Stephen Harper apparently had no idea his MPs would sport the Quebec Nordiques jerseys last Wednesday in a photo op that would spark a controversy across the country.
Tory MP Steven Blaney told QMI Agency on Sunday the Prime Minister’s Office had no idea they would wear the sweaters.
“It was a little surprise,” he said.
SunMedia, with their typical high end journalism, puts this story out in a vacuum, no reference points, no chronology. Let's say one actually believes that the PMO had no idea about this jersey stunt. Isn't it a bit odd THEN, that the supposedly oblivious PMO sends out Dmitri Soudas, the NEXT DAY, on air, to SELL the Quebec arena. One will note, Soudas sings from the same hymn book as his boss, who also seemed entirely amenable to the proposed hockey arena. And yet, we're to believe that 24 hours earlier, a group of MP's unilaterally pushed the arena concept, with absolutely no knowledge of the PMO.
I suppose it's possible that these MP's unilaterally acted. But, given the well know fact that Conservative MP's operate under a very controlled atmosphere, everything they do, in and out of riding, vetted and approved, I'm inclined to scoff at the "surprise" angle. In fact, given how the Harper and the PMO immediately fanned out to sell the MP's "announcement", it actually looks like the typical, co-ordinated, top down, manifestation that is Harper's trademark. In the known world, based on a well established pattern, what appears to have happened is the PMO and friends jumped the gun on the arena funding, then faced unforseen blowback and are now dialing down the rhetoric and backtracking. Either that or Harper has no control over his caucus and the old Reform ideal of MP's actually acting with a measure of impunity and independence has finally reached Harper's Ottawa. I'll go with the former, thanks...