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Author Margaret Atwood meets with members of The Globe and Mail's editorial board to talk about culture and upcoming federal election. (Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
Author Margaret Atwood meets with members of The Globe and Mail's editorial board to talk about culture and upcoming federal election. (Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

At the editorial board

Margaret Atwood, uncensored Add to ...

And I think that story resonates with so many women because it is a lot like Mean Girls. The Mean Girls don't tell you what they are whispering behind your back. In Mean Girls the target of all of this strikes back, and Helena is striking back. But it is a lot like that, and it is a lot like whispering campaigns and witch burnings. The person is singled out for reasons that are not the same as the reasons that are put forward.

The other telling moment is "This Individual."

"This Individual" is from cop shows. This Individual is what you call the perpetrator climbing through the window. So they're not a man and they're not a woman. They're not a person.

It's a little photo moment of what happens to you when you're on the outs in some way.

The other telling moment is her statement: "I want to return to my Conservative family." So, there is a "Conservative family." You are either a member of the family or you are not a member of the family. If you are not a member you don't get in.

And that applies not only to her, who was kicked out. If you were doing a cartoon you could almost do the Victorian sending the women being out into the snow with her baby. This Individual is not going to be allowed into this house again.

Mr. Bardeesy: One of our readers had a question about the news that, it sounds like the Conservatives were successful in de-funding Planned Parenthood, for their overseas operations.

Ms. Atwood: Yeah what is this about anyway? There is a hidden agenda, it is a religious one and elect a Conservative majority and all will be revealed. Trust me on that.

So yes, it is a question of this many people dictating policy for everyone else. And their is no way of proving that except by looking at the actions. Again, doesn't matter what people call themselves or what they say they are going to do. You look at what they actually do do.

And I was not aware of that. It is, again, some utopian extremist vision in which every act of sex should produce a child.

Mr. Gorham: Would you prefer a Liberal minority or majority?

Ms. Atwood: It depends on how they are going to behave.

What they've told us so far is pretty good. But what the Conservatives told us the first time they were elected was pretty good. I think it is a question of letting people test drive the car, because you don't actually know what they are going to do until they are in. That much is obvious. Itis going to be a minority of one kind or the other anyway, is it not?

Mr. Gorham: What would you prefer?

Ms. Atwood: What would I prefer? Politics is the art of the possible.

Yeah, I don't know. I think I would prefer almost anything except a Harper majority. So anything else, I'm willing to take my chances.

I think a Harper majority is the Dictate-o-Meter. The arrow is going in the dictator direction. And the problem with those things is once they get in, they rearrange everything so that they stay in power.

I did write a piece in the first Harper election in which I said something that was true, and that's this guy has never run an election, and what are we in now? Is it a $55-billion deficit? And he obviously doesn't know how to get his plane purchase cost out in any responsible fashion.

And thinks it's a good idea to sprinkle $55-million around Muskoka. And I guess it came out this morning another $60-million too, contact of the guy who was in the PMO office and was on the board of that organization.

So that stuff about being an economist and all that, he never actually had a job doing that. He never had an actual job doing anything but politics. He has never been on the front lines of a business. And anyone who has knows there is a lot of compromise involved. And what you have instead is a theoretician, and they always go for "we are doing this because its right," not, "we are doing this because it works."

And the second one I wrote about the arts, and the rather arrogant position, that most people weren't interested in them. And that was just ignorant.

A huge number of people are interested in them and participate in them themselves. And I got an enormous response to that particular piece because people knew that from their own lives. They may not be Beethoven but they like singing in the choir.

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