Stephen Harper asks the GG to read him a bedtime story - Macleans.ca
 

Stephen Harper asks the GG to read him a bedtime story

And the government will live happily ever after


 

Fred Chartrand/CP

“Tell the Prime Minister you’ve got his back,” encouraged a note from the Conservative party, sent yesterday in advance of the Speech from the Throne.

Moments after the Governor General had concluded reading said speech, another beseeching.

“Tell the Prime Minister you’ve got his back—and help us seize Canada’s moment,” cheered a note.

You’ll forgive the Prime Minister if this makes him seem a bit needy. (For that matter, you’ll forgive the Prime Minister if this makes him sound like Justin Trudeau. “I’ve got your back,” Mr. Trudeau told his supporters in one appeal sent during the Liberal leadership race. “Now I need you to have mine.”) It’s just that this is the way of modern politics. And it’s just that Mr. Harper has had a rather difficult year and, for the last little while, every time he’s turned around to see who’s with him, his side has lost another person. First Patrick Brazeau, then Mike Duffy and Nigel Wright and Pamela Wallin, then Brent Rathgeber and, most recently, Dean Del Mastro.

So maybe the Prime Minister is feeling a bit vulnerable. That would explain why he didn’t want that CTV cameraman following him to New York. And why, after they had the temerity to shout questions in his direction the last time he invited them to listen to him speak, the Prime Minister didn’t want reporters in the room (only camerapeople, presumably of the silent variety) when he addressed his caucus this morning. All but one cameraperson thus refused to cover the Prime Minister’s remarks at all. And that inspired another note from the Conservative party.

“You won’t believe what the Press Gallery just did in Ottawa,” supporters were assured. “Some media decided to boycott an important speech by our Prime Minister – one where he laid out his vision for our country, before today’s Speech from the Throne.”

But wait, there’s more.

“Rather than send cameras to cover the Prime Minister’s speech, they attended the NDP’s meeting, and were welcomed with cheers and applause. We knew they wouldn’t give us fair coverage – but this is a new low for the Ottawa media elite.”

It is hard to imagine how the Ottawa media elite could have gotten any lower than whatever their previous low was, but presumably this is why we need to have the Prime Minister’s back. Because the Ottawa media elite insists on being in the room when he delivers a speech. And because Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau would turn this country into an impoverished hellscape run by drug-dealing public servants. Indeed, had they been present, the elites might have heard what Mr. Harper was trying valiantly to protect us from—the “$20 billion carbon tax,” the “reckless economic experiments with people’s livelihoods” and, of course, “legalizing drugs.”

So it was that the Prime Minister, let down by his senate appointees, abandoned by Mr. Rathgeber, undermined by Nigel Wright, hounded by the jackals of the press gallery, struggling against the opposition monsters lurking under the bed and missing a quarter of the popular support he once enjoyed, turned today to the Governor General, hoping to hear that his government was going to live happily ever after.

And so Grandpa Johnston pulled a book off the shelf and proceeded to read a rather long bedtime story.

It was a story of precariousness. Of a moment needing to be seized. Of needing to dare to do so. Of needing to make good on this opportunity. Or needing to understand that this chance that was ours. Provided we could find a way to reduce the number of emails systems that the government currently operates.

That was but one of 147 bullet points that here ensued. It actually drew a chuckle from the crowd of swells swelling the Senate.

Twenty-four of those bullet points were reminders of things the government has already done. Two bullet points involved the Pan Am Games.

There were commitments here to promote exercise, honour police dogs, lower the cost of adoption, improve food labels, stop genetic discrimination, resist the legalization of prostitution, fight the scourge of forced marriage, figure out what happened to the Franklin expedition, allow for the transportation of wine across provincial borders and prevent doctors from treating chronic heroin addicts with anything that you might think weird. The government vowed that it would “not hesitate to uphold the fundamental rights of all Canadians wherever they are threatened,” “continue to defend the seal hunt,” “take further action to improve air quality nationwide,” “continue to promote Canada as a world-class destination for international students” and “continue to create the conditions for new and better jobs for Canadians across all sectors of our economy.”

