Harper's, um, brain, musing on Harper's Three Sisters electoral strategy:
The strategy appeared to work, as the Conservatives won 10 seats in Quebec in 2006 and were poised in the 2008 election to win the additional Quebec seats that might give them a majority. Conservative support in the province, however, unexpectedly collapsed over small budget cuts to a few arts and culture programs, and the party was lucky to hold its 10-seat beachhead.
But was it really the petty culture cuts that torpedoed the Conservatives in Quebec? If your wife divorces you because you leave the toilet seat up one night, something else is probably involved.
Now, lessee. If Flanagan does not believe that the cuts to the arts were the reason for the collapse of Conservative support in Quebec, then why would he raise them so prominently as the cause only to dismiss them? Beyond the attraction of gross oversimplification (straw men are like that, although that's Flanagan's straw man, not one I'd accept), could it have been the sheer pleasure of closely associating culture with derisive terms like "small," "a few," and "petty," and then more or less identifying culture with your toilet and domestic squabbles all at once? Dr Freud? Paging Dr Freud?
Flanagan goes on, in one paragraph, to pronounce on the real reasons Quebec remains "difficult" for the CPC: those pesky Quebeckers have an "instrumental" view of Canada "as simply a source of benefits to the province." In other words, he's calling Quebeckers opportunists. Naughty Quebeckers. Imagine: opportunism in politics. So unlike the MO of our beloved Steve, for instance.
So what does our Tom go on to endorse as a Fourth Sister to be added to the CPC electoral strategy?
Ethnics! Teh ethnic vote! I know you're surprised, just blinded by the originality. Me too. The genius of the man. And no opportunism there, neither. In fact, not much deep thought beyond that worn epiphany, just a chance to stereotype and condescend to new Canadians and then to slag and threaten the Liberals.
Actually, that last part, the slagging and threatening of the Liberals, suddenly gets interesting in a weirdly baroque closing sentence that just seems to come out of nowhere:
If the Liberals lose the ethnic vote, their Evil Empire will go the way of Carthage, razed to the ground by the rising power of Rome.
Run that by me again? Carthage and bricklefritzin' Rome? The LPC and the CPC? And that has what to do with teh ethnics? Or Canada?
I'm not sure that Tom Flanagan ever had a grip to get back, but he would be an interesting subject on some analyst's nice leather couch. "Tell me about your fantasies of salting the earth of Ontario and Quebec, Tom. And don't be afraid of the toilet, Tom -- sometimes a toilet is just a toilet." I'm also not sure why the Globe and Mail publishes this puerile, faintly indecent stuff, or how Canadians could have fallen for a political vision as crass, crude, soulless, and brutal as the one Flanagan is supposed to have engineered.
Oh, wait -- we didn't.