Politics and Film, like Peanut Butter and Chocolate

September 23, 2008 at 11:08 pm Leave a comment

Stephane Dion, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, was on campus today doing a question and answer session. Being the active political junkie I am, I had to go. It was a decent event; I expected there to be more plant questions from the audience, but the majority seemed to be authentic. A few were downright rambling and insane (one student asked why citizens shouldn’t form their own rival governments and implied Canada should be a theocracy). I appreciate the event being less orchestrated than it may have been.

But of course, the trade-off for not screening the audience is that sometimes you get questions you don’t know how to answer. Dion spent most of the night flipping through a book on the Liberal Party platform trying to figure out how to respond; not just for specific figures, but even for basic policy positions. It came off as really amateurish; Dion didn’t appear to remember the stances he was supposed to have on any number of issues. At least a few times he avoided answering the question at all, instead making a mad verbal dash for the safety of the Green Shift. Indeed, to here Dion talk it would seem like that was the only policy they were proposing; nearly every answer was somehow tied into Green Shift plan and how it will make us all richer, healthier, and sexier (the latter is conjecture).

Overall the evening seemed to reinforce the stereotypes people have of Dion; he’s a decent enough guy, and likable in a goofy kind of way (his broken English, like when he didn’t know the word for ‘half’ and instead said ‘twice less’, was adorable), but he doesn’t seem to be any sort of decisive leader. He seemed unwilling to take a stance on anything not explicitly stated in the party platform; towards the end of the Q&A he started holding the platform book up and insisting that it was all in there in lieu of answering things thoroughly.

For strategic reasons I plan on voting Liberal anyway (this is a close riding, and no one wants to risk a Conservative majority) but it’s kind of disappointing that it’s just for strategic reasons and I can’t be enthusiastic about my vote. It will be interesting to see how things go with the internal structure of the Liberals after this election; if they don’t manage to form a minority coalition (and polls suggest they won’t) there’s going to be a lot of long, hard contemplation about why they can’t get back on top.

*****

The first “Film-A-Week” was filmed on Sunday down at the library. We got great weather (clouded over to remove shadows) and managed to wrap in two hours. Towards the end of the shoot, some guy with a bunch of photography equipment and two Asian girls came up to us and asked us if we’d be much longer because he needed a nearby fountain for a photo-shoot.

Sure enough, as we were packing up, he set up his camera gear and had the Asian girls climb into the fountain while he took pictures. It was mildly creepy.

In other news, I got to make a big bucket of fake blood for the shoot. We were worried it would stain the pavement but after throwing a few buckets of water on it things were fine. I went back yesterday and all the blood seems to be gone, so now we don’t have to worry about Administration finding out and cracking down on us.

Fantastic.

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