Governing Tips for Teens

Feeling the need to cringe, the other night I pulled out my teenage journals. I kept them quite faithfully during my final two years of high school. They contain about what you’d expect. This  somewhat topical entry from May 18, 1984 is thankfully low on angst yet insufferable nonetheless. In the spirit of Exile on Pain Street, I present it as written, with only the names changed to protect the now-middle-aged.

Model Parliament, which kept me busy but never so busy that I couldn’t neglect doing it without harming my position, is over. I have always thought that government was a group of nit-picking old men trying to do anything they can to put down the opposite members and that legislation is a tedious process with too much power going to the whims of the government in power. I was right.

I never really got to do much until the Question Periods. I was the government so I had to bluff. The first afternoon I was asked a question on pornography, which I managed to weasel out of by saying time was up and adjourning Question Period.

The question was raised, of course, by Doris Lynch, critic of everything and anything. There was not a bill proposed on which she did not stand up and shout unnecessarily into the microphone in that know-it-all voice of hers. She did not need the microphone. By the end of the session everyone on the Government was doing everything we could to insult her.

After I presented my bill for second reading, Doris gave a little speech in which she said, “I see absolutely nothing good about this and I think it is quite wrong and bad in every way.” I stood up in reply and said, “Madam Speaker, I think it is quite clear that the member opposite finds everything wrong with everything.” A great cheer went up in the house.

After school the first day, I did go home and prepare for the pornography issue and that night in the evening session Doris asked me again what I planned to do. This time I was ready and I read articles and the Criminal Code which all ended up saying that pornography is illegal but some isn’t.

I was becoming quite efficient at put-downs. Danny Gillis asked me about prisons and I told him to wait for tomorrow when I present my bills. He replied, “Madam Speaker, I think that I may be sick tomorrow and I would like to hear the reply now since I may not be here when it is presented.” To this I answered, “Madam Speaker, I am sorry if the opposition is feeling a little queasy…”

I evaded issues, formed on-the-spot policies and BS’ed my way through two days. Although I still have no confidence in the government system, I am quite amazed at how people can go at each other’s throats across the floor of the assembly and then at a recess chat pleasantly with their opponents. No one held any grudges, except everyone against Doris. She is so damn opinionated and loud. I realize that dissention brings about change but when that dissenting voice brings about cat-calls and groans of authority there is no way to take it seriously.

I suppose it would have been a little different if we had constituents to whom to be responsible. As it was, we were all-powerful. As Ronnie our PM said in an out-of-Commons remark, a remark that was brought up many times, “We are the government; we can do anything.”

 

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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27 Responses to Governing Tips for Teens

  1. pinklightsabre says:

    Cool to hear your voice inside this old piece. “This old piece.” Well, that could apply to other areas.
    But seriously, what I like too is your ardent correct use of the language with the ‘to whoms’ and ‘on which,’ that birth of self-consciousness that seems to keep crying for attention no matter how much we age. Bill

  2. Funny you did this now. I’ve been reviewing my oldies too, but I’d never share them. Insufferable doesn’t cut it as a description.

    Have you heard of the podcast, “Mortified”? People read from their teen journals before small crowds. Hilarity ensues.

  3. List of X says:

    Yep, this is pretty much how the actual governing works – which means that we are being governed by the people who haven’t really reached maturity.
    P.S. I see you’re following in Exile’s footsteps now. I was thinking I should also dig into my journals, but I suspect I would just be a bunch of hand-written top ten lists about Al Gore and Monica Lewinsky.

  4. I’ve enjoyed Mark’s old entries and now yours, as well. Looking forward to the next one.

  5. byebyebeer says:

    This is nothing like the cringeworthy journals I know. This reads like you too…how fun.

  6. ksbeth says:

    isn’t if funny, how the words just flow out of our heads and onto a page, no matter what age, and they still sound like us? (isn’t this such a long run-on question?)

  7. Thanks, for the shout-out, pal. You entry holds up quite well. I suspect you already know this or you wouldn’t have hit ‘publish.’

    Is Doris Lynch now in government? She seems the type. By ‘prepare for the pornography issue’ I thought you meant something else entirely.

    I kept journals all throughout high school. When I joined the Coast Guard and left home, I buried them in the woods where no one could find them, intending to exhume them after I moved back home. I FORGOT where I buried them. Too much weed.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      You are the wind beneath my wings. When we talked about this, I think I dismissed my journals from my twenties as dull. The high school stuff, though, is teen opera some of it.
      Doris was a good person. I was a jerk.

  8. mitchtoews says:

    Cringeworthy? Me – haughty but not a hottie, to my pretty girlfriend in HS, in the awkward process of trying to get to one of the bases: “Well, yeah, everyone’s got a novel in them, y’know?” Her, to me, ten years later at a HS reunion: “So, howzat novel comin’ along?”

    I am cringing now. Not a re-cringe or a wince – full cringe. The cringe marks on my cringes are cringing.

  9. OMG, Newt Gingrich just said the same thing about the power the President elect could yield–pardoning his cabinet members as needed, being enabled the power of pardon by the constitution. Absolute power–scary stuff, that. You recognized that as a high school student, yet our friends in the GOP here in the US seem to believe that they have been handed the keys to the kingdom. We should all be mortified.

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