Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

I watched the country's most watched conservative political panel a.k.a. The At Issue Panel along with Rex Murphy last night. It is remarkable to see the reaction when a politician acts like a somewhat rational human being. I'm not saying Michael Ignatieff's four non-ultimatum non-conditions/questions that require answers/government action/plans for government action is going to win any awards for cunning political strategy. I will say that for all those people who seem to like the idea of minority governments (I'm looking at you PR advocate Andrew Coyne), you have to like the almost conciliatory that is being struck by both our Prime Minister and the the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Question Period yesterday is a prime example of government actually, you know, working. Michael Ignatieff asked a couple of questions (mostly actual questions as opposed to "will the minister resign?" political barbs) about the isotope supply and lo and behold (after a little theatre from our Prime Minister) the Minister of Health rises in the house to announce some good news on that front. Actual news too. That's a functioning minority government. We Liberals may not like what's going on all the time, but parliament appears to be working. Opposition raises issue that needs solving. Government tries to solve it. Partisan brinksmanship aside, that's how this whole thing is supposed to work. However, according to the talking heads this was variously a terrible day for Michael Ignatieff or proof positive that he takes after a certain Danish prince made famous by William Shakespeare.

It is disheartening to see how poorly any attempts at adult behaviour go over with the chattering classes. Actually reading a government report before passing judgment? Indecision! A serious-minded list of questions? Incomprehensible! Meet with your opponents and work out the differences? Cowardice! Apparently good government is bad for the media business.

Oh. If we end up in a summer election, all four parliamentary whips should lose their jobs.

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