Friday, March 12, 2010

Harper, the translated version

Who knew, but the official version of the "Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada," the response to the Throne Speech delivered yesterday, has been re-written in part for accuracy's sake:
"Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to respond to the Speech from the Throne, which was delivered last week by Her Excellency the Governor General. But before getting into the details, I'd like to distract the nation by once again shamelessly hitching my wagon to Canadian athletes' performance at the recent Olympics. Because I'm stylin' on YouTube at the moment and lets' face it, deficits and boring policy priorities don't keep the kids in the seats. No, Olympics it is.

"And, of course, I want to spend more time than I really should on this topic, but that's what I do and let's face it, who's going to stop me? Guy and I write these things, no one else, my caucus is happy to nod and clap, I have them well-trained. Now as we all know, but I will nevertheless verbally flog the point to death, our athletes, went out and set a new record for the number of gold medals ever won by any nation at a Winter Olympic Games. Let me repeat that bit of information once more and fluff it out for a minute or two by listing the entire medal count, because this is, after all, what I'd prefer to talk about.

"As we all know, and I keep saying that, don't I? Back to what I was saying. As we all know, I find it difficult to deliver a speech these days without mentioning Sidney Crosby or some other hockey player's name, often gratuitously. So here it comes. Wasn't the street party after the big goal by the Sidster just super awesome? Did you see all the flag waving Canadians? Let us remember it well and think back to happier times before Parliament resumed and all the opposition showed up asking pesky questions. I'm doing my best to wave the flag in speech form and really I'd have one draped around my body if they'd just allow props in the House of Commons. We need more of that kind of thing. Maybe next year.

This summer we'll try to replicate me watching sporting events and having my official photographer take my picture by attending another world-class sporting event, but this time, I'm doin' it East Coast style. Those people need to see me high-fiving just as much as the West Coast crowd. Yes, it's the World Junior Championships in Athletics, to be hosted in Moncton. I don't really know what this one is, "Athletics" and all, since it doesn't sound hockeyesque, but we will keep repeating those magic words in any event, Go Canada Go! Are you digging how colloquial I'm getting in a Prime Ministerial address in the House of Commons in my response to the Speech from the Throne? Yeah I am.

"But, Mr. Speaker, while I really should move on to more substantive issues, I'm going to stay on athletics for the time being. I would now like to engage in some verbal gymnastics. I would actually go further than saying that our athletes had a tremendous performance. I will ramp up my adjectival choices here and say that for our country's size, it was actually magnificent. See what I did there? I went from tremendous to magnificent. And to continue the point, we have to look beyond the gold medals, and even beyond medals in general, because I'm still not ready to talk about anything of substance, I'm rockin' the YouTubes. Team Canada was excellent, really excellent dudes! Because at that level of competition, the placings are determined by fractions of seconds, a few millimetres, and sometimes by just a stroke of luck, or should I say, one lucky shot. Did I mention how great it is that I don't have to play by such constricting rules of competition? When the going gets tough, I bend the rules, change the rules, break the rules or better yet, I prorogue.

"And did I mention that we're still talking about the Olympics. Yes, I really went this far into the speech talking about the Olympics, look it up. Here are some more stats about how many athletes we sent to Vancouver, how we stacked up against other countries and more journeyman phrasings like "extraordinary level of excellence." Now here is where I might finally segue into a semblance of a rationale for this blather. Our Olympic success was all about attitude, which defined the goal and was supported by...wait for it...an action plan. See how clever I am, weaving in that action plan thingy, so subliminally sublime and all, with the Olympics?

"Let's now talk about the Calgary Olympics, a generation ago. As everyone knows, we invested in the infrastructure necessary for world-class performance. Infrastructure baby, more subliminal shtick here. Infrastructure, otherwise known as all that stuff presently being built in a Conservative riding near you. And a few sentences here about how Calgary infrastructure plus various other inputs lead to athletes winning and eventually I'll get around to saying that we are going to keep supporting our athletes, as the budget said last week. So you'd think I might get into serious issues now, as I mentioned the b-word, but no.

"London 2012 is coming. Are you going? You can count on the Challenger being fired up and my going if I'm still PM. We're going to help raise the Maple Leaf high over the podium in London 2012 and beyond. Because, and watch for it, my new gimmicky slogan is buried here at the end. When the challenge is understood, when the goal is clearly defined, and when Canadians are given the tools, Canada can get things done. And Mr Speaker, getting things done is the trademark our country is starting to be known for. Except on the environment that is. The world is pretty ticked at us on that one. Oh, and not so much on that isotope thingy either. The world is pretty ticked at that one too, actually. And, come to think of it, except when it comes to anything of a democratic nature at all, like obeying the will of the majority of parliament. Or, you know, like living up to the government's access to information obligations. But, details, details. Gettin' 'er done, like my friend Sarah says, that's the hokum I need Canadians to remember. Did I mention I wish I could talk about the Olympics all day long?
Yes, that's better.