Plenty of Nothing

There's been a flurry of activity, but not much really happening, since Parliament's been back in session, observes Rex

There's been a flurry of activity, but not much really happening, since Parliament's been back in session, observes Rex.


Read the transcript of this Rex Murphy Point of View

Rex Murphy Point of View

March 17, 2010

Goes to show, I suppose, you can’t step away for a minute.  Last time I was sitting here, the doors of Parliament were shut, prorogation was the call of the day, and Stephen Harper wasn’t speaking to anyone.

I come back, and while he’s not, yet, quite BFF (Best Friends Forever) with Lady Gaga, there he was last night, all trendy and open, chattering away on YouTube, and I learn to my horror also that he tweets.  Stephen Harper is on Twitter.  He’s our Tweeter-in-Chief.  This is not a makeover folks - it’s a total reconstruction. YouTube, Twitter, Blackberry - who needs Parliament? Stephen Harper’s gone viral.

A little more of this and he’ll be pushing to be a judge on Battle of the Blades, or texting what he’s had for breakfast. Or, whom.

Speaking of which, Helena Guergis’ two-week-old explosion in Charlottetown is still a Google favourite.  You don’t get to refer, even in a snit, to Prince Edward Island as a "hellhole" (Is there any place in Canada less a "hellhole" than PEI?) and escape internet immortality and the high dudgeon of an inflamed Opposition.

Guergis’ airport manners have been one of the great spikes in our now un-prorogued House of Commons.  That, and getting rid of the irredeemably ‘sexist" reference to "sons" in our post-Olympics national anthem.

Fixing the anthem may have set a kind of Olympic record itself - shortest flight ever for a trial balloon constructed entirely of lead - but not before it drowned out the Throne speech it was meant to embroider, and splashed over onto the Budget that followed the next day.

For many people, Harper’s closing down Parliament was an offence and a mystery.  Well, considering what’s been on offer since he took the padlock off;  the anthem, Guergis, Rahim Jaffer’s easy ride, Harper’s full baptism in "new media" (please tell me he’s not on Facebook), must have people rethinking their outrage.

It’s all bits and pieces – the much vaunted "reset" – laying out a "new agenda" lost in the vapours and theatrics of Question Period and the PM’s hunt for the novelties of social media.

Meantime, the Liberals, after drumming on for months about the assault on democracy, when presented in the now open House with a Budget they really don’t like, promptly announced they couldn’t support it, but wouldn’t, you know, actually, vote it down.

Ignatieff has also timed his so-called listening tour  - a Hillary Clinton device for checking in on the masses - to overlap certain days that Parliament is in Session. 

Personally, I can’t see much that was gained or lost for either party or either leader during the break. They’re tied in the polls.

Parliament open is better than Parliament closed, but on the level of performance - what actually goes on, issues really brought forward - on the basis of the last couple of weeks, it’s really hard to say just why that is. 

Some things, I suppose, are too deep.  Even for Twitter.