The Harper government's campy, sequinned, lip-synching impersonation of a real administration has just had yet more toll taken of its already negligible reserves of dignity. People who once aspired to be the Village People of Canadian politics appear to be rehearsing to become the Village People Tribute Band of Canadian politics. At this rate, the CPC's tacky Tahoe glamour will soon start to fade into a men's-room-of-an-unlicensed-poolhall shabbiness.
Maxime Bernier has resigned his Foreign Affairs portfolio (with Stephen Harper no doubt providing a triggering to-the-curb ass-kicking) a scant few hours ahead of the broadcast of an interview in which Julie Couillard, Bernier's former "lover" (as the media cringingly put it), reportedly reveals that the ex-minister had a habit of leaving classified documents lying around at her place. Clearly, the spectacle of a Minister of Foreign Affairs virtually feeding classified information to a girlfriend with past romantic ties to two high-ranking members of Canada's criminal underworld promised a hailstorm of Opposition ridicule that Harper was loath to endure.
Nothing became Bernier in his tenure less than the manner of his leaving it. Mere hours after yet again dismissing concerns about Bernier with a contemptuous shrug, Harper announced his resignation at a hastily convened press conference, thus performing the most rapidly executed flip-flip in our political history.
I wonder if Harper has yet fully assimilated the pathetic fact that his gutless inertia gave Couillard--the biker's moll--the initiative in this decision, that, after weeks of ignoring the patent reality that the nature of a minister's personal decisions do indeed reflect on his professional aptitude, Harper finally made the right choice, not because he brought himself to his senses, but because Couillard forced his hand. And thank God she did: without her sordid revelations, we would be yet unaware that Bernier is thoroughly unworthy of the public trust.
Thus, astonishingly, it is the biker's moll, not Harper, whose actions have served the public interest. I cannot think of a Canadian precedent for such an abject delegation of prime-ministerial prerogative being made unto such a lowly recipient; whatever their faults, the Founding Fathers certainly did not intend biker babes to be part of the Executive, but even they seem to be better qualified for leadership than our prime minister shows himself to be.
Finally, I see that Industry Minister David Emerson will assume the Foreign Affairs portfolio pro tem while Harper decides which obscure Rotarian to toss into it, in one of the clearest recent indications that Harper's talent pool is precisely one Liberal floor-crosser deep.