The childishness of Ontario politics

illustration by Devin Beauregard

WE’VE ALL DONE it at least once: Compared the behaviour of politicians to that of children. No one has to pass a maturity test to be elected to office, and though the results of this childish behaviour can be frustrating or detrimental, they can also be very funny.

Location: Classroom

Time: 8:31 a.m.

Mrs. GG called the class to carpet time to introduce a new student. “Class, this is Voter. We’re all going to make him feel welcome, aren’t we?” As she asked this question, she ushered the new student to a seat on the carpet.

Location: Art station

Time: 9:41 a.m.

Voter was trying to paint a picture of his family, just like Mrs. GG had told him to, when his artistic concentration was broken by a screech to his right. The boy at the next easel was screaming his head off and holding out his arm like it might bite him.

“I’m bleeding! I’m bleeding!” The kid started to run around in circles, still screaming. Mrs. GG caught him by the shoulders and made him show her his arm.

“It’s just red paint, Liberal.”

“I think I need to go to the nurse!”

“No, you’re fine.”

Just like that, Liberal fainted. He hit the floor like a sack of potatoes and refused to be revived by anything other than chocolate milk.

“He does that,” the boy to Voter’s left said. “Thinks he needs health care for every little owie and boo-boo.”

The boy stuck out his hand like a grown-up.

“I’m P.C., Progressive Conservative the Third,” he said pompously. “I used to go to private school, but that was getting so dull.”

Voter glanced at the painting on P.C.’s easel. It was a picture of a grey square. Voter didn’t know what to say, so he replied, “I want to be an artist when I grow up.”

P.C. looked at Voter with complete bewilderment.

“Why would you want to grow up to be a homeless vagrant? Get a real job.”


Location: The cafeteria

Time: 12:05 p.m.

Voter entered the lunch line behind Liberal, who was chewing on the collar of his shirt because he didn’t know whether to get the chicken fingers or the fish sticks today.

“What if I pick the wrong one and it makes my tummy hurt?”

Voter didn’t care what he ate for lunch, as long as it filled him up.

The lunch line stalled. Up ahead, one of his classmates was harassing the lunch lady.

“What is this?!” The kid slammed her lunch tray down on the edge of the serving bar. “Healthy food should be served in schools! Do you know how easy it is to get fresh, healthy food in this city? Farming is the backbone of Ontario’s economy!”

The lunch lady raised an eyebrow, not quite sure how to deal with a five-year-old pontificating on agricultural resources.

“Have some more peas,” she said, and dropped a second scoop on her tray.

“That’s Green,” Liberal whispered to Voter as the agricultural do-gooder slumped away with her pea-laden lunch tray. “She tried to get the teacher to let us build a community garden, too.”

“Did you?”

“We were going to, but no one could agree on what to plant.”


Location: Pretend house

Time: 1:45 p.m.

Voter went to the costume box and found himself a fireman’s hat.

“Take that off,” P.C. said. “We’re playing house.”

“The house can be on fire and I can put it out.”

“No,” P.C. scolded him. “You’re going to play the point-two child.”


“Every house needs a nuclear family with a mother, a father, and two-point-two children. I’m the father, Green is the mother, B.Q. and New Demmie are the children, so you have to play the point-two child.”

“But I don’t want to be the point-two kid.”

“And I don’t want to play in this house,” New Demmie chimed in. “We haven’t built it so it’s affordable for the average family.”

“And it’s totally unsustainable!” Green complained.

“What are you talking about? The walls are made of cardboard.”

“Not post-consumer recycled cardboard,” she said, sticking her tongue out at P.C., who gave them all a stern look and tapped his foot.

“Don’t make me prorogue this game.”

Voter took off his fireman hat. “You wouldn’t.”

P.C. gave them all a mean smirk.

“Mrs. GG!”


Location: Nap time mat

Time: 2:01 p.m.

Mrs. GG stopped by Voter’s nap mat, concerned he was having trouble falling asleep. “Rough first day?” she asked.

Voter nodded.

“How does anybody learn in this school?”

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” Mrs. GG said, patting his head. “Disagreement is the foundation of discourse, and discourse paves the path toward change.”

“You really believe that?”

Mrs. GG shrugged. “The teachers’ union lets me peddle whatever garbage is in the curriculum, as long as the price is right.”

Voter sighed and dropped his pillow over his eyes. “Thanks anyway.”

—Abria Mattina