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Good riddance to the penny (if only Stephen Harper would kill these other things as well)

By in Opinions

Starting this fall, the Royal Canadian Mint will no longer distribute new pennies. This decision was unveiled in the federal government’s 2012 budget and will likely go down as one of those once-in-a-generation moments of national unity — like winning gold in hockey at the Vancouver Olympics or the adoption of the maple leaf flag.

No one disputes that pennies are useless. For starters, it costs 1.6 cents to produce each coin. The only time people are glad to have pennies is when they see a leave-a-penny dish at a cash register. Even one-cent candies now cost more than a cent. Getting rid of the penny may just prove to be the most popular thing the Conservatives do in government.

The abolition of the penny proves what most people have long suspected: Stephen Harper is the greatest prime minister since Sir John A. Macdonald. At the very least, it confirms that he’s really good at abolishing things — the long-gun registry, the long-form census and the Katimavik program.

Here’s a short list of other things the prime minister should consider abolishing.


The nickel is the awkward middle child of the small coin family. Not worth enough to buy much but too big to be ignored, the nickel is just asking for it. Even parking meters refuse nickels, so why should we meekly accept a fistful of them in our change? Hell, nickels aren’t even made of nickel anymore; they’re almost entirely steel, with nickel plating.

Mr. Harper, tear down this coin!


It seems pretty obvious that any remaining payphones are merely there because no one has gotten around to disconnecting them. They are relics of the past that are only useful for vandalizing. The only good thing about payphones was the phone booth, but those haven’t been standard for decades.

While Harper is at it, he should abolish all landlines. Phones are just glorified text messagers now and actually speaking to another human being using your voice is rather archaic. Oh, and all Bluetooth earpieces. Maybe BlackBerrys too.

Drum solos

Solos in general are pretty annoying, but at the bottom of the solo totem pole is the drum solo. Even the most amazing drummer in the world can’t sustain a crowd’s interest for long without some other instruments in the mix. This is why a singer-songwriter can get by with just a guitar, but why you never see musical acts that just use drums.

Drum solos also go on for far too long. If you really want to give the singer a break, how about telling a knock-knock joke? It will be about as entertaining as the drum solo but won’t cause any headaches in the crowd.

Abolishing drum solos will of course leave drumming itself intact, but anyone who goes more than 10 seconds without other instruments should get an automatic 10 to 20 years.


The middle of the workweek, difficult to spell and possessing an overall shitty attitude, Wednesday is ripe for abolition. The week could still have seven days (I have a multi-year Dilbert-a-day calendar that would become completely meaningless otherwise) but we can all agree that Wednesday doesn’t deserve its place in the middle. We could add an extra weekend day, or we could just rename Wednesday to “Double Tuesday.” In addition to abolishing Wednesday, I’d also like to see the prime minister strictly enforce Hump Day in some way.


We all know that Stephen Harper is a cat-lover — and why shouldn’t he be? They’re soft, cute and pee in a box.

The cat’s mortal enemy, of course, is the dog, and unlike their cuddly counterparts, dogs generally don’t pee in convenient places. Also, sometimes they can be big and scary and mean.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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