What is wrong with Cana­dian pol­i­tics?

We asked peo­ple around the At­lantic prov­inces this ques­tion — but to tell us in a sin­gle word

The Compass - - NEWS - Rus­sell Wanger­sky Rus­sell Wanger­sky is TC Media’s At­lantic re­gional colum­nist. He can be reached at rus­sell.wanger­sky@tc.tc.

It’s not the House of Com­mons, but that doesn’t mean the Shil­le­lagh House Res­tau­rant, just out­side Truro, isn’t po­lit­i­cal.

In­side, it’s “or­der at the counter,” a lot of hal­ibut and chips be­ing served, quick and sturdy por­tions, fast cus­tomer traf­fic.

And, like ev­ery­where else, pol­i­tics is on the menu, even if it’s served up in only a terse word or two.

At the ta­ble next to mine, an el­derly woman and her daugh­ter have plenty to say.

‘It would be nice to sit at an out­side ta­ble, but there would be flies.’ ‘The sun would be too bright.’ ‘It was too windy.’

In­side, the ta­ble was sticky. They had to wash their hands. The ta­bles were too close to­gether: “Just a lit­tle more space and we wouldn’t be sit­ting on top of ev­ery­one.”

At that point, I was the only “ev­ery­one” nearby.

They watched when my food was set down: I felt my lunch was be­ing judged.

“That’s a lot of french fries,” the daugh­ter said.

There were lots and lots of words in the air.

Un­til the women next to me got into pol­i­tics.

When the topic of the cur­rent fed­eral elec­tion came up, the mother’s mouth tight­ened. “Crooks,” she said. The jury had spo­ken. The po­lit­i­cal dis­cus­sion ended. Their food ar­rived.

So, go ahead: what’s your word?

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