The Harper Conservatives and the left turn lane

4 12 2012

There are many things that bother me about the Harper Conservatives, but I can’t always figure out what some of them are. Recently, when watching drivers at Danforth and Broadview near where I live, I think I understood one of them.

During rush hour, there’s a long advance turn light that allows drivers to turn left from Danforth Avenue onto Broadview Avenue. Some clever drivers have figured out that they can turn left not only on the yellow light but actually on the red light, provided they drive right up behind the bumper of the car ahead of them. Oncoming traffic has no choice but to let the driver go through.

I can imagine the delight that this driver feels when he or she (it’s probably a he, but let’s not generalize) makes it through ahead of the oncoming traffic. I’m so smart, he thinks; I’ve gamed the system. It’s a win for me!

Of course, this only works because most drivers strictly obey the driving laws. If everybody was employing little tricks like this, driving would become impossible. What if another driver tried to turn left behind the car turning left on the red? Or another, or another? Drivers such as this only win because they are less scrupulous than others on the road.

And this is what bothers me about the Harper Conservatives: they think that they are smarter than other politicians, when all they are is more ruthless and more willing to believe that rules apply to others, not to them. If everybody behaved as they do, the political system would grind to a halt. And, sadly, it appears that this is what is beginning to happen.

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