Tried everything . . . except wacky?

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Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan


Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

How much energy have we all spent discussing options for Pontiac’s future? Everyone has a great idea to bring in investment, create jobs, improve our school results, assist the arts, stimulate tourism, improve our health (and diet), keep our youths at home (with careers), support farming, and keep our environment clean.  Every election, every dinner party, and at most meetings these subjects arise, everyone adds their two cents, and we go back out to face the same-old.
We diligently elect political representatives – federally we’ve had Liberals, Tories, and the NDP – and off they go to their swell jobs in the city with great pensions, and we see what for results?  We’ve had federal and provincial cabinet ministers, even a Quebec lieutenant, and yet it’s always ground-zero here. Are they representing their parties, not us?
Years ago, a Rhinoceros Party candidate  (or was it the Lemons?) campaigned on one idea: change the Pontiac’s name to BMW.  That would give us a better image, he felt.  It’d spruce up our self-image. Of course we voted for the
serious guy, and ended up with basically what we would have had with a Rhino – but there’s an idea here.
Maybe our problem is an image problem, including our self-image. Maybe we have to grab attention, do something a little crazy to point out to the National Leaders that we do exist and are, in fact, citizens worthy of their benevolent gaze. 
What if we elected a Rhino? Or a Celestial Flyer, or Free-Lander?  We’d certainly get national attention. Maybe just adding “Inc.” or “Bank” to Pontiac’s name would do the trick; that seems to work magic in cabinet.
The Duchy of Pontiac idea was something like this, and it did get us our fifteen minutes of fame.  Imagine if we had gone ahead and created a Duchy.  
But, no, we’ve tried, generation after generation, to play everything by the book, to be serious and correct.  And where has that gotten us?  Plain geography has given us more – wild game to fine crops.  But a sober business-like attitude toward the future?  What has that done for us? The province’s longest covered bridge remains unrepaired.
Say we voted in the only Marxist-Leninist MP in Canada – instantly, Pontiac’s name would go across the country.  Being such a novelty, every time our MP spoke,
she would be broadcasting the name “Pontiac”. Serious Pontiacers will guffaw and shake their heads because, surely, “not a dime of federal funding would come our way”, etc. and etc. 
I’ll bet anyone that we’d not be able to tell the difference, had we a Christian-Family, or a Rug-Rider, as MP. 
We made history electing our first warden, and a woman.  She has a list of
projects – as has every leader we’ve elected. It makes one wonder if the real purpose of this election drama isn’t to fool us into thinking we have some control over our destiny.
What would happen if we really took our destiny to heart, and stopped playing by rules stacked against us?  Is it time to vote for the Pirate Party?  That’s an anti-party party gaining seats in Iceland and Europe.
This sounds flippant?  What’s your alternative, as our MP likes to ask those opposed to the radioactive dump upstream?  Should we try even harder at being hopeful? Look for our Trump?
If we voted for the Pirate Party, our MRC could opt to join Europe.  Symbolically … something like that.  It’d be flexing our muscles, the only ones we have. Pontiac would be noticed in Ottawa and Quebec City.