Monday, November 01, 2010

The problem with talking point governance

Your boss puts you in a bind where you have to keep repeating inanities like this:
Hon. Lawrence Cannon: I speak in the name of the government of Canada and what I can tell you is that any plea bargain was between Mr. Khadr’s officials, his lawyers as well as the American government. And the government of Canada is not involved in that.
Then the U.S. State Department puts it in a much different light:
Shortly before Cannon spoke, a State Department spokesman in Washington said an exchange of diplomatic notes on Oct. 23 "helped pave the way" for the plea bargain.
The Harper government was actually quite instrumental in the plea bargain's execution, writ large, despite Lawrence "Loose" Cannon's protestations. In order to get to the exchange of notes, there was likely lots of back and forth throughout this set of negotiations.

The tightly scripted shtick that Cannon was issuing throughout ends up making them look silly, or worse, deceitful, as they now appear on this one. It really is remarkable, just how much these ministers are willing to take in terms of hits to their credibility for the sake of preserving message harmony.