By now we've all seen it, our Prime Minister strolling onto the stage of the Nartional Arts Centre and belting out the Beatles' song "With a Little Help from my Friends" with the great cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Celtic rock group Herringbone. In one move, Prime Minister Harper appealed to classical music, Beatles and Celtic Rock fans, now how's that for a voting demographic.
Let's be honest, this could have been a huge mistake. First of all, as a 'hater' of the arts, Stephen Harper could have unleashed members of the Alberta arm of the Young Conservatives to pillage, rape and burn the NAC to the ground. After all, it's filled with art snobs which translates into "Liberals" in that part of Canada. Second, he could have flubbed the piano or he could have sung out of key. You know that such a bad performance would have been even wider over the place. I mean its okay to sing out of tune if you're doing a Bob Dylan number but that's about it. Instead he comes across as doing a good job and having fun. In the end that's all one could hope for.
A disaster would have been a disaster. If you can remember way back when, the then leader of the Progressive Conservatives, Robert Stanfield was shown dropping a football. He was playing catch with some people, it was a photo op, and apparently was doing a good job of throwing, kicking and catching. However he dropped it once and that was the photograph that made it into all the newspapers around Canada:
Mr. Stanfield was considered a true gentleman and many have referred to him as the 'Best Prime Minister Canada never had'.
What has interested me is the reaction of the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, our friend Michael Ignatieff. Seems he can't do anything right lately. When news of Mr. Harper's piano playing gig, he responded with the usual fulmination:
This is a prime minister who a year ago was trying to make you embarrassed if you liked opera or classical music or the ballet or poetry," Ignatieff said. "I mean, come on, let's get over this. You can like hockey, you can like classical music. Let's stop playing Canadian against Canadian and taste against taste
Seems Iggy has been a doing a lot of that lately.
he complains that the Prime Minister isn't doing enough for the Unemployed and threatens to bring down the government. That fails and so;
he complains the government isn't doing enough to protect Canadians against H1N1, and the the various provincial Ministries of Health come up with the convoluted plan to protect Canadians, the federal government promises to have enough vaccines ready. So he:
complains that the Prime Minister would rather spend time with ordinary Canadians, drinking coffee at the local Tim Horton's instead of being at the United Nation where he could represent Canada and put up with Muammar Ghaddafi's bizarre monologue or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's bizarre re-writing of history. "The Holocaust? Get outta Here..."
Although Mr. Harper did attend the G20 summit, which was how he got to do a gig with Yo-Yo Ma, his wife asked Yo-Yo about doing some song. Which is quite interesting.
What does all this mean? On the one hand, you had a good weekend for Stephen Harper and on the other, another bad one for Michael Ignatieff. He's trying to look decisive when all he managed to do was annoy the Quebec wing of his Party and do an about face. He first said he was in no hurry to appoint a Lieutenant for the Quebec wing, until he read the constitution which requires just such a person. Now whoever he chooses, will bear the brunt of being the "Bloc Toronto" man, just when the leader of the Bloc Toronto continues to shoot himself in the foot.
By the way, Iggy also sang the same song.
This leads me to the question of the day;
"What song will Iggy sing in his next political act?"
I'm thinking "You gotta fight for your right to Party", by the Beastie Boys