Stompin’ Tom Talks Politicians

Canadians go to the polls on Oct. 14 to elect a new prime minister and parliament. Since there's probably no one who's seen more of Canada or who feels more passionately about the country than Stompin' Tom Connors, I asked him for his opinion on the election.

The short answer: "Who can have an opinion about the Canadian election right now?"

- Oct 9, 2008

Canadians go to the polls on Oct. 14 to elect a new prime minister and parliament. Since there's probably no one who's seen more of Canada or who feels more passionately about the country than Stompin' Tom Connors, I asked him for his opinion on the election.

The short answer: "Who can have an opinion about the Canadian election right now?"

The long answer: "Well, I lean to the left. No doubt about it. But what leaders have we got? That's the question I ask.

"I don't hear them sayin' anything. I hear the same old politics, and I've been around a lot longer than you have, my friend, and I've heard these elections so many times, over and over and over again, and they promise the sky. And when you're done, you're lucky to get the dregs out of the pond. Politicians, I don't know.

"The old question has been asked, 'Have you ever met an honest politician?' I mean, what's the answer? Has anyone ever answered 'yes'? I don't think so."

When asked about government funding for the arts and the Harper administration's plans for cutbacks to certain programs, Connors is unrelenting in his scathing criticism of politicians.

"I don't even listen to the arguments because they're all the same. Each politician is going to promise this for that group of people and somethin' else for another group of people. They're goin' to do this and they're goin' to do that. But they never do it anyway. So the question is almost invalid. It's crazy. To give my opinion on what I think about somebody who said somethin' before an election, I don't know what to say. It's crazy.

"It's like the guy who asks, 'Did you ever play Switch?'

"And you say, 'Switch? I don't know.'

"'Well, would you like to play?'

"'I'll try it. How do you do it?'

"'Well, you stick one thumb in your mouth and then the other up your ass, and then you jump up in the air and switch.'

"That's politics."

Connors' wife Lena had just entered the kitchen where we were talking, and playfully chastized him after hearing his explanation.

"You weren't supposed to be listenin' to that," he replied.

It was time for another beer.

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