I found my thrill on parliament hill
I love a minority government. Ottawa is such a bunch of odd suits sticking to inscrutable messages, so when Belinda Stronach announced she would cross the floor to the Liberals on the eve of defeat, the sleepy-eyed reporters actually gasped. When the PM, with his despairing eyebrows and smug smile said it was not "about numbers" (for non-canucks, they could be defeated on a very tight non-confidence vote over the budget) the reporters laughed long and loud.
My favourite part of this is the pervasive use in the media of "bombshell". The reporters can't get over the fact that there was not a leak before the press conference. They also can't get over the fact that she is a babe. Hence the double entendre of bombshell whilst editors chuckle over their identical cleverness.
So while the antics on the Hill had me chuckling all day (and wincing with the certain misogyny as reporters kept asking about her relationship to her Tory ex-bf, Peter MacKay and politicians slandered her "ambition" -oooo an ambitious WOMAN - what a crime!). And MacKay(!!) acting like a bruised victim of double crossing. This stuff is rich!
So Peter MacKay is on his dad's east-coast potato farm, saying he needs time to "heal" while more unbelievably sexist bullshit is being spewed forth. Alberta Conservative Tony Abbott jumped into the debate by saying Stronach had "whored herself out for power."(!!!). Tory MP Bob Runciman called her "a dipstick - an attractive one, but still a dipstick." You can't write shit this good.
But then Belinda gets on air and is another weirdly-mannered politician. She mentions not wanting to align with bloc quebecois 8 times in a 3-minute interview. She says nothing human. She looks and feels robotic.
And I started thinking like I always do when i hear politicians speak: if you want to convince us, it is not through hypnotic repetition of your message. Tell me a story! Tell me about your values in a human way! Hell, I won't believe you, but at least try and prove that you understand what your voters want to hear. It got me thinking again about that great article on Danny O'Brien's blog, Oblomovka, on the public vs private register. Why are politicians so universally weirdly-mannered?