Thursday, April 21, 2005

Sorry, Prime Minister

No, Prime Minister. I don't think it worked.

Hell, I know it didn't work. So does anyone with any interest in Parliamentary affairs.

Asking the Commons to wait until Judge Gomery finishes his report is like asking the patient to wait until the cancer specialist finishes diagnosing a fetid tumor. No Opposition member worth his or her salt is going to sit and listen to all the allegations by Judge Gomery's witnesses--especially when some of them involve Liberal MPS still sitting in Parliament. To sit and do nothing is to put on the veneer of tolerating corruption, and that is simply not done.

You apologized, which is a step in the right direction. You outlined the steps taken--also well and good. But you needed--and still need--to do more. Much more.

The way your speech read right now, it sounds very much like you expect Judge Gomery to pull your chestnuts out of the fire. Unfortunately, leaving the fate of the government in the hands of a judge can be perceived--and will be perceived--as evading responsibility.

And what's more, what you presented doesn't justify the special air time you requested. You could have made this statement at a press conference; if you allowed yourself to be grilled by journalists on this pledge, you would have come across as a leader willing to take the risk of a wait.

Instead, you came across as a manager of a rowdy hockey team, using the peace and quiet just so you could hear your own voice.

In short: you want more time? Sorry, but I don't think you'll get it. Face facts, Prime Minister: whether the hammer drops in one month or eight, you're still up against the wall. And you won't be able to move any time soon.

UPDATE (22 Apr 2005): The consensus around the Canadian blogosphere seems to be that the PM managed to score a single when he needed a home run. Darcey over at Dust My Broom has a very comprehensive link round-up.