Of a dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal stripe

The Compass - - OPINION - Harold N. Wal­ters Harold Wal­ters lives Hap­pily Ever After in Dunville, in the only Cana­dian prov­ince with its own time zone. How cool is that? Reach him at gh­wal­ters663@gmail.com.

I’ve made nary a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion. That’s a lie. I’ve made one. It has noth­ing to do with di­et­ing and wast­ing — waist­ing? — away my manly flap. It has noth­ing to do with aer­o­bic ex­er­cis­ing for the sake of car­dio-vas­cu­lar health. It has ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with re­solv­ing to be more so­cia­ble, thus pleas­ing Dear­est Duck and en­sur­ing a con­stant sup­ply of choco­late chip cook­ies in 2015. It has to do with pol­i­tics. Hand on my heart, I re­solve to be more po­lit­i­cally con­scious. At least on a provin­cial level. Truly. I was still tot­ter­ing on tod­dler’s pins when New­found­land be­came Canada’s tenth prov­ince and God with a cap­i­tal ‘J’ be­came the is­land’s — okay, and Labrador’s — first true premier.

As I grew and my pins be­came stead­ier, I was a wee bit con­scious of Pappy, Grand-Pappy and a slew of other adults grum­bling about not be­ing Cana­di­ans: “No b’ys, I id­den. I was born a New­found­lan­der and I’ll die the same.”

If I dragged on a trouser leg and begged for a pep­per­mint knob, the trousers’ owner likely scuffed my skull and said, “Harry, b’y, don’t ever for­get you was born a New­found­lan­der.”

I re­mained con­scious of the di­rec­tive only be­cause I as­so­ci­ated it with the pep­per­mint candy lumped in my cheek.

Time passed and un­der the pa­tri­ar­chal care of Cap­i­tal J, like Topsy in that old book about buddy Tom’s cabin, I just growed.

“Harry, my growed up love,” says Dear­est Duck, the most choco­lately chip in my life’s cookie dough, “you’re skat­ing on thin ice when you talk about pol­i­tics.”

“So true, my Duck,” say I. “Yet the time has come for me to for­get cab­bages and kings and speak of nec­es­sary evils. Pol­i­tics and politi­cians. Scoundrels and scal­ly­wags.”

“Per­haps you should sip your Ten­sion Tamer tea and speak of things more suited to your im­per­fect un­der­stand­ing,” says Dear­est Duck. “Such as, my Duck?” “Harry, just drink your tea,” says Dear­est Duck and leaves me to it.

B’ys, you know more, and surely com­pre­hend more fully, than I do about things po­lit­i­cal after Cap­i­tal J’s down­fall.

Frankie somebody or other as­cended to the throne, so to speak, his booted heel upon the old king’s car­cass.

A cou­ple of pip­squeak Bri­ans jumped up and down, beat their chests and pro­claimed things won­drous.

And there was Clyde, who some say lied. Of course, I have no idea what he lied about if, in fact, he did.

Oh, and Roger who, like a lad from a Charlie Dick­ens yarn, earned the so­bri­quet, Dodger.

And a cou­ple of blips: Tommy R. and Beaton T.

Then came Dan. Milk and honey and — I s’pose — oil flowed and poured and gushed across the land. In a man­ner of speak­ing, any­way. Crops were prob’ly plen­ti­ful and har­vests boun­ti­ful in the Land of Dan. I wasn’t re­ally pay­ing at­ten­tion.

“Harry, sounds like bab­bling,” says Dear­est Duck, once again of­fer­ing rea­son­able guid­ance like a cookie-scented sprite atop my shoul­der. Okay. Okay. Last win­ter came The Dark­ness. The Dark­ness shed light upon the crum­bling walls of Dun­der­land. Quick as a blink of any ol’ god’s eye, like Jeri­cho of bib­li­cal fame — or in­famy, as usual I’m not sure — the walls of Dun­der­land came tum­bling down, down, down.

Tommy Two, a kind of Cin­der­fella, at­tempted to sweep up the dust and dirt.

And now — woe be­tide us, ‘low — we live in Davis Days.

Which is why I’ve re­solved to be more po­lit­i­cally con­scious. “Harry! Don’t you dare preach.” “Never, my Duck.” Here in the New Year`s dawn, New­found­lan­ders — yes, yes, and those of the Big Land at­tached to Que­bec — won­der about the ex­tent of Davis Days. Through­out the land[s] all and sundry, from Sobeys check­out lines, to Tim’s over­rated coun­ters, to … to wher­ever crowds col­lect, folks spec­u­late about the tim­ing of an elec­tion call.

Even­tu­ally — oh my, I fear a left­over drop of the ine­bri­at­ing dregs of Christ­mas spir­its has adul­ter­ated my herbal tea — the call from Paul will echo from the steeple tops, or

I from wher­ever such calls res­onate.

“My sweet Saviour, Harry,” says Dear­est Duck as if ut­ter­ing an ex­ple­tive.

P’raps Dear­est Duck is right. I should stick to di­etary res­o­lu­tions and leave pol­i­tics to pun­dits. P’raps. Nev­er­the­less, bear this in mind: Some­one fa­mous — Abra­ham Lin­coln or some French­man with a “de” in his name, maybe — once said, “In a democ­racy peo­ple get the lead­ers they de­serve.”

Thank you for read­ing…and re­solv­ing to read again, I hope.

Sub­mit­ted Photo

SPEAK­ING WITH SANTAJust be­fore Christ­mas and with a lit­tle help from ham ra­dio op­er­a­tors VO1 ROS in Har­bour Grace and VO1 COD in Car­bon­ear, Darcy, left, and Mor­gan Reynolds reached the North Pole and di­rectly pro­vided Santa Claus their wish lists for the hol­i­days. Pic­tured with the two Reynolds chil­dren, both of whom are from Har­bour Grace, is ham ra­dio op­er­a­tor Ross Trick­ett.

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