2008-12-05

Talk to The Hand

After one of the wilder weeks in Canadian political history, early pundications suggest the PM outmaneuvered his coalition opponents. The right-leaning ones say this makes him a freakin' genius.

Over the longer term, I'm not so sure. He needed to fuel a huge ideological shit storm to survive - on top of dropping the cynical fiscal stink bomb that started the Houseparty in the first place.

Fans of 60s cinema recall that Dr. Strangelove had an "alien hand". He claimed to be a reconstructed democrat, but The Hand was an unreconstructed Nazi bent on world destruction. Such that, whenever the doc talked about how to pull the world back from the edge of annihilation, The Hand leaped up to strangle him.

I'm starting to see a mental version of The Hand behind the PM's actions. Every time his mouth shapes even mild conciliation toward non-conservatives, this thing leaps out, gibbering, to smash the thought and sow chaos. He can't help it. It's bred in the bone. Given a choice between statesmanship and cheap shots at political opponents, his deepest instinct is to try to lull 'em just long enough to line up a better kick at their goolies. It's a strange way to build consensus - or a nation. And all the more marked for its contrast with recent events to the south of us.

I've said before that I think the guy played too many world-domination-themed board games in his geeky undergrad dorm. He can't drop the short sighted mindset of 'screw everybody to win the game'. And he surrounds himself only with like-minded gamesters.

So for him to reach across the (now padlocked) floor with conciliaTory words, after the week that was, seems even more disingenuous than blue sweater vests or platitudes about new eras of cooperation. You know, the things that preceded the tone-deafness of his infamously partisan fiscal update. His return to sweet reason seems perfunctory to the point of disinterest. I suspect that as with every preceding example we have available, he won't be bothered to fake it for any longer than he has to. In a crisis, he thinks he can outsmart anybody. Trouble is, his own lousy instincts have sparked the fuses on most of the country's recent crises.

Thing about classic movies, is that the guys who wrote them know their drama. (So do 6,000 year old, semi-mythical coyotes. We had drive-ins back west, y'know... and, it seems, longer memories and better civics lessons than much of the Canadian electorate. I digress.) The central figures in Greek and Shakespearean tragedy all have fatal flaws. Some far less obvious than the PM's metaphorical hand. I worry that this has the makings of a G(r)eek tragedy for Canada.

5 comments:

zoom said...

This is such a good post I'm going to print it out and stick it on my fridge.

coyote said...

Accolades like that mean more to us than the Offishul Blog Awards. I mean, how many of them will get fridge frontage at Zoom's place?

Good luck with yours, ma'am...

XUP said...

Why don’t people get this? Why are the majority of Canadian now all in a panic about the possibility of losing Dr. Strangemove?http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1033820 That's really scary

coyote said...

Ya got me. Why don't people get this...?

Nat said...

I am baffled as well.

There is a debate at my house, The Man thinks he planned all this out and that he'll be able to use this to his advantage come next election... in February.