Thursday, June 21, 2007

Some thoughts on the spring session as MPs head home

Now that the House is breaking for the summer - and we won't have all the parliamentary hijinks to kick around every day...well, we might, if the Conservatives remain true to form...:) - thought I'd get in on the end of session wrap-up extravaganza with a few observations. Along the lines of the Globe report today noting their Question Period underperformers and standouts, Harper's notable attacks on the opposition replete with quotes of some of his barbs, here are a few thoughts.

Most significant issue raised? The exposure of the Afghanistan detainee treatment allegations and the successful holding of the government's feet to the fire that followed. It exposed the mishandling of this file by the Harper government, its weak players and their collective tendency to extreme partisanship when pushed. Nothing like a gut check on a defining issue to test a government's mettle. And they came up short.

Question Period underperformer and standout, combined in one has to be our PM himself. Standout in the sense that no one stands out on the Conservative side more than Harper. We saw how the chaos on the Atlantic Accords flourished in his absence while at the G8. His party's little more than a one-man band and his being the face of it is no longer the strength it was once perceived to be. This session's seen to that. And in terms of being the underperformer as well...check out the mean-spirited quotes in the Globe report, some of which I've already included in previous blog posts, questioning the opposition's patriotism and here:
Mr. Harper on Mr. Dion's questioning style in the House: “Mr. Speaker, I honestly do not know what the honourable member is even talking about.”
(I don't know how to interpret this other than that he's going after Dion's speaking style. This latter line of attack against Dion appears to be a latent issue that they wish to float yet never come right out and say. I think they should be treading carefully with this stuff...there are millions of Canadians who speak with accents, Quebecers and others, that they are also mocking when they venture into this territory with such quotes and manipulative attack ads. Sleeper issue to watch in the future.)

Most effective provincial politician having an impact on the session...has got to be Danny Millions in this blogger's view. We have a saying around here based on observing this guy in action and it's that you don't mess with Danny Millions. You can try...but you do so at your peril, as Mini Bush has no doubt learned at this point.

Most hilarious incident, and happily, there were many...the NASCAR sponsorship that put the Conservatives at cross-purposes with their environmental politicking has got to be right up there. They're certainly leaving on a high note in that regard...leave 'em while they're still laughing I guess...:) Or how about the Conservative insider who said this:
"My mother doesn't like him," one Conservative insider who didn't want to be named said of Harper. "I don't know, she just doesn't like him. It's something he emanates."
You said a mouthful, my friend. How I did enjoy the many anonymous Conservative insiders who unburdened themselves with tidbits through back channels. Or how about the hilarious Young Liberal ads? Or perhaps, saving the best for last, the PM having to deny he gets psychic advice from his personal stylist?

Think I'll end on that note...:)