Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Harper's QP gaffe

I look forward to this afternoon's hansard record to appearing online. It will include a stunning punchline delivered by our Prime Minister, which I can only now transcribe from memory. In response to a Dion question about Defence Minister O'Conner's penchant for... well.. lies, Harper cried (approximately):

"The minister wore a uniform and served his country in the armed forces. Maybe when you do that we'll be interested to hear your opinion."

Bravo!, cried his colleagues. Raucous laughter squeezed out in the place of groans. Clapping all Conservative MPs could do not to slap their foreheads.

Ignatieff did manage to get let off a shot at the economist's personal service record. But the Liberals can be excused if they were caught flat-footed. This is quite a development. Afghanistan policy is open only to those parliamentarians who have personally served in the armed forces. This will be an intimate dialogue: 4%, or exactly 16 of the 399 MPs and senators, have served. O'Connor is the only member of cabinet with any.

This is not mean-spirited partisanship. It's just a really dopy, petty thing to say when you are getting beat. He was as shaken as I've ever seen him.

The actual quote is:
"The minister of national defence is a veteran of the Canadian Forces. He has served this country courageously in uniform for 32 years. When the leader of the Opposition is able to stand in uniform and serve his country, then I'll care about his opinion of the performance of the minister of defence"

A better treatment than mine from Macleans.


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