What a gong show it has been the last several days in Ottawa, folks. Today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper went to Rideau Hall to meet the Governor-General and his request to prorogue Parliament until January was granted.
Thank God. We have been spared from the sight of Prime Minister Stephane Dion (left).
To run down what has gone on the last day or so: on Wednesday I was hard at work at my mainstream media job, doing my story on the situation in Ottawa and watching events unfold on CPAC, CTV Newsnet and elsewhere.
The highlight of last night was the Prime Minister's address to the nation at 7pm EST. A lot of the chattering class types of people were not too thrilled with it. The prime minister was doing his best "uncle Stephen" routine, trying to look sincere and friendly while basically slamming the opposition's plan for a deal with the separatists. People thought he should have been more conciliatory and reached out to the opposition. I think, though, he was saving up the conciliation talk for later and was simply trying to explain why he was about to do what he was about to do: defend the country from this undemocratic government takeover attempt by the opposition.
So that was Harper's speech, and the network people were surprised because there had been this big buildup to this big speech and it was just a five minute political spiel by Harper.
Anyway, what happened next was just plain comical: we waited forever for Dion's response. Man, that was bad. First of all, these nitwits couldn't even deliver the video tape in time. It took forever to to show up, and as a result the CTV network ended up signing off without even showing it.
So FINALLY the thing airs, and the video looked -- bad. The camera was out of focus, there was no decent lighting to speak of, and a book was seen in a bookcase behind Dion's head that was entitled "Hot Air". People were comparing this to al-Qaida videos or something similar-- that's how big an amateur hour the production values were. Whoever produced that tape should be fired -- for that matter, whoever did the hiring should also be fired.
Dion came out of last night looking really bad. And we were hearing all these stories about people possibly defecting or getting cold feet about the opposition's Coalition plan. Apparently some backbench Liberal MP was in tears talking to CTV's Mike Duffy off-camera, telling him he was hoping for some sort of resolution to this mess because his constituents were wanting to lynch him. No wonder: these die-hard Libs hate the separatists. Pierre Elliott Trudeau has to be spinning in his grave over all this.
So now Parliament is prorogued, the no-confidence votes have all been pushed back to late January, and our democracy has been saved. Harper tried to look conciliatory and offered some sort of olive branch to opposition parties to be part of the consultation process for the budget.
And now it appears the "coalition" is falling apart -- apparently, more backbenchers are working behind the scenes to try and get this whole coalition idea scrapped. Thank God.
I just hope this might be the beginning of the end of this crisis. Proroguing was absolutely the right thing to do. Parliament had turned into a bad reality show this week. Better to shut all that nonsense right down than have the inmates take over the whole asylum and run Canada right into the ground.