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King Harpernicus and The Speech for the Drones

King Harpernicus and The Speech for the Drones

Since Canada's Economic Action Plan doesn't seem to include me at this juncture, I recently tried my hand at becoming an author. I tried to shamelessly rip off J.K. Rowling (who I think shamelessly ripped off Dickens) with my novel King Harpernicus and the Parliament of Irrelevance. In the story the followers of King Harpernicus are mere Talking Point Multipliers mindlessly chanting "insert simplistic phrase here", "insert simplistic phrase here."

I soon realized that my fantasy was a poor attempt at satire, my talent lacking, and my vision dystopian rather than optimistic. I couldn't come up with a saviour (let alone a more creative name for the politicians I was spoofing) and the story went off the rails from there. The whole exercise moved past George Orwell and Ayn Rand, and lurched into the realm of The Walking Dead.

Recent events in the Fractious Straits of America also influenced my course. With that context, I came to see Harpernicus' proroguing of Parliament as a benevolent gesture. Looking at the zombies to the south, eliminating Parliament shows remarkable foresight on his part. It's been quieter here since the King decided to close up shop. The rabble in the House (be that of Commons or Representatives) enjoy the sound of their own voices; now they can do that in the privacy of their own homes.

Now, for some reason, the King has decided to reconvene the House. I admit I'm often not the most observant swimmer in the current of events, so I originally missed the plot twist that this latest closure was temporary. Harpernicus has spent so much effort over the last few years ensuring as little (unsanctioned) noise as possible. He's slowly convincing Canadians they don't need Federal representatives. Then an about face: we need our Talking Point Multipliers back...? (Nope, still doesn't have a good ring to it)

Looking for clues to this change of heart, I read King Harpernicus' latest work of fiction: The Speech For The Drones. This reads like a proclamation, which is exactly what I would expect of a ruling monarch. The vision was also regal: privatize everything, divide the spoils among the Corporati, but keep the army to suppress the plebes if they get uppity. Wrap it all in bromides about nationhood and security to try to delude taxpayers that they are citizens. The difference between today and, say, the 1600s... we'll tackle those cable and wireless fees so you can stay glued to your many screens. Perchance the King fancies himself a Wizard, but of Oz rather than Griffindor (or, more aptly, Slytherin).

It wasn't all fun and games however; there were things that seemed out of place. There was drivel about the upcoming 150th birthday of the Shotgun Deal of 1867, but there was also this quote from Thomas D'Arcy McGee (one of the negotiators of said deal) that seemed out of place amidst the other text:

"I see in the not remote distance one great nationality bound, like the shield of Achilles, by the blue rim of ocean. I see it quartered into many communities, each disposing of its internal affairs, but all bound together by free institutions..."

Based on the King's methods I fully understand the bondage part. When you can stack the Senate with whoever meets your fancy, open and close the House of Commons like a convenience store manager with ADD, and dictate whether the Opposition has a chance to speak, let alone debate, well, that's simply seems a very expensive puppet show; key to a functioning monarchy. Best not to talk of free institutions though, lest the drones sense they can have them.

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