Monday, October 09, 2006

The Right Guy for the Job

For those of us who enjoy Question Period for its pure theatrical value it’s nice to see that the Liberals finally hit their stride in the House of Commons. Until very recently, with big Bill Graham at the helm the Opposition was about as fierce and focused as a bag of kittens. Thankfully, over the break someone must have pulled Bill aside and told him what the job of the opposition is – to attack.

It’s not rocket science, it’s what the Tories did when they were in opposition and it got them the big prize. You waltz into question period, you hurl as many allegations as you can across the floor and sit back and see what sticks.

Of course, the danger with this strategy is that inevitably someone goes too far. Now, I confess I like it when someone goes too far, it makes life interesting. And personally I make a habit of going too far. Of course I don’t have to stay within the bounds of good taste like Bill does. Thank god for small mercies.

This past week the “too far moment” came when the Liberals decided to attack Environment Minister Rona Ambrose for hiring Darrel Reid as her new Chief of Staff. This is very tricky stuff here. The problem the Liberals have with Darrel Reid isn’t that he’s not qualified, it’s that he is too conservative. By too conservative they mean too much of a fundamentalist Christian. By too much of a fundamentalist Christian what they really mean is he’s the former president of Focus on the Family Canada. As far as codes go it’s pretty simple.

This is where the Liberals lose me. You can’t not hire someone because of their views. This is Canada, we have laws against that. And really Bill Graham has to realize that the Liberals lost the election. We elected a Conservative Government, so when the big jobs become available they are going to go to big conservatives. That’s just the way it works.

And while I don’t think it’s appropriate for Bill to say Darrel Reid shouldn’t get the job because of his Focus on the Family links; I think its fine when I say it.

Why the double standard? Well for starters my problem with Focus on the Family isn’t that they are a Christian organization, far from it. My problem is they seem obsessed with sex and that disturbs me. I’m a prude when it comes to these things. Focus on the Family are the people that think SpongeBob SquarePants is gay. That’s just plain crazy talk. What kind of people sit around and think about the sexual orientation of cartoon characters? And really, to suggest that SpongeBob is gay is just silly. Bi curious perhaps but a hundred percent homo? I don’t believe it.

Now don’t take my word for these things. Go to their website. Check out the Focus on the Family Canada and Focus on the Family USA sites and click on books for sale. These people think about gay sex more than gay people.

This obsession with gay sex worries me. I just hope that when Darrel Reid is Chief of Staff for the Minister of the Environment he can take his mind off the perils of anal long enough to think about the plight of the poor little Chubsucker, which is by the way the name of an endangered fish not just another lifestyle choice.

While you’re on the website, I’d also encourage you to read about the founder of the Focus on the Family organization, Dr. James Dobson. He is certainly a brave and committed individual and I can see why people like Darrel Reid would be attracted to his message. I was pleased to see that Dobson was the first person to come out and publicly support movie star Mel Gibson after Mel revealed his views on our Hebrew friends to the world. Having the courage to support a drunken anti-Semite in his time of need is the sign of a true friend.

But getting back to Darrel, why the Liberals would be surprised that he is getting a big job in Ottawa baffles me. Clearly Darrel is a good foot soldier for the Conservative party and the Prime Minister wants him in the nation’s capital. The Conservative Party even ran Reid as a candidate in the last election. Unfortunately that ended badly when Reid lost and his campaign manager blamed the Jews that control the media for the defeat.

Of course that could happen to anyone, and it wasn’t Reid who blamed the Jews it was just the guy who he hired to run his campaign for him. I only bring this up because as Rona Ambrose’s chief of staff it will be Reid’s job to hire people in her office. I hear there is an opening right now in Rona’s office for a communications director and I hope he’s learned from his past hiring triumphs. Perhaps when conducting a job interview he should ask applicants if they are aware of any vast conspiracies designed to keep him from succeeding in life. Unfortunately he cannot ask the question “are you now or have you ever been near a homosexual?” That of course would be a violation of some charter right.

Anyway, I wish Darrel well with his new position in Ottawa. While the voters didn’t seem that interested in seeing the guy make it to Ottawa, where there is a will there is a way. Thanks to Rona he’s going to make it after all.

And really, no surprises there folks. This is a democracy after all, and in Canada you get the government you vote for.