Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Margaret Wente is right on the money. Good quote from Michael Bliss : “From the point of view of anybody concerned about our political system, it’s a non-scandal,” says Michael Bliss, the eminent historian. But parliamentary politics is such a bear pit that, in the absence of a real scandal (such as the sponsorship affair), a non-scandal will have to do. Opposition politicians, along with a fair portion of the media, have clamped on to the Harper government like a pack of rabid chihuahuas. They’ve escalated the rhetoric so much that you’ve got to wonder what they’ll say when a real scandal comes along. Yet, they also know they’re playing to the crowd. Just check out the letters pages, or the media comment sites, to get a taste of the vitriol this story has unleashed. A substantial number of Canadians believe Mr. Harper really did steal the 2011 election, in spirit if not in fact, and as far as they’re concerned, the robo-calling scandal just confirms it. “A lot of people – especially Liberals – simply cannot accept the legitimacy of the Conservatives being in power,” says Mr. Bliss. In Canada, just as in the United States, political polarization is on the upswing. And for a variety of reasons, the Harper government has failed to bridge the gap between the 40 per cent who voted for the Conservatives and the 60 per cent who didn’t. This is all wasting time in parliament. Will the opposition propose one policy? Hopefully the falling of the budget axe will get the chattering classes and their grit masters to concentrate on more real stories.