Musings —03.20.2015 08:25 AM—
Michael Harris in iPolitics:
The odd thing about about this re-run of the Right of the Living Dead in the CPC is that it represents something that Stephen Harper himself used to view with mortification and alarm. His original inspiration for muzzling MPs came from his days with Preston Manning.
Back then, a year’s worth of work before a party convention — not to mention the event itself — could be blown apart by one unhinged Reformer ranting at the media about an Asian Invasion or Young Earth Creationism. Who can forget when Warren Kinsella produced a purple Barney the Dinosaur doll on Canada AM, proclaiming he was the only member of his species who had ever shared the planet with humans?
Now it’s not really funny anymore. Harper has simply made the calculation thatif the way to give a chameleon a nervous breakdown is to put him down on plaid, the way to win an election in our disappearing democracy is to offer Canadians only two flavours — vanilla or chocolate.
That means hitting the hot buttons, over and over.
Now, I know Michael is not exactly neutral on the subject of Mr. Harper, but his column – which I caught in Google alert thing – raises an interesting question: are the the myriad recent backbench bimbo eruptions – by Messrs. Williamson, Miller, Kenney, et al. – actual, bona fide, mistakes? Or are they deliberate, and none-too-subtle attempts to throw a bone to the knuckle-draggers in the Reformatory grassroots?
Personally, I don’t see a grand conspiracy in any of this. Why would Harper have gone to all the trouble of casting out the Reform-Alliance-Conservative troglodytes (e.g., Myron Thompson, Bob Ringma, Dave Chatters, et al.), and dispensing with assorted Blue Book craziness (e.g., opposing reproductive choice, equal marriage and Mounties with turbans), only to abruptly turn hard right on the eve of what is to be a hard-fought election campaign in urban Canada?
Makes no sense to me. Oftentimes in politics, then, the simplest explanation is the best one: Harper has had a cluster of backbench bimbo eruptions, and I am told he is none too happy about it. (And God help, FYI, the next backbencher to say something intolerant.)
What thinkest thou, O Wise Reader? A bunch of rookie flubs, or a clever strategy? Comment away!