2010-04-30

Cabbages and kings

Even a casual flip through the collected history of Canada's prime ministers makes it evident that almost the entire lot have been kinda cranky, whatever their public personae. And even a casual flip through the Oxford Big Word Thingy, Canine Edition, shows that we coyotes define "kinda cranky" as, pretty much,"venal, manipulative, backstabbing sonsabitches".

Protestations of the heartwarming benefits of public service aside, I'm not sure what drives people to seek the job. Lately politicians score somewhat below coyotes on measures of public trust. And as long as I'm bloggin', I'll be doing everything I can to keep it that way... I digress. And you're shocked, shocked, I know.

If you know this blog at all, right now you're prolly asking, "Coyote, if they're all kinda cranky, why do you dislike this one, so?" Good question.

I think it might be his attitude. People who are as sure of themselves as Stephen Harper appears to be, seem to me to be lacking a vital bit of humanity. Questioning oneself is a good thing. And in most democracies, compromise, however abhorrent it is to any one high-rankin' individual, pleases more people than does dictatorship by fiat.

A year ago, as the prime minister spouted patent nonsense about coalition governments being unconstitutional, I thought he was just spinning his sound bites for - how to state this delicately? - the dumbshits in his voter base. The ones who get wa-a-a-y too much of their cable edjumafication about government on Foxic News. How could he believe that crap?

Lately, I reach toward a darker thought. That maybe he really is the same kinda dumbshit as his voter base. That he does believe that crap. Maybe in Harper's mind, his election magically turned the prime ministership into an American-style imperial presidency and gave him a rather startling range of powers. Many of which never were foreseen by guys who actually, you know, crafted parliamentary government over the past few hundred years.

So, what if he thinks this makes him a law unto himself and dares the opposition to do anything about it? Well. If ya wanna look back past Canada's parliamentary history, even a, ummm, casual flip through Britain's history suggests that guys who tried to screw over the ascendancy of parliament did not end well.

But hey. If, in deference to the PM's tender feelings, we were to use an American example, the president who most epitomized this kinda thinking was ummm, Dick Nixon. Dear me. That did not end well, either...

Difficult as the concept seems to be for him, personally, the PM may wish to study compromise. It might be on the final exam.

4 comments:

XUP said...

I think the problem with this PM is precisely that he does NOT believe any of the crap he spouts and that he's only doing it to cosy up to the dumbshit voters who will keep re-electing him and to cosy up to corporate fatheads in order to position himself tidily for his own future. When you talk about PMs who are sure of themselves, I can't help but make the comparison to Trudeau who was supremely sure of himself, but at least did stuff only if he really believed in it no matter how unpopular it was at the time. He had vision which a lot of people didn't appreciate until much, much later. Harper is so lacking in vision he's legally blind. He's all over the map with his craziness and that's what I find particularly off-pissing.

coyote said...

See, ma'am, I think what makes him so dangerous is that he doesn't think in terms of snouting down into the corporate trough after voters finally hoof him out.

Like, what if he doesn't care about afterward, because he has that evangelical zeal thing happenin'? Maybe he thinks he knows better than anyone else in the whole universe what's wrong with this country, and how to fix it, and he's hellbent (heh...) on ramming all that down the country's collective throat, with no thought for personal consequences. No matter how much rather more than half of Canadians don't want him to.

Because, well, you know, dorky eastern academic nerds who go west and experience that heady Alberta hard-right political conversion and become true believers, just do that kinda crap. Because it'll be good for us.

Maybe a particularly bloody-minded old testament god told him to, or something. But hey. My religious dogma (heh, again...) is "live and let live", so I could be misinterpreting, ummm, things...

XUP said...

That would make him more than a little crazy. I see him more as a crass opportunist. The whole piano playing stunt; bringing his personal photographer to the Olympic gold medal hockey game; the babies and kittens stuff; the flopping around between promises made and what's actually going on (eg the Senate, the proroguing); the ignoring things that are important but won't win him friends in important places like reducing carbon emissions. I think he only "believes" in things and pushes stuff through that's going to help him. I think I could actually respect him a little bit if everything he was doing was something he act5ually passionately believed was for the good of the country, no matter how misguided.

coyote said...

You're persuasive to a point, but I'm still gonna go with "more than a little crazy" in the fanatical sense, ma'am. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules about crazies not being crass opportunists also...