Cat and mouse - Macleans.ca

Cat and mouse

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It is probably not ideal that, having put it about for several days that he has no time to meet Stephen Harper before Sept. 9, Stéphane Dion will meet Stephen Harper on Sept. 1. It makes it harder to contrast Harper’s impetuousness with Dion’s calm decisiveness if there is no calm decisiveness. (You think it’s easy to make scheduling?) But moving the drama, such as it is, forward by a week will simplify planning for everyone, and if nothing else it will put paid to the danger that the Prime Minister might go to Rideau Hall and kick off an election without even bothering to see a Liberal leader who spent the summer believing he controlled the timing of an election.

In abandoning the plain meaning of an election law he wrote for a minority parliament (that’s why it contains the date Oct. 19, 2009) but which, he now claims, is only for majority parliaments, Stephen Harper is ending his (first?) term as prime minister in the most graceless, disingenuous, classless way that could possibly be imagined. Whereas, in changing his mind four times on his way to the fateful day, Dion is not surprising anyone.

Sometimes readers call me a cynic. I reject the label; the tone that creeps into my writing is optimism dashed again and again.