Sunday, July 8, 2007

Today's Gazette has a Norman Webster column that overflows with such political insight, you'd think he was channelling John Locke. His thesis? The only obstacle to a Tory majority is Stephen Harper's inability to goof around and tell some jokes. This theme isn't new; it resurfaces in the thinking of folks like Don Martin, Susan Delacourt, Lawrence Martin - all the heavy-guns of our political thinking class.

At first glance, you might think this is a tad insulting to the Prime Minister. As if running the government should be something like producing a new John Laroquette sitcom - the only way it will last to the end of the season is more jokes. And good ones, hopefully.

Then, you kind of get to thinking this is a very patronizing view of the citizenry. As if, in the quiet of the voting booth, its not so much tax policy that makes us vote one way or the other, it's the funny thing the Prime Minister said about a rabbi, a priest and a heap of shaving cream.

But really, poll after poll shows that Canadians are quite impressed with the Prime Minister's leadership and not at all clamouring for him to don a honking nose and oversized shoes.

Only pundits ever make this request. The same ones who, on some slow day in August, will lament partisan bickering or the loss of decorum on the Hill, argue the deciding factor between a minority and majority government should be who tells the best knock-knock joke. In the quiet of the voting both, only they make their decisions as if judges on a Fox reality television show. And we are all the poorer for it.