May 31st/79 Sense and Nonsense
The 1979 federal election is finally over. The battles have all been fought, the dust has settled and soon a new Prime Minister will be crowned in Ottawa.
Walt Kelly, who drew the comic strip “POGO” in the nineteen fifties and sixties, was quite a satirist. The creatures he created spent much of their time discussing, and being involved in, federal politics. I would like to include some typical “Pogo-isms” which may remind us of present day politics
Pogo Possum finds himself running as a presidential candidate against his will. He states firmly, “If nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve!” His friends decide that this is a novel and probably an effective platform.
Owl says, “You live up to that an’ mebbee you jes the type man we bin needin all along. People kin count on promises like that!”
Rabbit adds, “We’s had public officials in our time what dee-livered that an’ never even promised it.”
Pogo’s campaign manager advises Pogo, “The truth is tricky. One man’s truth is another man’s cold broccoli…. Our job is to make the truth tasty!”
A reporter suggests to Pogo that he must be “middle of the road” in his politics. He explains. “The Liberal way (which used to be left) is in the middle of the road, the road having moved to the left. The Conservative way likewise, as the road going the other way, has shifted to the right. So both positions now overlap each other in the middle.” He concludes. “As a candidate you’ve got to be in the middle. What other way is there?”
Pogo’s friends discuss the lack of voters in the area (there are 3). Everyone else is in jail and / or dead.
Albert Alligator defends the dearly departed: “Since when is it a crime to be dead. In my time a whole cemetery-ful of constituents could sweep you into office!”
P.T. Bridgeport, Pogo’s self-proclaimed advisor, berates Pogo for stating an opinion, “As a candidate you should answer controversial questions with ‘No comment’. You must word answers so that you don’t spoil the questions!”
Congressmaan Frog suggests: “It is dangerous to allow everyone to vote – there should be a Sanity Test for voters. We let anybody over 21 go in there and lay the country on the line!”
Porky decides that the candidate need not prove himself sane: “To be sane in an insane world would be incongruous.” He suggests they “Affirm the world is insane and elect a nutty leader to cope with it.”
The three bat boys are polling the electorates. Pogo wonders how they “works their polls.”
Owl answers, “Jes like all the other ones do. You tell them what answers you want and they works out a formula of questions to get it. Presto!… Instant placebo!”
The political scenes have changed considerably since Walt Kelly drew his comic strip. However, I am wondering if elections have changed?