Stephen Harper, Super Genius

Scott Feschuk on the strategic brilliance of our PM

There are moments when we have no choice but to acknowledge the strategic brilliance of Stephen Harper.

I refer not to the Prime Minister’s negotiations with Michael Ignatieff, who mistakes process for progress the way Al Pacino mistakes SHOUTING for acting, but rather to this line from today’s Toronto Star story: … Harper said his nominees will include Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley, one of her senior officials and an MP still to be selected.

Genius. Genius.

Harper is taking his time to pick the MP who will fill that one last spot. That last spot on a six-member bipartisan panel to debate Employment Insurance reform. Debate it allllllllllll summer long. Debate it all summer long with Marlene Jennings. Painstaking research, consultation and deliberation for the whollllllllllle summer. Summer – the good season, the only one that’s pretty much guaranteed not to be winter, the one with fishing poles and beers and outsideness.

Is there a more effective way of ensuring, for a day or two at least, that no member of your caucus will ask you for anything, approach you in any way, make eye contact with you, be caught dead within your field of vision, allow the synapses of their brain to work in co-operation to form even a fleeting mental image of you, or dare get out from under the bed? An MP comes within 20 feet and all Harper needs to do is say: “Oh, you’re here about serving on the EI panel…?”

At last, some peace and quiet. Enough time to pound out another seven or eight words in that hockey book. Thanks, Michael.

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