By Claire Matthews
I had to stop sleeping with my fuck buddy because he was a Conservative. Of course, the logical question is, didn’t you know this? OKCupid has many questions you can answer for matchmaking, but not one of them asks what your political party affiliation is.
My first date with the Conservative was at the Cascade Room. Dimly lit, great drinks, better food, and small tables: a perfect first date setting. I liked that he started medical school in the Fall, was good looking, and had no problem kissing me within two hours of meeting me. It might have been at Nomad or at Portland where I discovered that his mom was a Member of Parliament (MP), but I didn’t think to ask for which party. That his mom was an MP was a turn on for me, because that meant that politics had to be important to him too. Nothing gets this girl going like stubble and a man who knows what “first past the post” means, and the Conservative had both.
That night on my pullout couch beneath my orange sleeping bag cemented a nine-month long (with a two-and-a-half-month break when I dated someone else) friends with privileges. And there were privileges, believe me. To be honest, we weren’t even really friends. Friends hang out, talk. I’ve never had so much silence between myself and another person as I did with him, but it never really bothered me. We were there for sex, not long, look-into-my-eyes conversations about the environment, human rights, or health care—all sectors Prime Minister Stephen Harper cares little about. No. The Conservative and I talked about our daily lives, summer plans, and nothing else.
One afternoon I saw the first clue: mail from the mothership. I thought, Do the Conservatives really think they can sway votes through mail? It sat on his coffee table while he fucked me from behind and I had not choice but to look that Old-Stock-white envelope in its cleanly shaven face. It sat on his coffee table while he offered me a sandwich. What do you do when you feel like you’re being terrorized by a piece of paper? Nothing. Because no matter how many times people have protested the Indian Act, Bill C-51, Bill C-59, or Bill C-428 as a few examples, Harper and his government just don’t give a fuck. Although this envelope bears no significance in any context, these bills absolutely do.
The second clue was hidden underneath the Conservative’s bed, in true Tory fashion: the campaign sign for the Conservative MP in his riding. Why would I look under the bed for signs of totalitarianism when all I wanted to do was get on the bed and be totalitarianized? But I didn’t know the sign was there until the Conservative made his confession during pillow talk.
“I can’t wait until the election is over,” I said. “I’m sick of the campaign signs littering the city.”
The Conservative chuckled along with me though I couldn’t see the deceit in his dark brown eyes. He was on his back, staring up at the ceiling, probably contemplating pipelines. “Mine is under the bed,” he said.
“What’s it doing there?” Monsters are under the bed. Duh?
“Well, it usually sparks quite the debate when I have people over.”
I didn’t know how to reply, thinking naively again, NDP isn’t that bad. Maybe Liberal? Green and everyone will laugh at you.
“You know, Conservatives aren’t exactly popular here,” he said. He looked at me sideways without turning his thinning blond head.
He chuckles again, because I don’t think Conservatives know how to laugh, and says, “Yeah, you knew this.”
“But Harper,” I said. “Harper.”
“Well, he’s not my ideal prime minister, but he’s the head of the party, so—” shrug.
“He represents your party though. He represents you.”
“Like I said, not my ideal prime minister, but I like the Conservatives’ economic policies and I care about having a job,” he said.
And that was the moment my vagina dried up and became sealed off to him.
I didn’t know if I could ethically sleep with him anymore. I mean, how do you get down and dirty with somebody who voted for a man whose government cut the funding of the Native Women’s Association of Canada after reporting that at least 600 Indigenous women and girls have been murdered or gone missing? Could I really let him fuck me and not think about all the times Harper has fucked over Canada? How would I do it? If I got pregnant with the Conservative’s baby, he would be voting for a man who would ideally abolish every abortion clinic across this country. I know he doesn’t have it his way, but it’s the thought that counts. It really does, because if he would deny so many women the right to make decisions about their bodies, decisions that are of no business to anyone, let alone the government, what else would he do? What else will Stephen Harper continue to do?
Author’s note: Let it be known that this is a work of satire and that many ideas and facts are conflated or compared or hyperbolized as a means to drive change, open up discussion, and make politics sexy for all those who can’t get down with the Crown.
Claire Matthews is a UBC MFA student, writer, editor, soap maker, whisky drinker.