All the time he was growing up he steamed and fussed about how the rest of the land was wretched and wrong. He swore three times from heckfire that he'd screw things back to right when he got big enough. With eyes like piss holes in snow, he squinted and fumed when he spoke to the enormous pants from the land over yon...
It may not be true, but it's legendary that if you're like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians.
Such a wag. As a boy, Stephen the Large had learned that nothing succeeds like flattery and he knew that a generous effort of the tongue would persuade most folk, nice like his old mommy. And while he was licking and sucking, he knew that there weren't nothing like telling folk what they wanted to hear...
Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States.
Yes indeed, between flattery and fibbery, our special boy was sure to get ahead and so his day did come. He told just the right fibs to just the right folks. Never ever would he tax the income trusts, he said. And the nice folk applauded. Our side won't never ever cheat to get money he cried, all the while waggling his finger and intoning the magic word, Adscam. And darned if the good people weren't impressed enough to give him and his pants the biggest job in all the land.
He surrounded himself with advisers and courtiers who would do as they were told and get fired when what they were told went wrong. He put up pictures of himself on every wall and he was mighty pleased by that. He paid off turncoats with powerful jobs, parked cronies in the unelected house and gave them power and twisted and turned around every plank in his platform. When the nails in those poor boards squeaked he'd have his flunk-alongs cry Adscam until the boards grew quiet again. Then he went right ahead and taxed the income trusts.
And so it went in the land. Stephen the Large could say one thing and do another while his campy followers cried the magic word and congratulated themselves with back patting and manly not-sexual leers and gestures. Soon the old guys that used to have the biggest job in the land started to get their heads out from their own puckered rumps and began to look around. Turns out that Stephen the Large and his trusty brains had figured a way to put money in a little guy's pocket on one side of the day and pull it out on the other side to get a reward. They enjoyed this new game all the way through the election that had put them in the big jobs. Money went in and out, in and out, in and out and they cashed a lot of it in.
Of course the rules said this wasn't kosher and some eyebrows started climbing some foreheads. In the meantime the first job of having power was keeping power, thought Stephen. So he set about hoarding up all the power and nobody was allowed to say much of nothing without his nod, he called that governing. A big part of his governing was telling the paper trade to go and jump in dung. An even bigger part of governing was to shut down the process of government when it didn't want to go his way. He had his fellers put a whole book together all about jiggering committees, just to stop them other guys from getting any work done. That book sure would come in handy when the committees started trying to ask about all of that good, good in and out money his side liked so much.
In fact his side turned the committees into a circus side show if things looked like they weren't his way. They'd filibuster and roar, cry like wounded babes and point at order in the effort of disorder and when all went to shit they'd cry see, see what they done. And like that it went and always some daft soul was ready to peep out an Adscam just in case the magic word were needed. One committee went to work on some fuzzy business called ethics which were something that didn't make money for the boy with the biggest job, so he wasn't much interested in it. But the noises from that committee started to worry at him. There'd been a raid and a warrant and a search on his castle so it looked bad, like maybe Adscam the magic word might bite both ways.
His fellers worked the committee-wrecking book hard in the ethics committee. They maybe pressured witnesses not to appear, they maybe arranged other witnesses to show up on the wrong day at the wrong time and to make a big scene. And still it didn't look good, what with truth being biased against his team. So Stephen the Large tried a stunt. Didn't matter that he'd said something about fixed election dates, he might have to make the people vote again if that darned committee didn't stop exposing that biased old truth. He called the whole thing "dysfunctional" which was his way of saying he'd gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar and he'd have to kill the goose to keep his golden eggs safe, or something like that.
But like so many things, turns out our special boy was specially filled with shit. Stephen the Large was trying to cover his tracks, even if it meant yet another bunch of fibs.
Notwithstanding some periodic theatrics over alleged Conservative ethical lapses, MPs from all four parties have often put partisanship aside to produce results when required.
By June, no fewer than 29 bills had received royal assent and become law since the session started in October.
The fact that things were getting done is no excuse for claiming that things weren't getting done when some of the things getting done might make In'n'Out as magic a word as Adscam. That just won't do for a special boy in big pants, no sir.
Harper was also infuriated when, on two of the remaining 21 standing committees, the opposition attempted to displace routine legislative agendas with ethical controversies.
Those confrontations have consumed only a small fraction of parliamentary business, but they've eaten up most of the headlines from Ottawa.
It began soon after Parliament resumed last October.
The opposition majority on a Commons rules panel - the procedure and House affairs committee - attempted to mount an inquiry into allegations of rule-breaking in $1.3 million worth of Conservative election ads.
The committee quickly ground to a halt, tempers rose and Tory MPs countered with the unprecedented spectacle of a government filibuster.
Unprecedented. That's special indeed.
Early last March, the opposition voted out Conservative chair Gary Goodyear, using its majority to elect a new government chair, Joe Preston, over his own objections.
Preston unwillingly took the gavel, banged it down and adjourned the meeting. He refused to call another one and soon resigned. The government refused to nominate any chair other than Goodyear, the opposition wouldn't accept him, and the committee hasn't met since then.
Getting things not done for Canadians, don't we all remember that slogan from our new government before it became the North Star.
A similar standoff developed in the justice committee, where the opposition insisted on holding an inquiry into allegations that Conservatives offered the late independent MP Chuck Cadman financial inducements to help defeat the Liberal minority government in 2005.
The confrontation began in March and, like the deadlock in the House affairs committee, disabled the justice panel until the June adjournment.
Tory chair Art Hanger's solution was a simple one. He left the chair any time the Liberals tried to press a motion on the Cadman affair.
That hand book for trashing a committee sure did come in handy!
Shortly before the Commons broke for the summer, the opposition was attempting to steer the panel toward another controversy - the disclosure that former foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier had left classified NATO briefing documents at a girlfriend's Montreal home.
With that inquiry facing the Tories in September, and the ethics committee set to resume its own inquiry into Conservative election advertising, the motives behind Harper's sweeping statement about parliamentary paralysis may be understandable.
If by understandable one means a desperate attempt to cover ones possible exposure for malfeasance. I suppose it is understandable that when one's dishonest practices start to unravel, things just might seem to be in chaos and dysfunction and that's just about the time that a special boy wants to start slashing at arts programs because that will surely hurt some of one's enemies. And sometimes hurting those you dislike is enough. So the end of this story isn't written yet because someone in Ottawa is filling their big pants deciding just which fib to tell and Stephen the Large has the ball, we have to wait and see whether he tries to take it and go home.