I hope I have made it clear since the summer that I have come to believe Stephen Harper is turning into a really bad prime minister. He is incoherent, vicious and unserious. His fall update was idiocy on stilts, and when he sent his transport minister out two days later to disown the work of his finance minister, nobody in the country blinked because nobody in the country takes what this government does as a government seriously.Obviously I agree, but I think people are overplaying the idea that something actually happened yesterday. Or, more precisely, people seem to have convinced themselves that somehow the GG's actions were a failure of the coalition in particular, and of Dion in general. Wells is reacting to a couple of polls, but we already knew that Canadians found the prospect of a Dion-led government unsettling. (They didn't really warm to the idea over the last election, did they?) I've said from the beginning that I had serious reservations about this coalition, but it's not like Dion did anything yesterday to make it better or worse. He really wasn't a factor yesterday, and neither was anyone except the GG.
All the opposition had to do was come up with a better alternative. They have failed. This is a depressing moment in our nation’s politcs.
It may seem silly to some that one of the things the pundits can't stop talking about is the damn tape quality from Wednesday night, but it really isn't. Consider that Barack Obama's main goal during the election was to convey a sense of security, predictability, and more than anything competence. To do this, one of the things his campaign produced was a 30-minute, lavishly produced video that executed a transition to a live event (a technically difficult feat) and executed it flawlessly.
Stephane Dion had much the same task as Obama. He offered us a five-minute video of risible quality. Out of focus. Late. And he still mangled his lines.
This is an unfair comparison, but don't think for a moment it didn't have an impact.
From here on out, I expect this to go something like this: sometime in December we will hear a muffled scream and a loud thud from the offices of the Liberal Party of Canada, and an announcement will follow that Stephane Dion has decided to spend more time with
The Conservatives will say so, certainly. But I'd only repeat myself to warn them: this incident, whether it costs them the government or not, is a damning indictment of their leader. The coalition may be less popular than Stephen Harper today, but that doesn't make your toad a prince. If nothing else, their party needs to find a way to move beyond the need to constantly be kicking the Liberals in the nuts. It may be fun, but it isn't government and the people can tell that.