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Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 01.14.06
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

Vote the Canadian difference -- me

My election campaign has thus far been pretty low key. It's been so low key in fact that my own family hasn't even noticed I'm running for federal office, which is strange considering the press conference I held in the kitchen between Christmas and New Year's.

Maybe they were simply like most Canadians during this winter election: drowsy with turkey and overwhelmed by ambivalence, ignorance, and frankincense.

I held the press conference to announce my candidacy for the PR Party - the Progressive Regurgitives - and to unveil my proposed legislation for regulating press conferences.

If elected, I will champion a bill that will place a ban on press conferences that take place in hotel conference rooms with people sitting behind desks reading prepared statements that are simultaneously handed out to reporters and containing the words "commitment," "pride," "integrity" or "challenge." And "calypso" - I just don't like that word.

Press conferences will have to be held in pubs, be unscripted and, instead of a question period, include a Karaoke period. Financial incentives will be provided for dancing girls.

Sadly, no reporters showed up at my press conference, although the way the family dog kept eyeing the snacks while I made my presentation was very reporter-like.

So I later emailed my press release to area media outlets. Not much luck there either. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have made the subject line "Assistance kindly in need for business proposal."

Since then, I've been doing most of my campaigning door to door. People have offered some very telling comments, such as "I'm so disillusioned with politics, I'm not sure I'll vote," and "One party's the same as the other," and "If you don't stop banging on my door I'm calling the cops."

What I tell voters is that I'm different. And then I burp the opening to "Smoke on the Water."

I also say that I will be resolutely honest, starting with this campaign.

For instance, many candidates say they want a clean campaign without mudslinging but, whether overtly or through whispers, inevitably resort to negative tactics and personal attacks.

Me, I'm up front in saying that I fully intend to spread nasty allegations about my opponents, most of whom are unfit to hold office let alone be allowed to walk around in public, that is when they can walk, you know, what with all the drinking. Oh and then there's the Satan worship…

I then tell them a bit more about my election platform.

For example, my fiscal strategy is to actually raise the GST from 7 to 8 percent, but every time you purchase merchandise worth $50 or more you get one of those cool blue "5%" coasters Stephen Harper carries around.

My youth strategy is to keep young people in the region using make-work projects and simple leather restraints.

My green strategy is to build a causeway across Lake Memphremagog using compressed Intersan landfill, thus making it quicker for us here at the border to go skiing at Owl's Head and at the same time reducing car exhaust emissions. As for everyone else, well, just stop driving so much.

My unity strategy is to hold a national referendum on the question, "You up for a beer?"

My Battleship strategy is F9, B1, B2, E7.

Besides meeting individually with people, I've organized a series of debates with my fellow riding candidates, being sure to schedule them when I'm certain they have other commitments so I can claim they are out of touch with the electorate, unwilling to face the issues and a bunch of scaredy-cats.

It's not easy getting noticed when you're an alternative candidate, let alone convincing people to vote for you and not punch you in the nose. But I have a secret plan to get elected: I'm changing my name to John Gomery.

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