Friday, January 27, 2006

Harper Reality Check

The progressive blogs are saying that Harper is a cyborg. Something to do with a wooden smile and shaking his kids’ hands at school.

But last night, the CBC told us who Harper really is (and the CBC wouldn’t LIE - even though they're evil enough to show his high school yearbook picture). He’s a quiet, reserved kind of guy who hates the public spotlight. He’s a theorist, an economist, an introverted, bookworm type who never wanted to be a politician.

Gulp. Bad career choice, dude.

But on the other hand, knowing that he’s really just shy is kind of … endearing. Okay, that’s a bit strong, but he’s just a dweeb. A philosopher-king kind of dweeb, definitely geeky.

Just like us.

He must be scared sh*tless.

But if he’s as nerdy and introverted and camera-shy as the CBC says he is (and the CBC wouldn’t LIE), then he would be the type to read blogs, rather than muscle around on Parliament Hill. He might even be reading our blogs. Hey, he might even be reading THIS blog right now.

If you are, Stevie, then hullo, welcome to the community. I’ve got a few starter tips for you to get you started off on the right (ha, get it?) foot.

1. When you have a radical new idea you want to get through Parliament, then present it like this: “We have a new idea here, and here are the basic ideas and the options we’re considering. Take some time to look it over and discuss it. If you have some other options, bring them to the table. Let’s focus our goals so that we’re working toward the same thing.” Instead of: “Here’s what we’re going to do. It’s all written in this 400-page document. No discussion, no options, no time, just shut up and sign it, and I am a CYBORG!”

2. The philosopher-king idea sounded great in Plato, but in real life, reality and philosophy don’t mix very well. You may like to align all ideas along a one-dimensional line of Right-to-left (right=good, left=stupid), but the real world is three-dimensional. The Earth is tilted on its axis. Its orbit wobbles. Its not a sphere, but an ovoid because the poles are flattened. The people on it are generally rational, but an incredible number are TSFW (too stupid for words). Toilets don’t flush, wind directions change. And watch out for that yin-yang thing: what’s good becomes bad in a different context. Tip: modify the philosophies to fit the realities, not the other way around.

3. The most heinous governments in the world have always been ideological.

4. There are really just two regions in Canada: Alberta, and The Rest Of Canada. If that’s news to you, then take a look at the election results. I don’t know what it is that does it – maybe those big hats. But Albertans are definitely cut from a different cloth, and they used the same scissors to cut you. All the more reason to do a federalism shake-down, that’s what I say. But don’t take out those scissors on us, or expect some big trouble.

5. Don’t lose sight of the irrational things of political life. Myth. Tradition. Home loyalties. Symbolism. Like the HBC being sold to an Amurican the day you walked into the Parliament Building as PM-elect. You may think the big issue of your reign will be democratic and federal reform, but it might end up being bird flu. Or mad cows. Life has a way of doing these things.

6. My final tip: Use that vast cranium to think. As much as I’m in favour of recycling, I don’t favour politicians re-using old ideas. What you thought up in the 1990s belongs in the 1990s. Think today about today. Also, keep in mind that on every issue, there is a Yes side and No side in an endless, yanking tug-of-war. But there are also those Third Options, the ones no one has considered yet. Think: "I like third options, I like third options..."

That's it, enough to get your started.

So Steve, feel free to check in regularly. I'll keep letting you know how you're doing, give you some pointers for working with us Rest-Of-Canaders. We're not so bad once you get to know us.

You can do it, buddy. Just keep your stick on the ice.

Brilliant. Great Post :-)
Great post indeed.

I personally am warming up to Harper but, it's only early yet. I still don't believe in underlying beliefs but he's definatly not the demon we've been led to believe he is... myabe.

It's going to be an interesting couple of months, that's all I gotta say.

Agreed; an excellent contribution.

Great point about going in with certain goals, but never knowing what you'll end up having to tackle. It was easy for Harper to shoot off at the mouth from the other benches, but now he'll really see what it takes. Not only would I like to see him succeed, but I'm starting to feel like he actually will. (Just as long as he doesn't try to pull anything too socially conservative; keep Rob Anders locked in the trunk of the car, and I'll be happy.)
I am hardly Stephen Harper but I did get into local politics, and after one campaign, I said to myself "Fix things? I can hardly tie my shoelaces. The Klieg lights, the gladhanding, the stress of being ON all the time.
Shy guy. Yeah. I really sympathise with Harper. No wonder he caught that cold.
Tough business.
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