'Parliamentary democracy?' Wat dat?
Can we say 'presumption of privilege', ladies and gentlemen?
Iggy's leap at comic's tweet shows he shares Harper's contempt for Canada's democratic traditions
'Ok i'll produce a Iggy Harper debate. 50 grand to a charity of their choice. I'll find a broadcaster or 4.' — Rick Mercer, tweeting on Saturday, April 2, 2011.
'I'm in.' — Michael Ignatieff, Saturday, April 2, 2011.
I wish he Rick Mercer for trading in his satirist's badge in favour of court jester's (forgive the generic link to the Mercer's homepage; if one of you can tell me how to make a permanent link to a tweet, I'd be most obliged), but that wasn't fair. If Mercer ever was a real satirist, he gave it up a long time ago. And you can't blame a comedian for cracking wise. That's his job.
You can, though, blame Michael Ignatieff for taking the comic's bait.
The ostensible public intellectual and one-time Professor of Human Rights showed no respect for, or understanding of, Canada's history or our parliamentary culture and traditions in answering Mercer's tweet with his own, "I'm in."
On the proverbial first glance the idea of a Harper/Ignatieff face-off sounds not so unreasonable. After all, neither Jack Layton nor Gilles Duceppe (let alone Elizabeth May, whom the aptly-self-styled "consortium" of Canadian broadcasters has once again refused a spot in the boys' room) has a realistic chance at making the Prime Minister's office their own, so why not let the 'front-runners' have at at each other one-on-one?
In fact, this isn't just an example of a politician serving himself at the expense of his competitors, but a betrayal of Canada's political culture and traditions.
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