It looked like a mob meeting, with big black cars and burly bodyguards to keep reporters away.
Or as Tom Mulcair called it, the gathering of some secretive cult.
But it was only Oily Joe Oliver's hush hush swearing in ceremony.
Mr. Harper’s office closed the event off to the public. It was not announced. Journalists who arrived anyhow were cordoned off outside for hours. Mr. Harper’s staff used his motorcade of black vehicles to block views of him entering and existing the building, and the three ministers entered and left with little more than platitudes.
A ceremony so secret that if you wanted pictures of what was going on inside, you had to checkout Stephen Harper's twitter feed:
Canada’s new Finance Minister, the Honourable Joe Oliver being sworn in. #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/fDam51YD6N
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) March 19, 2014
And if you wanted to hear from Oily Joe, you had to dial-up Harper's personal propaganda channel.
To see Oliver looking half dead reading his approved lines...
Like a good cult member, in Great Big Brother Leader's new Canada of total message CONTROL.
Because there are only three reasons Harper could be acting in such a bizarre manner, and all of them are deeply disturbing.
(1) He wants to get back at the Parliamentary Press Gallery for daring to demand the right to ask the questions they need to ask to fulfil their role in a democracy.
Journalists unanimously passed a motion on March 7 at the Parliamentary Press Gallery’s Annual General Meeting asserting the right of journalists to ask questions “in all photo-ops and availabilities with the Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers, and all Parliamentarians, to fulfill our functions as journalists in a democratic society.”
Even though as Andrew Mitrovica points out, the Press Gallery is not prepared to go as far as boycotting those photo-ops. And is still waving the white flag.
Summing up: Some gallery members think a boycott is a stupid, useless idea, while others think it's a worthy concept whose time has passed. Not exactly the definition of unity.
Still, it's clear that these disparate voices inside the Gallery have one big thing in common: They've spent the past eight years waving the white flag in the face of a government which tells them how to do their jobs.
Which tells us all we need to know about the state of our democracy, and the troubled state of Harper's mind...
(2) He is embarrassed by his choice of Joe Oliver as his new Finance Minister, as Tom Mulcair suggests.
New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair says newly appointed Finance Minister Joe Oliver is an embarrassing choice to represent Canada because of his views on climate change.
"Joe Oliver is an embarrassing nomination as finance minister for a G7 country," Mulcair said, adding that Oliver's "information on global warming has consistently proven to be fanciful."
And who can blame him eh? When Oliver is a 73-year-old guy who recently had a serious heart operation, is clearly not up to the physical demands of his new job.
And has spent the last two years peddling his bitumen to the Americans, trying to deny climate change, or trying to convince Canadians that the water from the tar ponds is safe to drink.
And getting absolutely nowhere...
A shabby old loser who has attacked decent environmentalists as "radicals" and "extremists" which must lead any sane person to question his judgement.
As well as Harper's judgement, who as we know has a long and sordid record of really bad appointments.
And it's blindingly obvious the only reason Oliver has the job is because he doesn't want Harper's job. He supports income splitting, unlike Jimbo Flaherty did.
And is only too willing to parrot or quack the party line...
(3) Harper is slowly losing his grip on reality. All those scandals have taken a terrible toll.
The sudden departure of Jim Flaherty has left him feeling terribly vulnerable...
Theo Moudakis/Toronto Star
And the Ukraine story has driven him over the edge.
In short, his values don’t necessarily coincide with legality and democracy. Rather, they speak to something deeper and more visceral. To Stephen Harper, some regimes are simply and unequivocally evil.
Made him feel more like a messiah, or a cult leader, than a Prime Minister.
And I know it sounds crazy, but we must now consider the very real possibility that Stephen Harper is mentally ill. Or suffering from the same condition that caused the first Harper in Canada to be removed from office.
The original Canadian Harper - born in a small village in Yorkshire in 1730 - immigrated to Nova Scotia in 1774 and moved into a house near Fort Cumberland, only to have the home burned to the ground two years later by rebels. He spent years taking revenge in the courts and slowly rising through the political system.
He had risen to the post of justice of the peace by the time a judicial inquiry found him guilty of, as one historian put it, "violent and oppressive measures" - vindictive to a point beyond all reason.
He's muzzling scientists and now the media, he's strangling our democracy, he's talking up war in Europe, he's doing weird crazy things no Prime Minister has ever done before.
How much more evidence do we need that something is terribly wrong? And that the Emperor has no clothes.
How much longer will it be I wonder, before people realize that he may have to be removed from office by the competent authorities?
In handcuffs or in a straitjacket.
Before his madness consumes us ALL...
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