Michael Harris, iPolitics.ca Discussion »
As the old year passes, Stephen Harper faces a dilemma: If he can't attend at Chief Theresa Spence's teepee, how could he possibly attend her funeral?
And yet, if should she should starve herself to death because the PM refuses to meet with her, how could he stay away?
With each wasted day, it gets less and less likely the prime minister will blink. After all, what would be the explanation for attending on the 18th day of Chief Spence' fast as opposed to, say, the 11th or 25th day? The photo opportunity - Christmas Eve or Christmas Day - has already come and gone.
And who would send Senator Patrick Brazeau as an emissary on any issue, even if you could get him to stop brushing his hair long enough to memorize his speaking notes?
This is the guy who effectively called a CP reporter a bitch, who dubbed the former native organization he headed up a "Mickey Mouse" operation, and who is now suing that same organization - which he says should cooperate with him as a Canadian senator. Brazeau claims that Theresa Spence isn't a good role model for native kids. Maybe Justin Trudeau punched him a little harder than anyone knows.
While the PM continues to remind the middle-aged aboriginal woman out on Victoria Island who's the boss, other politicians have made the trek to the teepee or written letters of support, including Justin Trudeau, Marc Garneau, Thomas Mulcair and Charlie Angus.
And then came Joe Clark. It is considered obligatory for a leadership candidate, especially of a third party, to display his human side at every opportunity. It is also good opposition politics to show compassion when the government gives the middle finger in any given situation.
But for a former prime minister, and a Conservative one at that, to pay his respects to Chief Spence presents a challenge to the sitting PM. After all, Harper has shown himself to be the Tin Man of Canadian politics, a calculator on two legs who lacks a heart. You get the feeling he would rather have a root canal than a discussion with someone who had a beef with him. Read More »
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posted December 31, 2012 8:20 am est