Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Who Was That Guy?

If anyone missed Harper's speech today in Parliament, in reference to Bill Graham retiring, you should do yourself a favor and hit this link. Gracious, generous, personable, attractive, eloquent, classy, funny, Harper was barely recognizable. If we saw more of that person, the Conservatives would be in the mid 40's right now.

Actually, it was completely fascinating to watch the various leaders heap praise on Graham. The tone was so civil and impressive, that I couldn't help but think why we don't see this demeanor more often. If you want to engage Canadians, then the mature commentary on display today is the way to proceed. The Speaker even commented at the end of speeches that he hoped the members would bring some of that spirit back to Parliament tomorrow during Question Period.

It is strange that the discourse is so full of vitrol, that you are both shocked and impressed, when our MP's act like normal human beings. More of that, from all sides, and much of the disgust and apathy in the electorate would vanish.


JimBobby said...

Whooee! Gracious, Steve. Very gracious. Good on you fer takin' the time to say something nice when it was deserved.

Anonymous said...

Too many partisan pit bulls in the Con caucus not used to being in government. A Liberal opposition using Rat Pack like tactics. This led to the poisoned atmosphere in Parliament.

Anonymous said...

What else could Harper do? Everyone, but everyone respects Bill Graham and Harper couldn't deny the integrity of the man.

After Graham making a plea (much like Ed Broadbent did) about respect of parliament Harper couldn't very well do anything else.

Actually, Jack Layton brought a personal touch - about respecting each others differences and in the old days he and Graham and a bunch in Toronto (after arguing, etc.) would go out afterwards for a beer and discuss things. It reminded me of Reagan's son saying that the Democrats and Republicans (in Reagan's day) could fight like hell and then go out for a few beers. That hasn't happened since Bush has been president and there's no comradery since Harper's been PM. Speaks volumes to me.

Now, will Harper call a by-election? Would he want Rae in the House? Will he stall for that reason?


Karen said...

Thanks for the link Steve. We had 3 power outages here, so I missed the beginning of Graham's speech, (I think Garth is going to post it).

I did see Harper though and had similar thoughts to yours.

Overall the rancour during QP, (which is what most people interested in politics see), serves no one.

Do you ever watch the UK QP? They have their moments, but overall, it's much more civil, incredibly witty at times and they actually speak to the issues.

I confess, I did not recognise our PM. I commend him for doing the right thing in his comments and I do think that among many parliamentarians, there is a comaraderie that belies their rhetoric.

I'm not quite as magnanimous as you though, as I'll give part of the credit for Harper's comments to Graham himself. If you think of other members of the Liberal caucus, I think there are few that would generate the same word's being uttered by Harper.

Graham is a statesman and it's sad to see him go. Even the Speaker seemed to be crying. I'll miss him and hope that the tradition he encompasses does not retire with him.

Karen said...

Anon, I liked Layton's comment about going out for a beer too.

It'll never happen.

Steve V said...

"Do you ever watch the UK QP? They have their moments, but overall, it's much more civil, incredibly witty at times and they actually speak to the issues."

Night and day :)

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure that is the guy that alot of non-partisan canadians see, might be why he would be the one that most canadians would like to have a hamburger with.

Steve V said...

"Pretty sure that is the guy that alot of non-partisan canadians see"

Yes, clearly that explains why the Tories have fallen well below their election percentages and Harper is crystalizing as a mean-spirited bully. Nobody sees that, as I said before, if they did he would already have a majority.

Anonymous said...

I was talking about the guy Steve, because that is what they see. As for tories, they base things on what they hear.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Excellent post. I totally agree that more of this is what is needed in QP.

How often do you see someone get up and shout with anger, and then sit down with a big smirk all over their face? It's all a show.

Today, I think we got a small glimpse of the real people. I wish we would see that side more often.

Steve V said...


The sad part, the "show" which is supposed to sway, is actually a turnoff. Why someone hasn't figured out that a lack of "game" is actually smart politics is beyond me.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Steve, I totally agree. They try to outdo each other with the rhetoric and the posturing.

I used to enjoy watching it, but now I find it just raises my blood pressure and I turn it off.

Then I check out MDL for the highlights, which are easier to take in small doses. But you're right. Why don't they get it? And here we are, two bloggers on different sides of the political spectrum, yet we agree on this.

Steve V said...

"I used to enjoy watching it, but now I find it just raises my blood pressure and I turn it off."

Joanne, that says it all really. I'm a complete political junkie, and I find myself turning it off. When you are losing the diehards, that speaks to how far it has declined.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Steve, exactly. Let this session die a merciful death. We all need a break.

Red Tory said...

When Joanne totally agrees with you, it's time to give your head a shake. She just wants a break because it's painful to watch this bunch of can't-shoot-straight nitwits haplessly flailing around in parliament where it's quite obvious on a daily basis that they're bereft of ideas and sadly lacking in any sense of direction after having exhausted their election goody bags.