Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Following up on that post from this morning regarding the Harper/Charest photo op today in Quebec, it didn't go so well for the Prime Minister: "Charest slams Harper as prime minister stands nearby." Interesting video at the link. Charest was quite bold in publicly musing about why anyone, anyone at all, would be bothered by his comments in Copenhagen on climate change and what his government was doing as opposed to the Harper government. Harper tried to smooth it over as a normal federal/provincial dust-up but the photo op nevertheless became a story of Charest standing up to the federal government on climate change. Not the headlines the PMO was likely looking for in planning this event.

You don't see that every day from those in the presence of Mr. Harper, events are so stage-managed and tightly controlled that there is little room for spontaneity. No such constraints felt by Mr. Charest. The fact that Charest felt that there was no need for any political niceties, perhaps just a reflection of political reality in Quebec. Harper's government isn't exactly rocking the polls at the moment in Quebec. And there is that little prorogation event that's going on. Whatever the case, there clearly was no concern by Charest with the political fallout from his remarks, a measure of political weakness for Harper.

Also of note, the head of the Quebec press gallery expressed irritation, during the event, at the PMO managing a list of reporters to be called. Nice to hear of opposition to such efforts being voiced.

Little is going well for the government since the prorogation decision, today's event one more indication of that.