Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sweet, yet Tart

I've done it! I've finally figured out how Karen Redman manages to keep winning this riding!

After watching her speak (Hansard; 13:45) in the House of Commons yesterday, it came to me. She doesn't say anything! She just mouths platitudes and makes generalized statements that nobody could disagree with, and spins it all with a sweet web of cotton candy. I mean, how could you not like Karen? She's so nice. However, you're putting yourself at risk if you talk to her in person. The racing heart and dizziness are symptoms of a dangerous insulin spike.

Karen is a great student of the Paul Martin Academy of Doublespeak - or Nonspeak. When caught in a difficult interview, she'll cleverly shift your attention with phrases like, "Isn't it interesting that.." and suddenly she's highjacked you off to some other planet.

If she is totally cornered, you'll hear statements like, "Well, children are important", and "We should be concerned with Canadian cities", and other such banal utterances.

This was Monday's gem when she attempted to extoll the virtues of the Liberal daycare plan:

"Good policy is good policy, regardless of the partisan stripes under which it is conceived..."

(Only, that is, if it happens to be Liberal policy.)

Oh, but the sugarplum mask did slip ever so slightly at one point yesterday afternoon. After Question Period, Karen and Pierre Poilievre became entangled in a little discussion (15:15) about childcare funding. Karen is a self-proclaimed authority and set herself up accordingly:

"Mr. Speaker, as the mother of four children and as somebody who was president of seven child care centres when I was a public school trustee, I know this area intimately."

-Oh, well then. All the rest of us, hush now!

"The people in my riding who are familiar with child care have said to me, quite simply, that the Liberal government had it right."

-They did??? And who did you consult, Karen? The YWCA????

Pierre Poilievre countered with an attack on the lack of actual results in spite on all the money spent by 13 years of Liberal dithering.

Karen shot back, "Mr. Speaker, I really do appreciate the sentiments of my young colleague across the floor.."

Well, that did it! Pierre was on his feet on a point of order, screaming something about age discrimination. Speaker Peter Milliken (I love this guy) stole the show by trying to soothe ruffled feathers:

"I do not think that reference to a member's age, including the ancient age of the Speaker, is somehow discrimination. The hon. member for Kitchener Centre is making her point. Certainly she is free to mention the relative age of other members, at certain risk, of course, to herself, but this is a risk we all take in the House."


Ms. Redman was humbled, "Mr. Speaker, I take my colleague's point..."

Who knew CPAC could be so much fun?

However, I was left with a nagging thought - What if the tables had been turned, and an older male M.P. referred to a younger female one as "my young colleague", thereby insinuating that she was inexperienced and less wise. Wouldn't we have been all over him screaming about womens' rights abuses?

I bet the YWCA would.


kelly said...

You crack me up Joanne! I can't imagine enjoying watching CPAC, but if you continue giving me the highlights, I might just tune in!!

Mac said...

Your "nagging thought" is a legitimate one, Joanne... although I hesitate to mention nagging to a lady but you said it first so I hope it's okay. (teehee) If the shoe were on the other foot, there would be a furor.

Aren't double standards fun? The odd part is I can think of no reciprocal double standard.. ie: where the assumption is a man would be offended. So much for this being a man's world!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Kelly lol- Start with Question Period. Better than the soaps for back-stabbing.

Mac - I won't take you down over the 'nagging' comment. ;) Yeah, nobody seemed to take Poilievre seriously, although Milliken's comeback was awesome. Karen seemed a bit flustered after that.

vicki said...

uh oh joanne...CPAC anony's here!When I get the remote the gang here groans...they know I'm going to CPAC.
Karen Redman should be challenged to clarify just what the Libs did...all talk, plan, study, advocacy groups...nothing for kids and families.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yes, Vicki. I think that's what Pierre was attempting to do when she threw in the age-ist barb.

Platty said...

Another beauty during question period yesterday was when Carolyn Bennett was up screeching about childcare, she referred to Stephen Harper directly and was immediately reprimanded by the Speaker.

And this is not an exaggeration, she looked and acted as though she was on something.

Perhaps she had prescribed a little something for herself.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Oh man. Sorry I missed that one, Platty! Well, she's another one we should promote as the Liberals' best shot at winning the next election!! She reminds me of Anne McLellan on speed. (And that's just scary).

Mary said...

Keep us posted Joanne. I LOL at this one.