While the media and public were busy speculating on the “possible federal election” last week, the Tories were already busy at the sign printers.
I should have realized an election call was imminent when North Island MP John Duncan held two media phone conferences in two consecutive days.
Thinking back through the years, I’m hard-pressed to recall the long-serving MP offering two media chats within the span of an entire year. H’mm, maybe even a decade.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but two media phone conferences within a week for the MP, who’s also Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, is like a full-fledged speaking tour.
What was interesting were Duncan’s comments that the Conservative party “wasn’t looking forward” to an election, but are always “election ready.”
I had my doubts, but the North Island Tory machine proved me wrong. As I was heading into the city on Sunday morning, I saw the party members busily hammering stakes into the ground and posting campaign signs. Very, very new-looking blue campaign signs, I should add. True, they could be holdovers from any one of the last couple of federal votes, but I don’t think so.
After three or four rain storms, the Tory blue becomes violet, the true Grit red turns to pink, the NDP orange fades to mellow yellow and the Green party colour turns to moss.
I like to think of the fading colours as an analogy for the parties themselves: What looks shiny and bright at the beginning, can quickly become dull, wrinkled and falling apart. Sometimes the remnants are mournfully collected and put to rest, and sometimes they just degrade into dirt. You know, ashes to ashes and all that stuff.
Anyhow, while the busy-bee Tories were out on a lovely Sunday, defacing the natural beauty of the North Island with election propaganda, the other parties were nowhere to be seen.
I imagine it takes time to find the right rouge for the Liberal red; the New Democrats are still searching for a union print shop; and the Greens are still working out a deal with Kindergarten students to finger-paint their signs on biodegradable cardboard.
It won’t take them long and soon every busy corner will be filled with election signs which are about as unsightly as gangs of scruffy teenagers hanging out smoking.
And speaking of louts or loutish behaviour, this is just the first round of election signs this year.
Come November, a whole new crop of municipal election signs will pop up over what’s left of the federal campaign placards.
Think of them as tulips following the daffodils, minus the beauty, of course.