Back in what might be called the early days of modern diplomacy, when a head of government or foreign minister wanted to say something important to their opposite number in a far-off country, they wrote a letter. The letter was sealed, placed in a diplomatic pouch and sent by steamship to the embassy of the sender’s country for personal delivery to the recipient.
The next noise you hear from Ottawa will be the sound of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals rebooting.
It is all but certain that they will prorogue Parliament when MPs return from vacation in September and present a new Speech from the Throne with an agenda designed to carry them through to the election in October 2019.
And what might this new agenda be?
Unencumbered by inside information, I’m free to bet on a couple of big initiatives, each of which would command the support of roughly 70 per cent of the populace, according to pollsters.
“I know Justin. He doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. This guy is an empty trust-fund millionaire who has the political depth of a finger bowl. He can’t read a briefing note longer than a cocktail napkin.”
The critic was Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta’s United Conservative Party, in an interview with the Calgary Sun in May.
“The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.”
– Robert W. Service, 1907
The Northern Lights have seen many queer sights in the century-plus since the Bard of the Yukon published “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” But few have been stranger than the emergence of social media as a potent, some would say overwhelming, force in political systems around the world.
Stephen Harper would not be amused.
He would not be amused at all by the Chief Justice of Canada not only holding a press conference – something that did not happen in Harper’s years as prime minister – but actually fielding questions that called for responses that – horrors! – bordered on the political.