Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Brad Cran: Fun-Loving Nickelback Policy Machine (with Kittens)

Brad Cran, now ending his 2½ years as Vancouver poet laureate, is at work on a new poetry collection titled Ink on Paper, which includes a section of poems based on reading. He wrote this poem in response to an Oct. 15 column by The Globe and Mail's John Ibbitson headlined 'The alarming decline in voter turnout'

Sweater vests can be made in Canada but

more likely you wear one from Bangladesh.

Story continues below advertisement

In picking kittens remember tabbies are best.

Avoid regal cats and expensive galas that

cost more if you fly in on one of the jets.

Remember that politics is the art of grey

and it's okay to win by saying nothing.

Keep yourself in check or one day you will

ride the lakes of your ego on a Jet Ski.

Story continues below advertisement

Failure is easy to come by and you can find it

in simple things. Ignatieff couldn't eat a cracker

without looking like a scion who was born to fix

the world. Thumbs-up and seal meat, ready to sing

Springsteen to a Nickelback crowd.

Rise up indeed. On the way out keep it down a bit

Story continues below advertisement

and choke on one of Kevin O'Leary's "nothing burgers."

The past is best forgotten. Remember, black and white

photography was too kind. No politician alive could

survive Trudeau's dive or pirouette in the age of viral.

The week Layton died, rest in peace, a friend of mine

said that he was having a bad day so he sat down with

a coffee and thought "What would Jack do?"

God help us. Even the righteous

are reduced to a Timbit slogan.

I'm reminded of something the singer

Rodney DeCroo once said to me in jest

"I'm an independent thinker – I read Chomsky."

Where do politicians find a place on issues

if all we do is send them onto The Dating Game.

34 million people and we believe there

is only one choice for the top job?

Your personality awaits. It's you in grey. Good pay

but remember it's all in the pension and power.

People will stand when you enter the room.

You will fly Super Elite. And when you run

through the airport they will say "there she goes."

If you are bland as glue then give it some zip

but avoid the issues that you know won't stick.

When breathed into the human lung chrysotile

asbestos tears you apart from the inside out,

no matter if you live in India or Oshawa.

The important thing is to give Canadians

what they want, Yo-Yo Ma and "a little help

from my friends," being a fun-loving Nickelback

policy machine and for good measure throw in

some kittens. Live in the world of seems.

It seems like to me …

After all, Ignatieff was right when he said that in politics

people are only interested in what you have said

and have little interest in what you mean.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles as we switch to a new provider. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to