Having created a structural deficit, the government now proposes to pass a law that would require the government to balance the budget. Except when it needs to run a deficit. Despite screaming about the NDP’s plan to put a price on carbon, the government now says it will “enshrine the polluter-pay system into law.” It will get to those greenhouse gas regulations for the oil-and-gas sector that are twice overdue. It will make the changes to election law that were supposed to have been made more than a year ago. It will do something about the Senate, just as soon as the Supreme Court rules on how to go about doing it. It will remain tough on crime. It will continue to support the troops. It will keep you safe and comfortable and lower your cable bill. And it will complete a free trade deal with Europe. In fact, the Prime Minister is getting on a plane for Brussels tomorrow.

If you are worried about it, rest assured, the government is on it. And yet, the government will continue to cost less and continue to get smaller. To this Clintonian to-do list might a thousand fundraising appeals follow.

The Prime Minister sat at the Governor General’s knee and listened and no doubt thought pleasant thoughts and was soothed. And when it was over, an hour or so after it had began, the Prime Minister walked over to the House of Commons and sat there and listened as Nathan Cullen, the NDP’s House leader, complained that the government was behaving poorly in its attempt to reinstate legislation from the previous session. The Prime Minister eventually took his leave and the House carried on with the business of resuming business. The clock struck half past six, the allotted time for adjournment, before Charlie Angus, who most definitely does not have the Prime Minister’s back, could stand and accuse the Prime Minister of having misled the House back in June.


 

Stephen Harper asks the GG to read him a bedtime story

  1. I see that once again Harp labored mightily and brought forth a mouse……

    • Incremental change is all Canadians can handle. And there you have it!

      :)) Great throne speech.

      • So yer sayin Canadians are slow and wimpish?

        I’m sure they’ll appreciate that

        • It’s the truth. Why would people be afraid of the truth?

          • It’s your opinion. Nothing more.

            I hope Cons aren’t paying you to recruit! LOL

          • And your standard answer is always the same: the Cons are paying me.

            How simple are you?

          • I know Cons have drowned editors with letters, radio shows with callers and chatsites with attackers since day one as Reform

            I was in the party, and read the handbook…remember?

          • But that does not mean I am being paid by the CPC. You are always drawing the wrong conclusions but you don’t realize it.

          • So you get a free membership, and maybe a Harp handshake….big whoop.

            Me drawing the wrong conclusions? Apologize to Glenna Miles for accusing her of being me.

            Cons are frightened of their own shadow.

            Now…….if you don’t mind….I’m busy. Go bug someone else.

          • I don’t have a membership in any political party. Never shook Harper’s hand and have no need to do so.

            Me bugging you? Thank you for voluntarily reading and responding to my posts!!! YOU really don’t get it, do you EmilyOne! So interesting how simple you are.

          • Nonsense, Emily! It is obviously an opinion fed to Francien because they aren’t even allowed to think anymore, remember? So, the talking point of the week is, “Canadians are slow to comprehend.” Now, the evidence for that is before us with this majority government, but I’d like to believe that Canadians were, up until seeing this majority government in action, a trusting bunch instead of a stupid bunch.

          • LOL Entirely possible….although you wouldn’t think she’d spill the beans framing it quite like that!

            Ont did the same thing with Harris….thought he was PC and quite trustworthy…instead they got a neo-Con loon! Now in spite of 3 Lib govts in a row, no one wants Hudak either. Too gunshy!

            So I figure Harper snuck up on the country the same way….and now falling numbers indicate they’ve caught on.

            Francie hasn’t though.

          • As no one wants to hear the truth. We love denial of reality. Especially with liberal media.

      • Right speech. Wrong throne. Time to flush.

        • Is that a new name you picked, EmilyOne?

          • Does your comment contribute to a dialogue? ‘Banging the same drum without cease, Francien?’ will be my comment.

          • Yes, actually, my comments contribute to the dialogue a lot.

        • I wish we could flush Ottawa out of our lives. Unfortunately we are tax slaves of state and the only options on the rigged ballot is which set of back room buddies get more of our money.

          Isn’t just income tax ether, the hiddent taxes, $40+ billion of hidden tariffs and price protectionisms so “families” can become super ultra rich on the backs of Canadians.

