Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Well, things on Parliament Hill are looking up since I last posted. It appears that the Liberals are now taking ample advantage of the opportunities Harper has presented them with his series of petty acts.
(To recap, these include, first, calling an early election in defiance of his own legislation, because he saw in the weak Dion an opportunity to gain a majority, thereby showing himself a rank hypocrite; second, deciding to sneeringly attack the arts in Canada because, evidently, he felt they were not friendly towards him, thereby losing credibility and support among Quebeckers, who take cultural identity very seriously, and condemning himself to another minority government; third, using the financial crisis not as an opportunity to be a statesmanlike, non-partisan leader, but as an opportunity to attack the opposition, thereby galvanizing their disparate antipathies toward his government into the united threat of a political coalition; and most recently, refusing to express regret or to attempt to work with the exasperated and disaffected majority opposition, and instead trying to end run them by refusing to allow parliament to meet for nearly two months while he attempted to whip up a national unity crisis by raising the bogus threat of separatism, in the process snuffing out his last ember of integrity as remorselessly as one might grind a cigarette butt underfoot.)
At any rate, the backlash from Harper's attack has resulted in the early resignation of Dion and the sudden promotion of Michael Ignatieff, a much more formidable opponent. Under Ignatieff, there is no risk that the idea of the coalition is going to look like an act of childish and petulant retaliation against Harper, as it did under Dion, nor as an attempt to wrench the Liberals out of the political Centre and toward the Left as it did (albeit probably unfairly) under Rae's guidance. Instead it looks just as it should: the threat of a group of intelligent, prudent patriots who are exasperated by an incompetent dictator's appallingly reckless egoism and petty partisanship.
For a taste of what Harper can expect now, have a look at THIS CLIP of Ignatieff in action.