One of those sad moments in our parliament’s long and tattered history of miscues and snafus: Lisa Raitt ushering Elizabeth May away from the microphone in mid-tirade at a press dinner. “It’s all right dearie, perhaps a touch too much claret, overwork, whatever, but we ought not to spoil the evening with such vile venting!” First problem: it all made complete sense to anyone who had been paying attention to the direction of the legislative body in this fine country. It was unfortunate that, as presented anyway, it did come off as a bit of a rant and not the coherent and incisive discourse for which May is generally known. When the dust settled, it seemed as though Raitt’s intervention was that of a friend and that everyone in Parliament, though there might be serious disagreements on issues of policy, is an upstanding member of the Canadian citizenry and the human race.
Now McLean’s has a piece that Mulcair turned down a position as an adviser to the current Conservative lot because they wouldn’t offer him enough money, Mulcair fires back that he declined because of differences of opinion on policy. Why was this a consideration at all? Harper was already firmly in control of the CPC and everything in his background screamed aggressive corporate takeover, a a lack of recognition on that front constitutes a serious lack of awareness if not moral flaccidity.
The idea that these clowns are all worthy souls and members in good standing of the League of Elected Good Folk just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Many of us have close associates with whom we maintain civil and friendly relations, but there is a personal honesty and integrity that goes with the package, and there are so many in the Ottawa caucus of the LEGF who seemed to have missed that memo (please see, for starters Perps With Perks #17 in full knowledge that the blue men have no corner on the misdeed market, despite the rush of the current CPC crowd to cash in at the public trough).
How bad is it? The local branch of the library found me a copy of Michael Harris’ Party of One. It took months to get around to me, and the book is still in demand, seemingly, as there is a sticker on the front limiting the loan to two weeks without possibility of renewal. I read a chapter and put it down, not because it isn’t a splendid book or that the narrative is anything less than detailed, perceptive and gripping, but because I’ve already lived through this and followed it in all its sad and tawdry details. Hence, it seemed a good idea to let someone else anguish over the book.
I’m taking a day off from a lot of the engagement to spend that day in the best of the Voltairean traditions, cultivating my garden.
Happy Canada Day!
Addendum: My garden (and most everything else) partner with some Voltairesque lettuces…