Saturday, May 24, 2008

What a Cast of Characters

The Federal Conservative government look like an eclectic gang of 'refer'ees from some casting agency, it's not surprising that they 'act' like them, too.

Starting at the top, there's the PM. A cross between the Sheik of Araby and one of those nazi villains from 'The Lost Ark', with that signature John F. Kennedy hairdo, Steven Harper has gone out of his way to stop appearing goofy. No more hats on backwards or 'chowing down' pictures, he's lost weight and is actually looking more 'presidential' than his funny friend down south. His latest role as 'the sojer's friend' would warm the cockleshells of any wannabe's heart. Let's just hope he's not doing JFK-style horizontal mambas to lose the pudge, them 'still waters running deep' as they say down east.

The latest 'booby' to stick is head up is the Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime, 'hey dat's my girlfren' you're staring at' Bernier. This poor sap is well out of his depth and standing 5' 16" that's somet'ing. He looks like Constable Tom, but he talks and acts like Ti' Pierre. Showing up to be sworn-in on the arm of a statuesque gal who looked like she had intentions, couldn't be laid entirely at his door. That it turns out she'd had a ride on a large number of 'ells Angels (Quebec Chapitre), and been married to a crook. Says something about the competence of his handlers.

He's getting some attention for a gaffe or two relating to Afghanistan, and not getting a governor fired, and a very expensive junket to Thailand. He's also taking heat for the boss's decision to let the Americans palm-off the end of line C-17's this week. But not knowing much about them either, should stand him in good stead. He didn't sign off for them.

Another character is John Baird. Political life must be agreeing with John, he's developing a certain Travolta look - jowlly, but with more hair. Along with his dimensions and seeming inability to answer a direct question directly, Baird was
noted for an ill-fitting set of dentition. Now whether this is an act of God, or a product of the vacuum formers' art, John still has them. You'd think he'd have had a makeover by now. But then, silk purse eh? He still does a good non-job at question period.

A recent import from Harris' Ontario administration is Guy, the master of the black arts, Giorno. He bears a passing resemblance to Guy Caballero but is said to be much quieter and less funny, if just as much in control, a hatchet man. Or, in the words of a Tory backbencher, - one of Mike Harris' 'pimply-faced nancy boys'. We won't see much of Guy, but hopefully we won't feel him either, he would have made a good eugenicist.

Another 'eminence gris' of the Harper administration in the Minister without Portfolio and general know-it-all defender of government policy on anything Jason Kenney. Either a frustrated lawyer, or a flunk-out from some seminary, Jason is a sweaty little driver who demonstrates the symptoms of 'small man disorder'. Years ago one of the news rags ran an article of this 'up and coming conservative - sharing his bachelor digs with another guy and ironing his own shirts. Impressive. I would hope he still does that, but I doubt it. Ironing your own shirt keeps you grounded and Jay is beginning to seem 'napoleonic' or megalomaniacal.

Another member of the bantam brigade is the Minister of Finance, Joe Flaherty, or is it Bill Rafferty, Dick Slattery? Anyway, he's another short fellow. The 'Preem' must like to look down on the bright members of his entourage, as the bigger ones tend to the stupid side of the scale, sort of like that Spanish King who kept smart dwarves around the palace. But I diverge! The Minister of Finance finds himself rolling in the dough, as opposed to a stint in Ontario where all the dough was borrowed for him to roll in. Largely because of the tax on gas that he forgot to roll back like he said he would, Flaherty would actually have to work at running a deficit. But if he keeps on giving corporate tax breaks to tide the bigshots though the on-coming recession, or wasting money on 'friendly' contracts, he just might get one. One thing is for sure; he doesn't have enough in the bank to 'spend Canada out of a Depression'.

And last but not least is the former Secretary of State and now Minister of Defense - Peter MacKay. Pete seemed to enjoy being out east with the troops and this post is probably a reward for doing a good job in his old one. He has a reputation as a charmer and his warm 'personal' relationship with Condoleeza Rice was blatted abroad. Of course, being a bachelor, he's no doubt had a few of those. One notable one is with former MP, and golden girl, Belinda Stronach. Their break-up led her to the arms of opposition Liberals, and a washed-up hockey player, and ended in a welter of nasty personal references. Since then Peter, and his real dog, have been keeping a low profile, especially since one of his Afghan visits drew a salute of rocket fire from the Taliban. McKay is lately rumored to have hooked-up with Sophie, the daughter of the mighty Demarais corporation ... no spring chicken but a nifty pedigree.

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