People who are confused by federal politics need only look as far as Table 12 at my local A&W Restaurant for clarification.
It is preferable that any who attend the A&W tutorial have no existing opinion on anything, read at a Grade 6 level, and like icy cold mugs of root beer.
I sat close enough to overhear a Father and sometimes pundit explain, with the aid of The Calgary Sun, the current state of Federal politics to his eager-to-learn pre-teen daughter. Like most loyal Sun readers, he was only looking at the pictures.
F- "This is Paul Martin. He's the Prime Minister right now, but not for long. He's done a lot of lying. We don't trust him."
F- "Because he's done a lot of lying. This is the New Democrats leader. If he's elected, he'd give all our money--like the money for your Christmas presents--to poor people."
D- (silent horror)
F- "I don't remember his. . .Jack Layton--that's his name. I think he's married to a Chinese lady."
D- (silence--maybe confusion, because there are no Chinese in all of Alberta)
F- "Stephen Harper--our guy--is the Conservative Leader. You know that Mom and Dad and you are Conservatives, right?"
F- "If he wins, hopefully things will get better for us out here--we'll get more of a say. Remember what your favourite colour is?"
F- "And? What's the colour of Dad's tie?"
F- "Right! Want to know anything else?"
So. There you have it. This poor girl just had to know more about the election, and dear old dad filled her in.
After this short lecture on politics, F turned to his onion rings to rebuild his strength.
D- "Are we fighting any wars right now?"
F- "No. The Americans are."
F- "Because. . . Did you have fun shopping for Christmas presents for Mom tonight?"
Without the assistance of pictures his wellspring of knowledge had dried up. The Father employed, perhaps unwittingly, the classic American strategy of Distraction to get himself out of a tight spot, while saving face for not really having an answer.
God, I love my new hometown!