Thursday, April 13, 2006

On instincts

Apparently Rex Murphy is eager to join the ranks of Harper-friendly media figures, gushing over the Accountability Act while ignoring some of the notable exclusions:
(The Accountability Act) is a ripe, thick, sprawling piece of legislation, 274 pages, that very largely redraws the map on everything from fundraising to transition of aides and party functionaries to the civil service or lobbying, that expands the eagle and much-dreaded eye of Sheila Fraser to Crown Corporations and Trusts, sets up a parliamentary prosecutor.

This is big stuff. In essence, Mr. Harper has said, "You wanted accountability. I'll give you accountability."
The problem is that Murphy ignores the next sentence in Harper's implicit statement: "I just won't accept any for myself."

Granted, Murphy's rant can be justified to the extent that he prefers Harper's instincts on accountability to those of the Libs. But that's not a credit to Harper by any means. Instead, that comparison only works in Harper's favour due to the Libs' absurd calculation that they're better off trying to defend PMPM's record in anticipation of retaking power, rather than to try to hold Harper's government accountable.

If Murphy and his ilk were more willing to challenge Harper on his strategy of focusing attention everywhere but on himself, then Harper would properly be facing public backlash against the differences between his campaign message and his actions in power...and the opposition Libs would likely have to make a similar move. Unfortunately, though, the one instinct of Harper's which appears to be correct so far is the view that the media will let him get away with it. And if that proves to be the case, then Murphy and company will only have themselves to blame.

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