Friday, November 7, 2008

Is this a squash match?

Thanks for the warm welcome to Pundit Fight!

I feel a squash match in the making. I live in Sault Ste. Marie, a city split by the U.S.-Canadian border running down the middle of the St. Marys' River. Two-thirds of our city is in Northern Ontario, and the remaining third is in the Michigan Upper Peninsula.

In the Canadian corner stands Tony Martin, our local Member of Parliament (Canada's equivalent to Congressional Representative), who this morning called out Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the local media. Tony is a backbencher with the fourth-place New Democratic Party (NDP) - which describes itself as Canada's socialist party. In contrast, Harper was recently re-elected as leader of a strong Conservative minority. So already we're seeing an imbalance of power pitting a jobber in the loserweight category against the franchise player among the heavyweights.

Because the NDP is more-or-less powerless within Canada's new Parliament - after all, they're the lucha libre stable of Canadian politics, Canadians find they're high-flying tactics and colorful masks entertaining, but nobody expects them to compete for the big prize - Tony's generally seen as all mic and no matt skill (which seldom bodes well in the Lucha Libre, but every weight class needs jobbers.) This means Tony must find another gimmick to put himself over. Following an old wrestling angle, Tony is now threatening an invasion from the franchise in the neighboring promotion. That's right, he's calling on Obama to put the progressive power-bomb on Harper (click here).

Interestingly enough, Tony's counterpart in the Michigan Sault is Representative Bart Stupak - a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-veteran and pro-law-enforcement Democrat. That makes him a 'Tweener in Washington, where he is nevertheless respected for his legendary skill at booking legislation. But here in the U.P., he's the hometown hero who gets the biggest political pop. So I doubt local Democrats will indulge Tony mic fantansies.

Still, it would be fun to watch Obama come up here and squash the Canadian jobber trying to book matches in his name. It would probably look something like this:

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