Thursday, 30 January 2014

Trudeau and the Senate: Setting free lobsters on the mall

Years ago, in a land far, far, away, the scribes from Parliament Hill used to take off for a long, liquid lunch on Friday afternoons at the Bel Air which was on Queen Street near the Sparks Street Mall. The Bel Air disguised itself as a pizza parlour, but it also had a swanky restaurant on top where the under-paid, over-refreshed set could put molar to some nice steak and seafood.

One long afternoon, one of our notable scribes finished his lunch, then slyly dipped his paws into the lobster tank and set off onto the Sparks Street Mall to "set free" the lobsters.

Yesterday, I had a flashback to that day.

Trudeau, the younger, just dipped his well-manicured hand into the Senate tank of sharks and jellies to set free the lobsters. Who knows if they will make it to the Ottawa River before their oxygen runs out.

This is a masterstroke worthy of Jerry Yanover, the Cheshire Cat who brought down the Joe Clark government while holding hands with Queen of Hearts, Allan MacEachen, thus resurrecting the Trudeau brand after a High River flash flood of Tory government. The move will keep everybody happy. The Senators get to keep their paycheques and perks while the Liberal Party gets to rid itself of skirt chasers and expense claim fudgers, once and for all.

Nobody could believe it, not even the Prime Minister. Nobody could believe that David Smith and Terry Mercer, the masters of political electoral success and defeat, would no longer be gracing the Liberal war room in the next election. And the Senators could not believe how little a shit Trudeau gives about them.

We are still Liberals, they all declared.

Meh, was the general response.

Some were delighted, like George Baker, who can now freely toss his rhetoric in the air without catching a left hook to his embattled cauliflower ear. Others promised to soldier on, like the lovely Jimmy Munson, defender of the weak and vulnerable. Still others were now free to look down any top and up any skirt with no reprimands from the principal's office.

It wasn't a big risk for Trudeau. He's not going to be Prime Minister anyway, at least not this time. His Senate cadre is so small, it hasn't much of a voice, so he has not much to lose. The good Senators will continue to contribute to the important Senate committees, while the others have been liberated to continue to make mischief under the nose of earnest auditors.

Whatever the risk for Trudeau, it was a terrific chess move for Justin, who has finally earned his first stripe on his shoulder and grey hairs in his eyebrows that are making him look like a drag queen with a bad brow pluck.

For Trudeau, the victorious, the lobsters have been left to flail and stink up the mall.

Meanwhile, Stephen Harper still has a full tank.

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