How boring the world would be if politicians didn't exaggerate, thereby giving wordsmiths like me material for our anvils.
The example du jour: B.C. Liberal leadership candidate Christy Clark, who recently suggested the province establish a new, mid-February statutory holiday dedicated to the celebration of families. In defending the idea, the erstwhile education minister said British Columbians needed an extra day off because they "will go 111 days this year - from New Year's to Easter - without a chance to unwind and spend time together."
Really? One hundred and eleven days? It's as if Clark had never heard of something called "the weekend"-two days that, in my calendar at least, arise like clockwork every seven days or so and which, I am given to understand, are designated "days off" for most students and workers.
My research indicates this "weekend" thing is also quite common across our country, and I've heard rumours that it may even be observed in other countries, too.
But while I don't think much of Clark's headline-grabbing brainchild, I think even less of my Colleague Over There's suggestion that, if a holiday is to be established, it be held in honour of the patron saint of the Canadian Left, Tommy Douglas.
Douglas, as you might recall, is widely heralded as the father of Canadian medicare, and for this he has certainly been well celebrated, even if his establishment of universal healthcare in Saskatchewan did usher in an era when doctors were forced to become state workers. But the government always knows best, right?
Even if I were a head-over-heels fan of the current, monolithic healthcare system in place in Canada, I still wouldn't be a fan of the late socialist premier and national NDP leader, primarily because of his fundamental misunderstanding of the proper role of government and of the rights and responsibilities of individual citizens.
Prime example: his appalling Master's thesis in sociology, entitled The Problems of the Subnormal Family, in which, among many troubling suggestions, he called for governments to force sterilization on anyone it deemed to be "mentally defective." Those of higher mental capacity, but still deemed "subnormal," would merely be sent to internment camps.
Just a guess, but it's unlikely my colleague will be mentioning any of this.