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my government is crazier than your government

what you do is your business, unless it's the federal budget
i don't often talk about the canadian government, because i like to live my life in a fantasy world where one out of every three people around me didn't vote for stephen harper or his ronald reagan meets grover norquist ideology. maintaining that fantasy is one of the few things that allows me to leave the house and interact with others on a regular basis.

but sometimes i read the news in spite of myself and that's when i come across things like this.

i believe immigration is a complex issue without any immediately obvious, easy solutions; mostly because it's not one issue, but a whole lot of issues given one general label. and all of those little issues are things that deserve attention. but this latest conservative legislative flourish just reeks of the logic of the bong. i'm sure it was both profound and yet simple in your brain, jason kenney, but once you float it for others to admire, it just sounds like you're really, really high.

to be clear: there is a problem with the backlog of the immigration department. asking people who have moved from locations around the world, often uprooting their families, to wait ten years for a yes or no on their application is unreasonable. so no one's arguing that the government shouldn't try to fix the system.

but deciding that the only possible fix is to randomly dump the applications of those who have been waiting the longest seems, well... nuts.

these are not people who snuck into the country [which is a whole other issue] or who have done anything nefarious while they were here. these are people who were encouraged to come to canada because their skills were needed in our economy and who have been jumping through the procedural hoops for four years or more. they've spent money, paid taxes, contributed to society and waited patiently for the country that said they wanted them to tell them that they can stay.

think of how annoyed you get with the length of the lineup when you go to have your driver's license renewed. now take a moment to appreciate the patience it would take to have your entire life be like that line. and when you get to the wicket, you're told that you can't get your license because you were in line too long.

now, those who are having their cases dropped can reapply under the new regulations, which were tightened when the government realised they were getting more applications than they could handle. because up until that point, no one in government had ever thought about what might happen if more people applied to immigrate than the country was willing to accommodate. oops.

screw you guys, you're goin home!
adding insult to injury, minister kenney's defence of just tossing the older applications is that the skills that those people possess might not be as useful to canada as they were when we first dropped flirtatious hints that these people should come here. he says this like that's life and there's nothing he can do about it. sir, i realise that you may actually be too stoned to comprehend this right now, but you need to understand you're the only person who can do something about it. 


the government has offered to refund some of the money that's been spent by these people on immigration-related costs. it's precious the way that they offer this as if it's doing a favour. it's like if the restaurant forgot to bring your appetizer and the waiter tells you that, just to make things right, they're willing to let you get away with not paying for it. except that immigrating to another country constitutes a pretty big appetizer.

what i find most shocking about this is not that it's drawn criticism, which is to be expected, or that it's likely to pass, because our parliamentary system basically hands absolute power to a majority government in four year increments, but that people are debating this as if it's a serious piece of legislation at all. it isn't. it's insanity. it's an epic "fuck you" from a party that's basically adopted "fuck you" as its official motto and that needs to be pointed out forthwith.

because getting in power and using your majority of house seats to push through whatever you feel like [turnip pie is going to be obligatory on thursdays starting in october] should not free you from the shackles of logic. i, for one, do not want the country turned into a living tribute to terry gilliam's "brazil". and even if the conservatives can force their will, they should not be able to force us to take them seriously when they say things like "the best way to deal with a long line is to get the people at the front of the line to leave- that way no one ends up waiting that long, man!" because that's just stupid and to treat it as anything else is lowering ourselves.

damn, i was so happy in my little fantasy bubble.

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i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

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