Monday, April 12, 2010

"Royalty" has it's way

Well it is about friggin' time. It has been so many years since there has been a Canadian politician who was as wildly erratic as, say, Republican Congressperson Michelle Bachmann is from south of the 49th. Granted, back in the long ago Brian Mulrooney (a Conservative Prime Minister, if I recall correctly), who is generally acknowledged to be two-hundred pounds of horrible in a fifty-pound sack, ran wild in the streets of Ottawa running down stray dogs in the early morning light. Brian was, and is, so crooked that he is purely incapable of walking in a straight line. He personally trashed the Progressive Conservative party so totally that the only way they ever became viable again was when they joined with the western based Reform party, and they were not the senior party in that particular merger. Thanks, Brian (that polite rumble you hear is the synchronized spinning in their graves of Sir John A MacDonald, Sir Charles Tupper and John "the Dief" Diefenbaker.)

Then there was Jean Chretien (a Liberal Prime Minister of the old school) who came in like a lion and went out like a bug-eyed old actress, unable to accept the fact of her own advancing age. Jean fell face-first into the traditional Liberal mindset of, "you voted us into power so obviously we are ten times smarter than you will ever be." Polite people called him arrogant and the rest of us called him an obnoxious dick at the end. You go, Jean (that muffled swishing you hear is the head-shaking going on in the Liberal afterlife where the spirits of Alexander Mackenzie, William King and Pierre Trudeau are especially disturbed - this is pretty weird because King was nuts anyway and Trudeau never really respected Jean much.)
Of course over the years there have been other Canadian politicians who have aspired to weirdness and to a certain extent may have even distinquished themselves in this endeavour. Not up to British standards perhaps, but then the British have been at it longer. Canadian politicians tend not to be as haywire nuts as they can be south of the border, which is good for Canada, but not so good for Canadian political humourists (not counting Rick Mercer, but then that guy is pretty much brighter that I will ever be). But now the new(ish) kids on the block have kicked it up a notch, with an enthusiastic erratisism that would impress even the most wild-eyed tea-partier in the good old US of A.
Rahim Jaffer and his wife Helena Guergis either are or were Conservative Members of Parliment, depending on which one you are talking about. Rahim was the MP for Edmonton-Strathcona from 1997 to 2008, starting out as a Reform MP then becoming a Conservative MP when the parties merged. He was fired by the voters in 2008 and replaced by NDPer (New Democratic Party - lefties) Linda Duncan. Now that is an impressive change by anybodies standards, from a Conservative to a NDP MP - in Alberta of all places. Way to go, Rahim! If you are going to drop the ball, drop it a long way.
Helena Guergis' career in the Houses of Parliament isn't quite as long as Rahim's was (yet), but it was pretty high profile. First elected in 2004, Helena was appointed Minister of State for the Status of Women in 2008.
These two rose high, which only made it possible for them to fall that much harder. Firm believers in quality over quantity, neither member as flailingly crazy 24/7, not in public anyway, but the sign were there. In 2001 Rahim had one of his minions to take part in a radio interview in his place, and pretending to be Rahim. Oddly enough he was caught and had to apologise in the House of Commons. After being tossed out of office, Rahim was pulled over in Ontario for speeding (93 km/h in a 50 km/h zone which in the old Imperial system was known as "driving too damn fast"). The police officer who pulled him over noticed that Rahim smelled of booze and had cocaine smeared all over his face (rumours that Rahim tried to pass this off as powdered anthrax are probably untrue). At any rate, rank has it's privileges and the charges were reduced to being a sloppy driver with a fine of $500. Even the judge in the case was disgusted, saying to Rahim, "I'm sure you can recognise a break when you see one."
Helena has not been a MP as long as Rahim was (which was a pretty decent 11-years) but she has hit the news with a vengeance. Last year in Charlottetown she threw a major wobbly at the airport when airport and security personnel didn't think she was as important as she herself does. She showed up late for her flight and when the security people started doing their job she had a meltdown. Apparently the news that security regulations applied to her just as they do to everybody else set her off and in an entitlement frenzy she called Charlottetown a "hellhole" and began swearing at the airport people who had made the unforgivable mistake of taking their jobs seriously. I guess it is pretty frustrating when other people don't recognise just how special you are, right Helena?
Recently there have been stories of Helena allowing Rahim to use a Parliamentary e-mail address, thus allowing Rahim to claim that he has some influence with the Prime Minister's office, as well as stories of a $0 dollar down mortgage for a $800,000 house. Granted, the "rules" are a little different for the elite, but maybe not quite as different as these two thought they were.
Last week Prime Minister Harper announced that Helena was no longer a member of the Conservative caucus and due to recent "serious" allegations, his off had referred Helena to the Federal Ethics office and to the RCMP. Helena has resigned as the Minster of State for the Status of Women and will no doubt be fighting "baseless allegations and unfounded assertions" by her enemies. I'm not sure but I think it would be unusual for a Prime Minister to boot someone out of caucus and call the cops on them unless there were some sort of proof. More proof than you would get from "baseless allegations and unfounded assertions" anyway.
In any event these two are a welcome blast of the strange to the normally bland Canadian political scene. You know, to take your mind off the serious stuff.
Anyway... Humouroceros


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