Saturday, January 22, 2011

Peter Mansbridge interviews Stephen Harper

I've been ill so it's taken me a while to get around to viewing this two part interview between Mansbridge and Harper.So most of this will already be old news for most of you. But for those of you who missed the interview and "oh so wish" they had a link to it, just follow the yellow brick road above. I however, just couldn't "not" put in my two cents worth  on the subject. But I shall try not to be a "plot killer" here either.

Ok, for starters, the entire interview, beginning to end, roughly 35 minutes, Harper had his typical "smarmy" grin on his face. ("Note to PR people at PMO, fix the grin, he's scaring the children"). 

I've read a thing or two about the body language during the interview. Yes, Mansbridge is leaning forward the entire time, presenting his best "I'm really interested in what you have to say" news man posture. But for some strange reason, Harper though it would be good tactics to assume the same posture. As a result, for the entire length of the interview, Harper looked like he had to fart. I kept waiting for Mansbridge to say: "excuse me Mr. Prime Minister, but did you just "fluff" on my favourite chair"? But Mr. Mansbridge, being the consummate professional, never once batted an eye nor wrinkled his nose to indicate anything was amiss. 

So given Harper's grin and his constipated-like posture, this was visually a tough bit of TV to watch. But in terms of actual content, there was really very little that came out of the Prime Minister's mouth that anyone would find surprising. Yes he did drop a bit of a bomb saying that he personally felt that there were times when "Capitol Punishment" is warranted. And many have uttered a gasp of astonishment at this bit "electioneering" even though Harper said he had no intentions of bringing about legislation to bring back the death penalty should he gain a majority in the next election. 

It should be no surprise what-so-ever to anyone who has observed Harper in the least, that he would be in favour of the Death Penalty.  He's very much an "eye for an eye" kind of guy. So allowing state sanctioned murder would be very much in keeping with his personality. But as far as not introducing legislation to bring the death penalty back, don't count on it! Most politicians aren't particularly good at keeping their promises. They make grandiose claims about what they will do when they get into office, and once they get there, they find out that there is no way in Hector that they will be able to do what they've said. But Mr. Harper has taken this to an entirely new level. 

But I guess when you combine all the things that Harper hasn't done that he said he would do and all the things he's done that he said he wouldn't do, I guess his record for not doing what he says balances out in a rather bizarre way. I think the message here though folks is, that we should take everything Harper says with a grain of salt and be surprised by nothing. After the 2008 Parliamentary crisis, who'd have thought Harper would ever talk about killing tax subsidies for the opposition parties again, yet there he is, tossing it out as election bait.  

But I'm calling it here folks; if Harper wins the next election, look for the Death Penalty to become an issue. And he doesn't need a majority in the House of Commons to do it. He owns the Senate. So even if he has to build the scaffold with his bare hands and tie the noose himself, Harper will have himself a hanging.  

But fortunately for Mr. Harper, he already has a "point man" on this issue, Julie Fantino. So look for him to take the heat for Harper as the debate rages. And when it comes time to pull the leaver on the trap door, Fantino will be the one wearing the black hood. (another note to PR folks at PMO, please ensure Fantino does not do a "River Dance" on the scaffold or yank the trap-door leaver back and forth repeatedly under the feet of the prisoner while giggling maniacally and screaming "psych"! These gestures presents as bad optics and can easily be misinterpreted). 

One comment from the P.M. that did catch me a little off guard during the interview though, was that he considers his government to be "centre right". And Mansbridge didn't even flinch at it's utterance. Mind you, he was poking at Harper with a pointed stick here, asking him how he would respond to critics who said "his government wasn't even Conservative". Naturally, I assumed "not even Conservative" to have meant far and distant right wing. I had no Idea Mansbridge might actually have been accusing Harper of going Liberal. 

Centre right! I was aghast of course. Just to recap for a second here on Harpernomics: -Autocratic rule, does not talk to the press, has gained absolute control of the Senate thereby circumventing the entire democratic process, has killed any and all efforts to make the Tar Sands more environmentally responsible, has killed any and all efforts to effect any kind of change in greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, Has basically made Alberta Oil more important than the rest of the country, Has unabashedly taken the stance that Israel can do no wrong, has offended and alienated major trade partners, has refused to provide aid to impoverished countries who may use the money to fund abortions, is "getting tough" on immigrants as in new citizenship exam has 80% failure rate, hates gays and probably thinks AIDS is all their fault and deserve to die slow painful deaths, ...... Geeze Louise and this is only just a short list. 

So based on this short list, it's plain to see that Harper is in no danger what-so-ever of even coming within sight of the Centre line. In fact, The Right Reverend Harper's ideological agenda is so far off into right field as to require a category unto itself (The right wing extremists were complaining that Harper was giving them a bad name). Suitable names already exist of course, one simply has to take a look at 20th Century History to find an applicable moniker or two. 

But getting back to the interview, I felt that Mansbridge actually took it pretty easy on The P.M. The most challenging query put to his Holiness was how he would rate himself after five years in power. Might as well have asked him: "if you could be be any kind of vegetable, what what you be"? I was hoping that Mr. Mansbridge would ask for Harpers response to the allegation that he is in fact, the Anti-Christ?

Mind you, I'm probably the only one who makes that allegation........or AM I?

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