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December 02, 2008

Political Rally Notebook - Peterborough, Ontario | Coalition Government? Bring it On!

I learned a couple of surprising things about Peterborough Riding MP Dean Del Mastro's supporters today -- or at least the 50 to 60 of those Conservative Party of Canada supporters who came out to Del Mastro's Rally for Canada or Rally to Save Canada or whatever it was he was calling it.

(Del Mastro also had signs declaring that "Farmers Feed Cities" so it was a bit difficult to figure out the focus of his rally -- if, indeed, there was a focus other than to help Dean save his job and score points with his boss, Stephen Harper.)

Anyway, here's what I learned.

These folks love their labels. I'm talking labels like communist, welfare bum, and Liberal -- uttered with that red-neck drawl that makes it sound like something potentially fatal -- like listeria.

One fellow walked by our group and said, "You're all a bunch of Liberals" -- which was actually quite funny because the majority of people standing at the pro-coalition end of the park at the time were NDP or Green Party members. I think I was the only Liberal who had arrived at that point.

The communist comment was uttered by a man who was allegedly a member of the Del Mastro campaign team. Interesting. You know what they say. You're known by the company you keep.

They don't love people from Quebec quite so much. A woman holding a "Rally for Canada" picket sign came over to speak with our group as the rally was breaking up. She wanted to explain why she objected so strongly to the events taking place in Ottawa. At first she sounded like a semi-intelligent person until she started ranting about "that Frenchman." (In this case, she meant Dion.) She must have difficulty keeping track of all the Frenchmen she loathes at a time like this. I stopped trying to have an intelligent conversation with her at this point. It was hurting my brain.

They seem to view progressive politics as some sort of social disease. And they take the 1950s approach to dealing with it: if you ignore it, it might go away. I said hello to a prominent member of the business community -- someone I met when I belonged to a local service club a little over a decade ago. He wouldn't even acknowledge my presence because I was on the other side of this issue.

I offered another gentleman a copy of this editorial from yesterday's Toronto Star, which provides a fairly objective analysis of the events of recent days, helps to counter some of the Conservative Party of Canada mismessaging and even offers a comeback plan for Harper -- steps he could take if he's serious about turning the situation around as opposed to taking the well-worn partisan/attack route. (Obviously, Harper has since take a few giant steps down that path.) The gentleman in question said he had no interest in anything The Toronto Star had to say because they are a Liberal house organ. (It's no wonder the Conservative Party of Canada has so much money in its party coffers. Party members like this gentleman don't have to pay for subscriptions to The Toronto Star. They have already pre-absorbed its contents through some mysterious psychic uploading process that remains foreign to the members of other political parties. Incredible. Truly incredible.)

Judging by the number of honks of support we received from passing cards and trucks, there is a lot of support in Peterborough Riding for the proposed coalition government. See photos below for a picture of the "HONK FOR COOPERATIVE GOVERNMENT sign."



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Details just posted above.

There is going to be a rally in Peterborough on Saturday. The NDP and Liberals are organizing it. Apparently someone has sent me an email about it. I will dig through my in-box and find it and post the details. Thanks for reminding me to do so.

Hi! Great posting - thanks for sharing. Does anyone know of a Candles for the Coalition rally happening in Peterborough. Here are events in other cities today and Saturday and I'm trying to find out about the local scene. Anyone know of anything?

Thanks for the link! Great looking blog you have here. Excellent work.

Thanks for the details and for your blog! I was scandalized by the clip of the woman claiming she'd prayed to God to elect Stephen Harper. I discovered your blog while reading up on today's rally.

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