Monday, January 28, 2008

...is watching you

Regular readers will know I had little use for Elizabeth May and the Green party even before they became the Liberal Party's junior partners. She's made up for a lot with me with this post about the scary transformation of the government lobby:
What may have been the most fascinating part of the afternoon was my time in the Government Lobby. Behind the curtains that run along the last row of benches on both sides of the House, are doors to long skinny living room areas. One is called the Opposition Lobby; the other the Government Lobby. In my pre-Green Party leader life, I have spent a lot of time in both. The Government Lobby was a frequent work space when I was Senior Policy Advisor to the federal Minister of Environment back in the mid-1980s. And I frequented both lobbies when I was with Sierra Club of Canada from 1987-2006. It did not strike me until I walked into the Government Lobby to await my turn as Speaker that I had not been in there since Stephen Harper became Prime Minister.
It used to have some paintings on the wall. Past prime ministers, certainly a formal portrait of the Queen. Landscapes. I know there was the occasional photo of current Prime Ministers, but when I walked in this time, I felt chilled to the bone. Every available wall space had a large colour photo of Stephen Harper. Stephen Harper at Alert. Stephen Harper in fire fighter gear. Stephen Harper at his desk. Stephen Harper meeting the Dalai Lama. Even the photo of the Queen showed her in the company of Stephen Harper. None were great photos. None were more than enlarged snapshots in colour. They didn’t feel like art.
I've been in the government lobby, lobbying MPs while parliament was sitting. I remember a long stodgy hall full of old brown furniture, dark wood paneling and power suits. Photo's of Steve everywhere sounds frankly cheap in a room that had a very pricey vibe when I was there.

What's the message here, as May reasonably asks?

1 comment:

Woman at Mile 0 said...

It explains a lot actually.

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