Only history knows how the developments and decisions of the past couple of weeks in Canadian politics will ultimately be regarded. So let’s ask it.
History, let me pose to you the question that’s on the mind of many Canad—
Hang on a jiff. I’m just putting the finishing touches on the rehabilitation of Karlheinz Schreiber’s reputation.
Wow. You’re saying you will ultimately perceive the German businessman to have triumphed in his public conflict with Brian Mulroney?
All I know is the guy slipped me a hundred grand. History’s got to eat.
How will future generations view Stephen Harper’s decision to prorogue Parliament?
Which one? That first bit of proroguing bought him time. But his more contentious move comes after he loses the vote in late January. That’s when he decides to prorogue reality.
He . . . huh?
Desperate to retain his hold on power, Harper asks the Governor General to pause life as we know it and suspend the rules not only of Parliament but also of space, time and the entirety of the physical universe.
But that’s absurd. That’s—
She says yes. But to be fair, Harper isn’t entirely dogmatic about it. True, stopping time means the popularity of most fads is frozen in place, forcing Canadians to endure nothing but dancing contests on television until 2031. But—and here is where we see Harper’s strategic brilliance—it also allows people to immediately stop caring about both the environment and the Jonas Brothers.
So . . .
To what extent will Stéphane Dion’s legacy be dominated by his disastrous video address to the nation, which arrived late and out of focus?
It was a truly humbling moment for a proud Canadian. Stéphane is so devastated he won’t even be able to enjoy it when, several months from now, his videotape wins the Palme d’Or. The Cannes jury will call it “just the right amount of blurry.”
So the rumours are true—there really is no film too depressing to screen at the Cannes Film Festival.
Well, they did reject the indie movie Liberal Fundraising Results 2008. But I guess that in the end I’ve got no choice but to judge Dion pretty harshly. He led his party to its worst-ever percentage of the popular vote, botched his one shot at replacing Harper and somehow made fighting climate change unpopular. Not even Al Gore could do that. Plus—and this is just sad—Dion will spend most of 2009 trying to form an alliance to oust me as ultimate arbiter of all events. He’s taking on history! As if anyone is ever going to accept his coalition of Paula Abdul, Farley Flex and Judge Judy.
What effect will the current political intrigue have on Canada’s ability to cope with the oncoming recession?
I’m not saying that times get tough, things get bad and people get truly desperate, but consider Harper’s next re-election slogan and decide for yourself: Michael Ignatieff—Not a Leader, But Probably Delicious.
You bring up Stephen Harper—what will come to be the legacy of his time on Parliament Hill?
Other than the moat? I honestly don’t know what to think of the guy yet. On one hand, he lacks the courtesy of a gentleman, the magnanimity of a statesman and the beating heart of a mammal. On the other hand, he’s offered to put me in the Senate.
That doesn’t sound like much of an incentive.
Three words: Hugh Segal backrubs.
What about the overall effect of these past few weeks? How will it be viewed?
It will come to be perceived as a turning point. For years, politicians wondered how to get Canadians to truly engage in politics, to care about what happens in Ottawa. And they’ve finally found a formula that works—naked power grabs and shameless displays of incompetence. This will ultimately lead to some more unprecedented developments in Canadian politics, including the separation of four provinces, the election of two cat prime ministers and the nation’s first all-nude constitutional crisis.
Can you think of any other scenario that leads to the installation of Governor General Miss November?
So fill us in—how does this all end?
This bickering in Ottawa? Don’t ask me. I’m just History. I’m not Eternity.