Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One consuming flame

The combatants collided like thunderbolts and all was one consuming flame
Frederich Holderlin, Hyperion

I first walked into Centre Block on Parliament Hill in 2004, the first autumn of the Martin minority government and the neo-gothic spires rang with the shouts of partisan war. The ground beneath my feet shifted on the hour, the half hour and sometimes every minute. The plotters in the backrooms played the game like teenagers around a Risk board. One moment blue moved in from Europe to crush red in Africa but orange moved its pieces to strike blue's remnants in Europe from Iceland. The dice clattered like snare drums in a military parade as the pundits debated the exact measurements of each leader's body bag.

This time, however, it appears the frenzy of those days will be eclipsed by the mad cacophony that will shake the limestone walls of power and the dust from opening skirmishes already clouds the reddening horizon. The parties will fight like starving dogs for the bits of percentage points still scattered around the bowl of voter intentions for that is all that is up for grabs

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