Monday, April 23, 2007

On interpretation gaps

Others have noted what appears to be a backtrack from John Baird's position on C-30 as stated to environmental groups last week. But it could be that the problem was simply a difference in interpretation: the environmental groups in question may have assumed that Baird's words spoken behind closed doors had some meaning, forgetting that nothing that comes out of a Harper cabinet minister's mouth counts in the eyes of the Cons unless it's spoken in front of a duly authorized backdrop.

Of course, the Cons' theory does lead to some problems. And my suspicion is that the reason for Baird's delay on C-30 isn't that his mind isn't made up, but instead that there was an error in the backdrop design which is keeping him from going in front of the cameras.

Based on the Cons' track record of avoiding partisanship within their publicly-funded materials, I'm guessing the planned background is something along these lines:
Liberals Want You To
Freeze In The Dark
Suppose, though, that the last word were to contain a typo and come back as "dork". The Cons might, in the single most environmentally-responsible move of their tenure in power, decide to reuse the last line as their effort to brand Dion during the course of the next campaign. But the actual C-30 announcement couldn't be made until the background was fixed.

In other words, this may represent just one more cost of trying to operate a government on the Cons' plane of surreality, rather than one in which words and actions bear their usual meanings. But hopefully the extra time bought by the printing error will allow for another of the Cons' specialties, as they take one more grudging step toward the Canadian mainstream by deciding to let C-30 proceed.

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