In the forthcoming Western Standard , I make the point that “the big flaw at the heart of the Westminster system is that in order to function as intended – by codes and conventions – it depends on a certain modesty and circumspection from the political class.” Perhaps it was always a long shot to expect a man as hollow as Paul Martin to understand that. When a fellow’s spent his entire adult life wanting to be Prime Minister without giving a single thought to what he wants to do in the job, it’s hardly likely he’d go quietly into the dignified losers’ club with Clark, Turner and Campbell. But the fact remains: by any understanding of our system of government, if the effect of “an extra week’s delay” is to maintain themselves in power by one vote they otherwise would not have had, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a constitutional coup. Like Robert Mugabe, Paul Martin has simply declared that the constitution is whatever he says it is.Sadly, it's tough to even talk about this sad state of affairs because the man on the street - in my experience of the past few days- does not even understand it. Westminster what? Confidence? What's a few days?
To attack Belinda is sexist! To attack Gagliano is racist! To attack Liberals is "extremist" and "angry", and we need to restore "civility" to our politics. I don’t know whether the power-crazed Harper will “destroy Canada”. I do know that the Martin regime is chipping away at it day by day, and Canadians who don’t take Jerry’s view have few good options. Unlike King/Byng or Sir John Kerr firing Gough Whitlam, what makes this a constitutional crisis is that there’s no crisis: Parliament votes, and Martin shrugs; Martin fiddles the math, and Canada shrugs. And the chaps at The Ottawa Citizen think the big question now is: “Is there room for moderate, urban conservatives in the new Conservative Party?The whole sex issue is a distraction from the real issue, and that is the abuse of power, the selling of positions such as cabinet posts, ambassadorships, and, let's not forget, the justice system itself. Watching Politics on the CBC this afternoon, there was a wee moment where one commentator brought up the fact that the Stronach affair is viewed quite differently in the West, where it is seen as yet another knife into the aspirations of western Canada by a rich snot from Ontario. That's about how it's phrased too. I doubt it ever - ever!- crossed Stronach's mind how alienating her actions are seen here. The comment disappeared like a lead zeppelin the moment the camera passed to the next talking head. I am beginning to really consider if Canada might be broken. The Liberals can claim they are the only party with a 'national vision' but they are in fact the party of Imperial Ottawa. The Bloc speaks for Quebec and the CPC speaks for the west. It has been trying to sell it's vision of the country to anyone out east who will listen but the response has been mixed, to say the least. The NDP is too extreme to have any hope at the moment of forming a national government. The best they seem to be able to do is act as a parasite on the Liberals. One cannot govern by virtue of a population quirk, and do it as if one had the will of the people in a magic lamp. This denial of reality cannot go on forever. Dithers does not have a majority government. Culturally speaking, he has only 0.333 of the country (ie. not Quebec and not the west). Having your ass saved by the speaker after delaying for nine days so you can work out your bribes does nothing to "restore confidence in the government." It's rather the opposite. Assuming anyone is even watching. Cynicism is not sophistication. As Steyn points out:
If you’re stopped in the street by a CBC reporter and you tell him, “Oh, everyone does it. That’s politics. What’s the big deal?”, you’re not being worldly and cynical, you’re being played like a violin by the Liberal Party fiddlers.