Sunday, May 24, 2009

Question Period follow up

Just a few points...

Flaherty's appearance seemed to be geared toward playing good cop to Harper's bad cop on EI. Not hard to sound more reasonable than Mr. Harper's inflammatory rhetoric on Friday. Summer showdown, still big question mark.

On the Foreign Affairs matter of Pakistan and the government's performance this week...they're not helping themselves out at all with appearances by Deepak Obhrai, the parliamentary secretary to the Foreign Affairs Minister. The best he could do throughout the segment was to issue bald denials that there is any confusion in the Harper government over its handling of foreign affairs. To deny that there is any confusion being shown to the world when the Defence Minister says in Pakistan that the Canadian military technology embargo may be lifted, only to be slapped down by the Foreign Affairs Department two days later. It's just not credible for Mr. Obhrai to issue such bald statements. It was a painful experience to watch, as far as these things go, of course. I suppose it's the lot for Conservative ministers and parliamentary secretaries and they do so willingly, so not much sympathy here.

Bob Rae made the point quite clearly, that we just need to show the world that "we know how to do this." That is, handle a sensitive foreign affairs question with skill, a sense of direction. Yet, too much to ask at the moment, clearly. It's the PMO's one-man government that is befuddling and chafing the Harper ministers.

By the MacKay back yet? 'Cause someone really needs to prod and find out what's up after what's happened this week. Hoping that someone opts to unburden themselves over this one instead of exercising boring restraint.