The day may not be yet half over, but already this is one for the books.

I woke up bright and early this morning. Showered and dressed, ate a bowl of cereal and had a glass of orange juice. I borrowed my grandmother's coat and toque, grabbed my digital camera and a felt-tipped marker. I also grabbed my "Stockwell Day - Canadian Alliance" sign, and my Gord Brown (my constituency's Alliance candidate) button.

I got in the car, and went to the Kinsmen's Hall. There I would see, live in person, for one hour only, the Real Deal. The Man himself, Stockwell Day.

What is it with these right-wing leaders and their first names?? Preston? Stockwell? ...Adolph?

Anyway, with my disguise in place, I sauntered into the hall a full half-an-hour before the Bigwig's arrival. It wasn't packed, but was quickly filling up. I grabbed an "aisle" seat on the right of the walkway Day would presumably take up to the see-through podium. Lighting guys, sound guys, and a blend of local and Alliance people fluttered about, while Gananoque's best and brightest poured through the doors. Gananoque, for those of you who don't know, is where they threw out all the bad Thousand Islands dressing. It's a native word meaning "leave at once". One devoted Alliance supporter even pulled his son out of school for what he called "a historic occasion".

I waited, and held my sign, I fidgeted, and went over the plan inside my head. About five minutes late, Gord Brown got up and said a few words. His pregnant wife smiled at him with that rehearsed "wife-of-" sincerity. Then Gord announced The Man's arrival, and they played "I'm In A Hurry To Get Things Done". He walked up the aisle-way, surrounded by "Gord Brown" sign holding muthafuckas and press galore. A few of his people were there too, I don't know if they were security or what, but they had that ever-anxious look which makes them seem important. He was shaking hands with all the aisle people, and soon he got to me.
I cocked my .357 magnum, KIDDING! I did however shake his hand, and he thanked me for coming. I blurted something out, don't remember what. I shook his wife's hand. Her name eludes me - I'm sure it's not Doris, though. Anyway, she robotically thanked me for coming too, as if echoing her husband's greeting. I said it was a pleasure to be there, and it was.

Two novelty cheques, huge mofos, were hung up on either side of the podium. One in French, one in English. They were made to look as if they were $XX,000,000,000 cheques made out to Jean Chretien from the Canadian Taxpayers. Kinda cute, but the "XX"s did not exactly reassure me as to the Alliance's mathematical ability.

Stock had the stage, said some kind things re: Gord Brown, and then moved on. Charismatic, slightly articulate and generally good-natured. That's how I'll describe his speech. I won't go into too much detail as to what he had to say. I took some pictures with my digicam, and chuckled as he talked about how the Liberals were a party "mired in the past." And right-wing fundamentalist redneck politics is new age and forward-thinking???? I'm not sure what that crazy man is thinking, but he seems to be confident enough to win the majority of our constituency's support.

Stockwell said he'd compare track records to Chretien and the Liberals anytime. Comparing Liberal records to Alliance records. Hmmm, the records of a party that has been around since, oh, let's see: 1867! with those of a newly formed, never in power Alliance. Lots to compare there...

He incorrectly stated that little more than the number of people in the room, (no more than a hundred), would be making the decision as to who would be the next president of the United States. Last I checked it was 900+, but anyway...
This struck me as interesting. I'm not sure as to why he brought up the States, other than to be throwing around another buzz-topic with the yokels, but I thought it seemed, strangely, the most unpolitical thing he discussed.

While talking about why we shouldn't let Chretien keep his job, someone in the audience of well-bred intellectuals shouted "throw the bum out!" which made Stockwell pause, reflect and pretend to write down notes.
"I hate taking someone else's lines, but..." Everybody laughed.
This from the man who stood on the shoulders of Reform leader Preston Manning, admittedly one of the least charismatic politicians of the last ten years, but important in terms of the Alliance nonetheless.

