I wouldn’t really be doing my job if I didn’t do an issue post on the economy, but I’m starting to find these election issue posts a bit tedious. This makes me think that if you have been following, you probably do as well. So how can I make a post about Stephen Harper’s mishandling of the economy more interesting? Zombies, of course! A hypothetical scenario: Let’s suppose that the global financial sector was experimenting with the Rage virus, rather than with sub-prime mortgages. While this is arguably a safer thing for the bankers to be dabbling in, it would still have had some nasty consequences. How would it have turned out out with a Harper government at the helm? Here’s my hypothetical timeline, all based on how the Conservatives handled the recession.
November, 1998: In the midst of a massive speculative boom in virology research, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin introduces a bill to place tough restrictions on the handling of potentially dangerous pathogens. This goes against the grain of international policies, which are increasingly in favour of the unrestricted creation of artificial viruses. Stephen Harper joins the bio-science sector in condemning these reforms as anti-business and anti-innovation.
January, 2006: The Thirty-Ninth Canadian Federal Election ends with a Conservative victory, largely attributed to Stephen Harper’s leveraging of the sponsorship scandal against the Liberals. The Conservatives form a minority government under Stephen Harper.
2007: The zombie brokerage houses in New York begin to have trouble with their virus containment systems. One by one, they become infested with the walking dead as the contagion spreads, literally, along Wall Street.
Fall 2008: It becomes clear that the United States is experiencing a full zombie crisis. Virology research centers around the world begin to fall to the plague. Canada, having been insulated thanks to its strong anti-zombie regulations, is safe from any domestic infection, but infected refugees are arriving from the United States and overseas.
September 7, 2008: As zombies from the United States begin to walk over the border, Stephen Harper denies that there is a zombie problem and insists that Canada will spend within its means by avoiding the use of Canadian military or financial resources to contain the zombies. When the opposition leaders suggest that there is a real problem, Harper claims that ““The opposition tries to tell people that we’re a zombie plague when we aren’t. Tries to tell people the dead are walking when they aren’t. Tries to tell people that brains are being eaten, when brains are in fact more intact than ever”
November, 2008: After a federal election leads Stephen Harper with another minority government, the opposition parties threaten a vote of non-confidence on the grounds that no anti-zombie spending is promised in the fiscal update. In response, Stephen Harper goes to governor Michaelle Jean to ask her to prorogue parliament so that he can avoid the vote of non-confidence. The resulting two months without a Federal government to respond to the crisis lead to most of the country becoming a zombie-infested wasteland.
January, 2008: Parliament resumes on an abandoned oil rig off the coast of Newfoundland. The Conservative Government immediately implements a Canadian Zombie Action Plan, which puts up $34 million worth of encouraging signs all over the country. The signs promise Federal investment in shotguns and chainsaws, but this hardware is primarily sent to Conservative ridings, and takes so long to actually arrive that Winnipeg gets entirely overrun while waiting for their supplies.
Summer 2009: Stephen Harper finally admits that there is a zombie problem, and suggests that the Federal deficit will continue to grow while fighting it.*
June, 2010: While the Canadian military battles a zombie horde of thousands outside the Toronto convention center, Stephen Harper persuades world leaders that the zombie plague is receding and it is time to start rebuilding. Canada begins this process by ceasing the provision of anti-zombie equipment to the developing world.
2010-2011: In a bid to return to normal, the Conservative government begins slashing funding to social assistance agencies, public health, arts and culture, and education. Meanwhile, he slashes corporate taxes to increase the profit margins of the already widely profitable virology research sector that started the problem.
April 2011: As Canadian cities are slowly cleared of zombies, the opposition once again brings down Stephen Harper’s government and forces an election. His campaign emphasizes that Canadians need a majority Conservative government to safeguard Canada’s fragile zombie recovery, and to stay tough on the undead. For some reason, a many Canadians believe him.
*I’m having trouble thinking of a zombie analogue for a budget deficit.