An election night e-mail arrives, a dear friend fearful of the terrifying hours to come.
"Finally a home for all the religious nutbars," she wails. "And the gun lobby. Their ads run around the clock here. And the creationists. And the We-Would-Rather-Canada-Be-Primarily-White Joyriders. And the rich guys who want to pay no taxes on whatever gains they have not managed to secrete off-shore....
"Of course I voted Liberal. Martin is decent and honest. Yes, he and his cadre of young white men have run a stupid campaign, but the alternative is just too scary... "
I rush to the keyboard to re-assure her.
(Let tearful photo set the mood. Sniffle.)
"Gee," I write back to her.
"I'm not half as fearful and frustrated as you appear to be. But then I'm not a Liberal.
"I'm a dog person.
"Reward good behaviour. Ignore bad behaviour.
"Unfortunately, Martin and Chretien only focused on the second. This is not exactly a plan for better behaviour.
"What exactly would the Liberals have to do to dissuade you voting for them? Come to your house and steal the TV? Promise you day care for a sixth time about 18 months from now? Drink all your good wine and soil the sofa? Poke you in the eye and tell you they're entitled? Oh wait: they already did that.
"Do you believe, given Harper's all-too-pragmatic, don't-be-scared campaign, that a dumptruck of Conservative loon legislation is coming in the next two years? How would he ever achieve a majority? If so, your prayers will be answered when he returns to the polls... and is buried by media, opposition and history.
"If the nation is so fragile that Tory nutbars who've been hiding under rocks since November, Opus Dei and Focus on the Family Bible-burpers can put us back in the caves, chasing pregnant single women with sticks and toasting marshmallows and bannock over flaming copies of the Charter, perhaps we deserve it.
"That you can find any politician to type the words 'honest and decent' about, is a marvel. The ones I see are motivated by personal ambition and not much else. Their one qualification for office: they are missing the 'shame' gene.
"I have stocked my living room with cheesies, Sleeman Clear, Meyers rum and Diet Coke.
"Let the Great Miracle of Democracy begin!"
I hit SEND and snicker.
Yes, I am here to help. What are friends for?