As he concluded, the country twang started and "I'm In A Hurry..." started again. As I feared, he made his way down the opposite side of the room. I waited a bit, and then at the near-to-last minute, left my coat and camera in my seat, and dashed across the room, through reporters and cameramen, and planted myself 15 feet ahead of him. I waited beside a little girl holding a Gord Brown sign. Excellent. No politician can resist little kids.

I held my Stockwell Day sign up in one hand, and my black marker in the other. As he passed I shouted "Mr. Day, an autograph please." Between the first and second repeat-shouts, his aide caught on, and figured it'd be bad publicity to let my homemade banner go home unsigned. "Mr. Day, an autograph, sir" he said into Stockwell's ear. Day turned to me, and I handed him my marker. He smiled at me, and signed the banner. He then asked me my name.

"Is that with a C or a..."
"K," I interrupted.
He wrote what looks like "Karl, To Canada!" but for some reason or another his "T" is completely and utterly insane. It looks like a slanted "]" with a line through it. It resembles an "F" more so than a "T". Maybe he went to write "For Canada!" and wrote "To Canada!" instead. Who the fuck knows, I don't ask questions - he signed his name "S-t-w-l D-a-y" for chrissake.

He then said, "Thanks for coming out Karl," and I thanked him in return. He then moved on to the little girl next to me.

What Mr. Stockwell Day did not notice, was that as he was signing the "Karl, ??? Canada!" bit, I was pulling the glue loose on my folded-over-bristle board sign. When he was with the little girl, and all the cameras were lovingly clicking, I calmly folded over the sign, revealing the "Karl Marx - World Socialism" sign. A perfect mock-up of the other side, it even sports a red and yellow version of the Alliance's famous blue and green backdrop. Complete with a little commie star, my sign may or may not have been in background of the pictures of the cute little Alliance girl.

I held my sign up for a bit, and then pushed my way through the crowds, and went back to my seat, eager to see if my camera had been lifted. When I got there, verified that nothing had been touched and went to put on my coat, I noticed a young man in a heavy coat coming towards me. I almost kinda freaked a little bit.
I mean, if I was razzing Alexa from the NDPs, I wouldn't be worried, but these were ALLIANCE SUPPORTERS!!! It's like voting for the NRA in the states, alright?

Anyway, the man approached, and said in a kind voice, "You don't look like your average Canadian Alliance supporter." And I knew at once he was a reporter.
"No, not exactly," I said, holding up my sign and grinning.
"Yeah, I saw that...Pretty clever. Do you think Mr. Day knew what he was autographing?" he asked, smiling warmly.
"Nope, probably not. He did however sign it to Karl," I flipped the sign around showing him the signature, "and my name's not Karl, so..."
He asked me some questions, and I told him I was kinda scared of the alliance, and their fundamentalist views. I told him that as a supporter of alternative politics and an advocate for freedom of choice, of religion, and of sexuality, etc., I found it disturbing to see how popular Day really is. He asked me about Stockwell, what I thought of him. This was a dream interview. I told him that Day was very charismatic, and had made a pretty meteoric rise to power, with his strong emphasis on values and moral fortitude.
"He's a pretty good speaker, isn't he?" he asked.
"Yeah, it's been over sixty years since we've seen a politician like him, and not even on this side of the ocean..." I let that sink in, and yeah, Day-Hitler comparisons are a little extreme, but hey, I'm a radical left-winger, gimme a break.

He asked how old I was, and when I told him I was nineteen, he asked if this was my first time voting. When I answered in the affirmative he asked who I could vote for in this constituency. I explained that there wasn't even an NDP rep here, and he said "I know!" in a tone that suggested he was very sympathetic to my cause. I told him I'm just going to mark "World Socialism" on my ballot. He smiled, took my name, and said he's help spread the word for me. He left chuckling about the sign, and that Stock had signed it to Karl.

I left, carefully folded my sign back over so as not to risk a shit-kickin', and took a few pics of the huge Alliance bus and convoy. I walked home in the snow, ecstatic, and look forward to watching the news tonight, and maybe even seeing a little something in the Kingston Whig-Standard.

Remember kids: It's World Socialism, because as Mr. Day says,

"It's Time For Change"