          No one in Ottawa represents me the productive person, they represent government treating us like tax slaves of state.

      • It always amuses me how you (and hollinm) presume to speak for “Canadians”. I’m 100% Canadian, and I’m pretty sure I can even handle…wait for it… dramatic change. Especially a change of government.

  2. “Stephen Harper asks the Governor General to read him a bedtime story:”

    Once upon a time there was a little PM named Stevie. Now Stevie knew he had been a bad boy and wished upon his fairy godmother: ” Fairy Godmother, what can I do to make the people forget my badness and remember me for all the good things I think I have done?”

    “Well Stevie” said the fairy godmother, “First you’ve got to stop that pulling the wings off flies and listen to me” she scolded, “Second, you don’t have to worry about all the people, there’s almost enough that will support you no matter how bad you are, which is very lucky for you.” she smiled, “Now, I’ve read a lot lately about what little PM’s who have been bad do to avoid a trip to the woodshed, and it’s really very simple. You don’t really have to do anything at all, they just have to think you’re actually doing something. So you propose changes that will seem to make their pitifully little lives seem easier, or happier, or even possible. But you must make sure that these changes are depending on someone else agreeing to go along, someone who might not even like you very much, or won’t spend the money needed to make it work. Of course, you can’t give them any money, you froze all the chequebooks since Mikey and Pammy were bad and you spent 400 million to make sure no one finds out the other bad stuff you’ve done, so nothing will happen.” she grinned, “But here’s the best part, just blame them. It’s all their fault”

    “You just have to hang in there for another year, announce a new election, shut down parliament again and it all goes away” she chortled. “Then you can get those people you had busy learning to rewrite all that old history stuff and put them to work on the real task, rewriting your badness out of history. When people remind you, just attack them as bullies and everybody will once again love you to pieces, because everybody hates a bully, and your new bully law will shut them right up.” she hugged little Stevie, “Don’t you worry, Godmama will make sure that’s the last election you’ll ever have to worry about.” she whispered, “Let me tell you about my 3 wins and you’re in for life plan that my other bad PM, Bobby Mugabe used.”

    And so it came to be, little Stevie became PM for life, his court and the important 32% lived happily ever after in a dystopian land where the sun never seemed to set, oil gushed from all the fountains and they could shoot their guns any time they wanted to.
    Now, nighty night Stevie, sleep tight and don’t let the lefties bite.

  3. Just a spoiled media, that didnt get its way, bashing a Conservative Govt they hate.

    • Just an arrogant conservative government picking a fight with the media and trying to shift the blame.

  4. “And so Grandpa Johnston”

    Lulz

  5. Its the economy, stupid. An #ndp throne speech from a socialist interventionist meddling clueless government. Time to really open up markets (say by giving industry 3 years notice) and watch prices go down. Time to increase wages so we won’t care about paying 10% more for crap we don’t need.

  6. Trying to change the channel won’t work. The Senate imbroglio is the gift that will keep
    on giving to the Opposition until the 2015 election and long after. Canadians don’t like well-paid Senators helping themselves to taxpayers’ dollars and will want to see that justice is done. Many Canadians don’t like being bought and bribed with own money either which politicians shamelessly do before an election.

    Will politicians ever learn that they were elected to run the country, not to promote their perpetual pursuit of power, principles be damned? Groucho Marx said it best with his quote,“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

    On approaching the age to exercise my franchise, I asked my politically knowledgeable grandmother about political parties. She said, “It makes no difference, it’s the same band of thieves.” Remember the Conservative Party’s stumping blather about how they were going to be so ethical, so accountable, so transparent, so principled, just soooo different than the present lot? Well, it’s the same old same old – my grandmother was right!

    • Why wait for 2015? There’s a Con Convention coming up soon. Ask your CP member, if you have one as too many do, to Heave Steve.

      • Thanks for your response.

        There will not be a leadership review at the CPC convention.

    • My dear departed grandmother used to say “Tory times are tough times”

      • Thanks Selena. Many Canadians are saying that lately – hope they keep it in their memory bank until the 2015 election.