing positions with the Globe...