Hair, Canada’s Election and Our Values

This morning I woke up to read an opinion piece by Margaret Atwood criticizing Steven Harper’s hair. I looked for a metaphor, an analogy, a parallel structure to one of the great issues of our times. It’s not there. And for a stark moment I was horrified. The Left, the Harper Haters, the Annex dwellers are Right! If this Conservative government has pulled Ms. Atwood down to this level then they really have destroyed the Canada I love.
But no. A quick Google search shows that her editors had pulled out some possibly defamatory material about Harper’s Leadership expenses and where his loyalties might lay. Ms. Atwood has not been felled, and Canada is not destroyed.
His critics give Mr. Harper, and any government, too much credit. Governments don’t radically change the structures, ethics and history of a country. Not in one or two terms anyways.
A government is more like a jacket the country puts on. A Business suit today, overalls tomorrow. In the past we had a tie-died flower power government that ruined the oil industry, but it did not change our federation. I may be as embarrased to look back on that government as I am to look back at myself in the Nehru jacket I wore around the same time. But today I am still a good man and Canada is still a good country.
I know that a government affects how we see ourselves and how the world sees us; Which is not to say governments are cosmetic. Our outer appearance projects and affects our national attitude.
Right now we are wearing business attire. We are window shopping. Strolling down mainstreet considering a change. Have we grown out of this jacket? Is it time for a more modern look? Something a little more comfortable?
But the man or woman under these clothes is still the same. Strong, Proud, Intelligent, Entreprenuerial, Industrious, Engaged. Compassionate. Loving even. A good man with a good head on his shoulders and a good heart.
His clothes need a good dry clean or a patch at least. Or possibly as the seasons change it is time for a new suit. And maybe a haircut.