13 May 2005

Around Here, From Now On, We'll Call Him Mister Ed....

      I can't believe it: there's a flicker of class in this farce of a parliament?   It figures it would be someone like Broadbent lighting that candle.

      On the more strictly political side, this is an ingenious move by Broadbent.   In addition to being a noble gesture, it stanches the putrid Conservative argument about preying upon ill MPs, and it keeps the Liberals upon the razor's edge, the opportunism of the situation no longer strictly to anyone's advantage.   Well, not quite.   This example also serves as a demonstration that things could have been done civilly in this parliament, and it may reinforce the current perception in the general population that only the NDP is trying to make parliament work as it should. This could be the pre-election coup de grace, because for the first time since Mr. Broadbent was leader, the NDP could truly end up spoiling a lot of ridings for both the Tories and Liberals, and both of those parties seem to be genuinely worried about the perception of the NDP when both primary parties are looking self-interested rather than sincerely-motivated.   Broadbent's gesture may help to swing a surprising amount of public opinion toward the Dippers, which could prove truly problematic, especially in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces.   In other words, Ed's gesture-- informally accepted by Mr. Harper, especially since it would be churlish and indefensible for him to refuse it-- may have transformed the nature of the election that's coming by demonstrating that there is still room for the high road in Canucki politics.   The dynamics of this whole ridiculous, and intellectually-insulting, race to the polls may have just changed dramatically, indignant shouting no longer being adequate on its own.  

      Broadbent, with perfect civility, threw down the gauntlet.   Good on him, and it may be this gesture that determines the fate of the Commons in a couple of months, especially given the current "a pox on all your houses" mentality currently ripe within the electorate.   Boys and girls, this just went from being asinine to interesting.   Let's see if any of the other players meet Mr. Broadbent's parting challenge.

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