Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Inside the Prime Ministerial actor's studio

"Some of what we saw on CBC Tuesday evening may be real. But most of it is fake."
So says Norman Spector in the Globe on Harper's performance during his interview with Peter Mansbridge last night.

The room was dark, there was a little too much forced and strange smiling throughout, as if he'd been told to do so. It was indeed like he was acting and almost seemed like he was laughing at us. Editorials and op-eds calling him out on prorogation, letters to the editor and growing grassroots protests? He's quite content about it all, evidencing little gravitas in response to any of it.

On that big question, posed to him on prorogation, he repeated that the detainee issue is not on the radar for most Canadians, not top of mind, he lulled us along with his talking point response, Canadians only care about the economy. The fact that the torture issue is actually important to Canadians, as demonstrated in polls, apparently of no consequence to him. He'll say the opposite anyway. But you'll see nothing in this letter to the International Criminal Court of December 3, 2009 about the economy and the polls. Issues will proceed along irrespective of Conservative spin.

What do we make of this style of leadership anyway? Only issues that are popular in the polls will garner his attention? That issues of a pressing legal nature won't be prioritized by his government? Apparently. Which doesn't explain then why we are still being subjected to the tedium of Senate reform. That's not at the top of any Canadian's list. I'll spot everyone 20 choices and bet they won't name Senate reform in the top 20.

One of the more shameful parts of the interview, Harper's response to a question on national security in relation to the new airport security developments in the wake of that Christmas day terror episode. This was the first major public opportunity for Harper to address the question and what did he do? He wove the gun registry into his answer:
It's important that "we make sure that we respond in ways that are intelligent, ways that effectively identify threats before they happen, as opposed to simply massive bureaucratic sets of rules," he said, likening this to the "gun registry approach."

"Putting people on a list is not the best way to identify a security threat."
Well, actually, law enforcement does think putting people on a list is a good way to identify a security threat. Again, there's reality, then there's this Prime Minister's partisan reality, injecting bones for the base into his responses, even on such an important question. What is he thinking? Reason 893,187 why Stephen Harper can't expand beyond his base. If nothing else, he's consistent.

As a final parting shot, there was a gem from the PM:
"The more comfortable our government becomes with the Canadian people, the more partisanship becomes the domain of the Opposition."
No need to spend much time on that one, the hypocrisy's quite obvious. It should be in the very early running for quote of the year though.