Greg Weston had a great column in the Sun yesterday, discussing the fact that Stephen Harper has moved on from piano playing to comedy. He even calls him 'Steve'. Our PM hates that. (yuk, yuk, yuk).
I wonder if it will be out on DVD?
Actually, I've seen his act and have some advice for improving his stand-up routine. SIT DOWN!
PM needs new stand-up routine
Since passing the Accountability Act three years ago, there's been no shortage of material for slapstick Steve
By GREG WESTON
December 13, 2009
No doubt buoyed by his hit song-and-piano performance at the National Arts Centre, Stephen Harper has been strutting his stuff as a stand-up comic.
Canada's funnyman PM recently debuted at a Toronto gala for ethnic media, performing a gut-buster schtick on how his Conservative government deeply cares about freedom of the press.
For the punchline, Harper left without answering questions from reporters.
By far the most outrageous gag in the PM's show is the Conservatives' promise to usher in a new era of government openness and accountability.
They call it the golden age of whiteout.
Ever since the Harper government passed its signature Accountability Act three years ago this week, there has certainly been no shortage of fresh material for slapstick Steve.
For instance, the Conservatives passed new laws that were supposed to encourage public service whistleblowers to expose all manner of government waste and wrongdoing without fear of reprisal.
What a scream.
Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin blew the whistle on the likely torture of Afghan detainees.
But far from Colvin's getting a government medal for so much brave devotion to duty, Defence Minister Peter MacKay verbally stones the guy's career to death, branding him a dupe of the Taliban.
If you think MacKay's smear is funny, imagine how the defence minister's comments went over with the CIA, Colvin being Canada's official contact with U.S. intelligence agencies in Washington.
What a hoot.
Then there was the federal government biologist who blew the whistle on cutbacks in food inspections. That was just before the tainted-meat listeriosis outbreak which generated so many Conservative jokes on its own that the biologist was no longer needed on the payroll.
What a howler.
One of Harper's best rib-ticklers was actually a joke he told the governor general on the day she proclaimed the Accountability Act into law.
"We promise to stand up for accountability and to change the way government works," he said without breaking into a loud guffaw.
One of the ways Harper has changed the way government works is with buckets of document whiteout and many shredders.
A cornerstone of the Conservatives' new world of accountability was supposed to be strengthening the federal access-to-information laws to enhance public scrutiny of government operations.
Instead, two information commissioners in three years have savaged the Harper government's devotion to secrecy and censorship.
Now for the funny part: Rather than fixing the problem, Harper fixed the commissioners.
The first one was run out of town, while his successor quit a few months ago in apparent frustration, and still hasn't been replaced.
What a riot.
The Conservatives created a new parliamentary budget office to double-check the finance department's fiscal projections and enhance government accountability.
But when watchdog Kevin Page started catching the Conservatives having fun with figures, the government starved his budget to force him to back off and preferably quit.
It's the same hilarious story over at the RCMP public complaints commission.
Commissioner Paul Kennedy recently issued a damning report on the RCMP's conduct surrounding the tragic Taser death of Polish traveller Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver airport.
Rather than ordering the RCMP to immediately fix the problems cited by Kennedy, the government allowed the Mounties to try to bury the report.
For all his good work, Kennedy is getting the boot this month when his current term expires.
With the audience rolling in the aisles, Harper saves his funniest gag for last.
Did you hear the one about the military police complaints commission that was given $5 million by the Harper government to investigate allegations of torture of Afghan detainees?
So far, the commission is spending all the money fighting attempts by the Harper government to shut down the commission's probe.