Thursday, December 31, 2009

Still more reviews are in

Adam Radwanski:
(T)o the extent that it helps set the narrative, it reinforces that old impression of a bullying prime minister vastly more concerned with advancing his own partisan interests than in providing good government. A prime minister, in other words, who lacks gravitas, and doesn't look that prime ministerial after all.
(T)he controversy created by proroguing won't necessarily be much smaller than the one that proroguing is meant to escape. Nor is there any guarantee, for that matter, that suspending Parliament will actually work in the latter regard; on the contrary, it could give some people the impression that the Conservatives have a big problem they need to run away from.

Again, this isn't the sort of thing that's going to make or break the government. But it does fit into a rather familiar pattern.

For all the talk of strategic or tactical genius, this is the same party that spent most of the last campaign taking the heat off Stephane Dion with a series of totally avoidable gaffes, and wound up with only a minority government in the easiest election it will ever face. The same party that, almost immediately after that election, nearly brought itself down by totally overplaying its hand. I could go on.

In the past few years, the Conservatives have committed enough unforced errors to rival the Leafs' defencemen. Proroguing Parliament may prove to be another one.
Of course, if Radwanski is right, it's because the prorogation does fit with a message that fits with Harper's existing negatives. So it'll be the task of those who recognize the danger of Harper's efforts to avoid accountability to make that message stick (while keeping the torture cover-up and other issues alive to be revived when Parliament resumes).

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