Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Stepford Harper

Here's the take from Salon on the Conservative win in Canada and why it's no big deal:

1) The Liberal Party was mired in a tawdry corruption scandal. It involved the laundering and skimming of taxpayers' money through various fraudulent initiatives supposedly meant to make French-speaking Quebec feel fonder of English-speaking Canada (as if that is likely to happen any time soon).

2) The American motto may be "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," but up here it's "Peace, order and good government. " Catch those last two words. They're the kicker for a reason. Canadians decided to punish a government for not being good. And they did.

3) The vote was split among four parties, with the Conservatives getting only 36 percent of the total vote.

They left out one important thing: Stephen Harper is a painfully boring politician to watch. He's like an automaton whose central gear is winding down. Stepford Harper. Watch him talk on television and try not to think of Mr. Rogers. I'm sorry to say this, but a good politician has to be, on some level, affable, or at the very least, not creepy. Reagan was so successful on one hand because Carter screwed up so terribly, but also because people reacted to something about him. For people like my father, he was a big deal. Nobody thinks that Stephen Harper is a big deal at all. Just sort of a stand-in Prime Minister.

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