Election time


Voting next month and I still have ‘t made up my mind.  Well, I’ve made up my mind not to vote for Harper but I’m on the fence about voting for either the Liberals or the NDP.   The Liberals had an ” event” in my down- home working class neighborhood last Thursday.  Since it was only two blocks from my home I decided to see what happened when the son of the revered ( by some) Pierre Trudeau held a pep rally.  It was held in a Ville Émard institution, Dilallo’s Restaurant.  Dilallo’s makes the best hamburgers and they even have  branch in a much more upscale locale, close to,Atwater Market on Notre Dame St.  Ours is the original place, though, opened in 1939.  It must have taken some nerve to open a  restaurant in that year, down in a pretty undeveloped part of Montreal.  They recently did  renovations inside.  Much to my disgust they installed big sports TV’s but…I have a hard time with change.  I’m sure guys like munching delicious food and head swivelling  to look at golf, hockey or baseball.  Beats making conversation, I guess.  So, off I went on a sweltering evening like only Montreal can cook up in  late summer.  There were already quite a lot of people, excited looking families and plenty of “handlers” .  I asked one guy if there would be a question period.  He was quite canny.  He didn’t even burst out laughing but said Mr. Trudeau would have plenty of time to go around the tables and talk to all of us and that we could ask questions then.  Judging from the chatty ( read mildly hysterical) mood of the crowd, my hopes of understanding a fine point of Federal financing for long – term projects…..oh, forget it! I took a seat next to two beefy guys chatting it up in mixture of Montreal English and heavily accented Albanese Italian. Believe me, after 15 years in Ville Émard I can tell the difference between Albanese and Calabrian!  In a few moments the bus ferrying Trudeau and his staff arrived.  Pandemonium!  Blue rinsed ladies climbed up onto the newly upholstered benches to get good pictures of their heart throb.  The first thing Mr Trudeau did upon entering the restaurant was take a surprised looking baby in his arms and kiss it!  I ask you!  I can confirm that up close he does have good hair….and teeth and just the right handshake for a politician…firm, dry and imbued with sincerity.  I was introduced by the local Liberal candidate – not by name of course as I’d only met him thirty seconds earlier.  Somehow a sort of earnest pseudo-thoughtfulness seemed to,have been sprinkled over these two guys as if by a political Tinkerbelle.  The crowd was made up of old time first and second generation Italians and other ethnic groups who sat together at adjoining tables, Chinese, Sikhs,.  There were no speeches or introductions.   The candidate and his leader worked their way around the room shaking hands and posing for innumerable photos while the noise level grew higher and higher.  After about half an hour I left and got this picture on my way home.  Sort of sums things up.  The old established neighborhood restaurant,  the political bus and the church of Quebec almost totally obscured.  Oh, a nod to Louis Dudek, Quebec poet….” Un homme politique, une lampe electrique.”