"So am I!" (Her husband)....these are the words we heard as the PM turned away from the mic, immediately after his tirade about the legitimacy of only a "winner" forming a government, not the leader of the party who receives the second most seats in a Canadian election.
In counselling, we learn and speak often about something called 'parallel process.' In those terms, the conversation of the client with the counsellor parallels much of the experience that is simultaneously occurring between the client and his life outside the counselling room.
These two people, the Harpers, were, as the reading on the thermometer told, "cold" from the cold air that was blowing through Ottawa, off the Ottawa River, on Saturday morning, outside Rideau Hall, on March 26, 2011. The reason for the visit, of course, was for the government leader to request the dissolution of the parliament of Canada, and the agreement of the Governor General to issue an election writ.
From a perspective of "parallel process," it struck this observer that the words were also fitting, in the sense of the relationship between the country and this prime minister.
He is, if not the most, certainly one of the most "cold," calculating, shark-like species to inhabit 24 Sussex Avenue, the residence of the Prime Minister. His lecture about the "evils" of a coalition, completely unsupported by the constitution, or the history of the British and Canadian parliaments, was a cold, calculating and impersonal lecture as if to a class of undergraduate legal students, or perhaps undergraduate political science students. It would take those few minutes of this lecture for this observer, if I were a student again, to reject enrolment in this professor's class.
Not only has Gilles Duceppe left Harper's argument in shreds, merely by exposing a letter initiated and signed by Harper himself, in 2004, calling on the then Governor General to consider a different option than a federal election should the then Prime Minister, Paul Martin, lose the confidence of the House. In fact, Harper, according to Duceppe, led the charge to facilitate a decision that would have made him the Prime Minister, in the event that the Martin government lost the confidence of the House.
But also, Harper himself, has exposed his most vulnerable flank: his perception of what the British used to call the 'divine right of kings' as his right to a majority government, as the only option to that "insidious" coalition.
- Telling the major departments of the government to begin to issue statements beginning "The Harper Government" announces....rather than the Government of Canada announces...
- Refusing to provide adequate information to parliament about the costs of prison reforms, based on a complete misrepresentation of the crime rate (it is falling significantly, not rising as Harper warns)
- Refusing to come clean about the cost of those 65 F-35 Fighter Jets (The government's own civil servant estimates it to be at least twice the announced cost...$30+ billion, not the $19 billion announced
- Dismissing the "contempt of Parliament vote" as a mere "parliamentary procedure" about which the people of the country do not care...Harper did this in his statement outside Rideau Hall Saturday
- Repressing all government ministers to the mind control, and muzzlement of the PMO, before any announcements can be made about the policy direction of their departments
- Dropping a few budgetary "snippets" of support for selected voter segments, especially seniors and immigrants and family care-givers
- Generally having and showing contempt for the plight of hundreds of thousands of Canadians whose budgets have so atrophied they can barely make ends meet...