Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Harper and Layton: Alliance or Dalliance?

Alliances and Dalliances
I love the political backroom gavotte going on between the Cons and the Dippers over their principles and which ones they will trade offs or defer between getting the budget passed and getting serious changed around environment policy.

We will have to wait and see if this is an alliance or a dalliance.

On the other hand can we soon expect another couple take to the political dance floor? Will the Libs and the Greens embrace in a struggle to see which one will actually lead in the environment agenda? I don't expect May to give up the "lead" in their dance or on the issues to Dion. She will no doubt make him work harder and look even better on the issues before the music stops and the election is called.

Citizens have yet to decide who they will actually trust and respect on the environment and climate change issues. Will it be Scowling Steve and/or Smiling Jack? Such an interesting and intense couple. Is the winner going to be Studious Stephane and/or Effervescent Elizabeth? They are earnest and energetic for sure...effective - well that is still an open question

That leaves Jilted Gilles looking for someone - anyone to pay attention to him. He faces the music alone and will come to realize that the environment trumps his aspirations for more equalization money as the dominant political issue - even in Quebec.

More on Manning's Musings:
I see Jeffery Simpson in the Globe and Mail today picked up on the Manning Op-Ed piece I posted on last Monday. He mentions the “attack ads” and the ironic timing of his message that we citizens should be showing our lack of tolerance for extremism and then the Cons launch their attack ads outside of the election cycle.

Simpson calls the ads “crude and rude.” He might soon be adding to the rhyme scheme and include “sued.” Some commentary is around that the Cons “tacky ad” content misused copyright material that is the property of others. That would be an interesting development if the content is challenged over copyright. I can see the blogosphere quips about the Cons misuse of "intellectual" property in the context of the attack ads.

Another One Bites the Dust:
So Johanne Gelinas, the Environment Commissioner has been “replaced” because her report last September criticized the former Lib and the current Cons over in actions on climate change. The reason for her departure is that her report smacked of advocacy instead of auditing. I didn’t know she reported to the Auditor General and apparently the two did not see eye to eye on things. Too bad. She was a breath of fresh air in her frankness.

Perhaps this role needs to be a separate office that reports directly to Parliament. Then it could be independent enough to audit and advocate by making recommendations for performance changes and improvements in how environment policy is being implemented.

We have seen the Chief Electoral Officer leave under a cloud of interference and now the Environment Commissioner is bounced. I hope there was no political interference in either decision. The controlling nature of the PMO is not reassuring in that regard. Two incidents do not make a trend but you have to wonder if there a pattern forming here and how much of a chill this puts on the senior bureaucracy.

I see the Cons are making merry in Question Period over the name of Dion’s dog, “Kyoto.” Perhaps Harper should get a pet Polar Bear and name him “Endangered.” That would symbolically show Steve's soft side and just how much he cares about climate change too.