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Sunday, February 12, 2006

The not-quite-ready-for-prime-time players 

Following the neocon dictate to create your own reality, Harper seems determined to ignore what the country is saying about his cabinet.
Maybe he thinks he can follow in Bush's footsteps and create a different reality, one where Canada will think his cabinet is just loverly. Maybe he thinks they're grow on us. Maybe he thinks Canadians will give his Cabinet time to "grow into the job".
But riddle me this -- how are these people going to be able to run a government when they can't even organize a press conference?
So far, these people seem to be "not quite ready" for prime time in Cabinet. I guess we'd better hope that some of those good Liberal civil servants and senators and judges are still hanging around, like Harper promised us they would be, to save us from this gang that can't shoot straight.
Hundreds rallied in Vancouver yesterday to call Emerson a traitor. Apparently, being merely the people who voted for Emerson two weeks ago, his constituents, they aren't worthy of any consideration from either Harper or Emerson -- as CBC reported in its story about the rally, "Emerson arrived in Vancouver from Ottawa on Friday night but he has yet to speak publicly to his constituents."
Yeah, they've noticed.
He cannot even seem to speak to the Ottawa press gallery. In the Ottawa Sun, Greg Weston describes the bizarre press-conference-that-wasn't on Thursday night:
As most media outlets were beginning to eyeball their Thursday evening deadlines this week, reporters were invited to dial into an unusual conference-call with Trade Minister David Emerson, the elect-and-eject defector from the losing Liberals, and one of the week’s many star public relations disasters for the new Conservative government. It was weird enough that Emerson was holding a press conference by phone with journalists only a few blocks away, not to mention infuriating for the television networks that would get no video. But when an operator came on the line after 30 minutes of elevator music, and announced there would be no press conference because Emerson was “stuck in traffic,” disbelieving journalists were left rolling in the aisles.
To summarize the depth of anger over the Harper cabinet picks, Murdock Davis writes in the Toronto Star - The West is in, and already it feels offended:
. . . In editorials, letters, coffee shops, on talk shows and the streets . . . The adjectives are harsh: corrupt, hypocritical, cynical, disloyal, manipulative, scandalous, deceitful, unprincipled, dishonest, and then some really bad ones. . . . The cynicism runs deep across the country, but especially in the West, where so many felt that in the new Conservative party they were getting politicians who believed what they said about ethics, accountability and democracy. It might be most among Harper's keenest supporters, creating an ugly wound where healing had occurred between the predominantly western Reform/Alliance group and the more eastern Tory group.
Within that western base, matters such as an elected Senate, honour, saying what you mean and meaning what you say, democratic reform and electoral ethics are core beliefs . . .

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