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Election Day: Oct. 2, 2003   


Cast your note
When the polls bite
(Scenes from
Tory Campaign 2003:
The Musical
 by Mike Wise, Canada Now
 Sept. 30, 2003

As the Conservative campaign winds down in its final few days, and the premier does his last-minute crisscross of the province to shore up votes in some key ridings, a number of us on the bus are reflecting on how we will remember the experience.

For me, it's the music.

And I don't mean the Elvis tunes on the bus sound system that Eves' handlers crank up whenever the King sings, "We're caught in a trap. We can't get out."

The events of the campaign are constantly being set to music and performed.

It started in the first week of the campaign. As some reporters grew weary of hearing the same lines repeated over and over again by the premier, we started compiling a list of the Eves' favourite things, and checking them off as he brought them up.

This eventually turned into a little parody song.

On a flight to North Bay, the Queen's Park Press Gallery choir was hastily formed, and sang some of this little ditty for the premier.

(Sung to the tune of "Favorite Things," of course, from the Sound of Music.)

"Private school credits, and tax breaks for seniors,
Since Dalton's against 'em, he seems all the meaner.
Writing off mortgages, means more Ka-Ching.
These are a few of my favourite things.

+ When the Writ Drops,
When the polls sting,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don't feel so bad."

(There were more verses, but they're so filled with inside jokes, they don't work well for a broader audience.)

As the campaign wore on, and new developments came up, new verses were created, such as:

"Raising your taxes has Dalton all smitten,
+Don't turn your back; he'll chow down on your kitten.
Why risk your vote on a reptilian fling,
These are a few of my favourite things."

Well, the premier struck back.

This past weekend, during a moment of levity, Isabel Bassett, the premier, and his staff responded with their own verses, once again, sung at the back of the campaign plane.

The words make reference to various Queen's Park newspaper reporters, but you'll get the gist. (The last verse is a bit rude, but it made reference to an inside joke when one reporter angrily yelled at another).

"Mortgage deductions and tax breaks for seniors,
Banning of lock-outs and budgets much leaner,
Telling the people what tax cuts will bring,
These are a few of our favourite things.+

Memories of Dalton before all that training,
April and badger without the complaining,
Bringing in budgets that balance each spring,
These are a few of our favourite things.

Ivison, Perkel, and Mackie and Benzie,
Mallan, Theresa, you've had quite a frenzy.
Don't think that we hate you, it's been lots of fun.
We'll like you all when you write that we've won.+

Shut the &*^* up! Someone's filing!
Warren's [Kinsella] on the phone.
Despite what you think we are winning this thing.
So please just throw us a bone."

In all of this there's no Julie Andrews giving comfort through a thunderstorm, but there is a line about a kitten.

So, with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein, I think we have the basics for the next great musical here, or, at least a great sketch for the Queen's Park Christmas party.



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