Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sheila Copps: Yo Harper! Read The Prince!

Well, she doesn't actually say that, but its good advice anyway. What Sheila does say is:

By all accounts, this week should have been clear sailing for him. He managed to craft a budget that — notwithstanding the howls from opposition members and a few premiers — got broad public acceptance. By rights, he and his finance minister should be basking in budget glory.

Instead, he is fending off repeated opposition criticism about disrespecting Parliament by comparing Liberals to Taliban-lovers. Most observers were flabbergasted when the prime minister deflected valid criticism of his defence minister with a ludicrous broadside at Liberal leader Stephane Dion and all members of the Opposition. No one actually believes the Grits love the Taliban more than our own soldiers and by claiming it, Harper hurt only himself.

And this could have come straight from Machiavelli:

It is very rare for a prime minister to play the role of enforcer in a Parliamentary dispute. Successful prime ministers certainly have their attack dogs. But they usually leave that job to a lieutenant — somebody who can afford to be wounded in the blood sport of politics. Ministers are expendable. Prime ministers are not.

That said, I think Dion and the Libs have to respond to Harper's verbal assaults with a little more aplomb. While it is absolutely necessary to draw public attention when the angry Stephen Harper appears (because he goes over well with the goobers in his political base, but turns off the two-thirds of the country that doesn't normally vote Tory), calling him a "bully" is not particularly effective. That's what you label someone who has just kicked the crap out of you. Instead, I would play up the childishness of his insults; remind him that if he had said this kind of thing outside the HOC, an adult would have likely washed his mouth out with soap.

1 comment:

Ti-Guy said...

The mature response has to be entertaining and snappy though. Otherwise, the media (with its attention deficit disorder and its addiction to soundbites) will get bored and won't report it.

Maybe Dion should start saying things like "ooh...snap!" and "talk to the hand!" in response to Harpy's "Mean Girl" routine?