The other day I was in the House of Commons when members of other parties began asking me questions.
You're probably thinking, “What a lovely surprise.” But, while it was lovely, it wasn't a surprise. At least not for me. I'm used to it.
For much of my time as Prime Minister, people have sought me out to ask me questions.
“Why did you cut the GST, reducing annual revenues by $14-billion, without having a plan in place to reduce spending by a similar amount?” they tease me.
“Given that Tony Clement oversaw the spending of $50-million – money commandeered from a fund dedicated to reducing border congestion – in his own, nowhere-near-the-border riding, and was unable to produce adequate documentation of the decision-making process, how can you allow him even to have the phone number of an economic-development program, let alone oversee one?” they query me flirtatiously.
That is just so loaded with double entendre that I don't know where to begin, but, of course, I know what inspires these kinds of questions: I am a very good-looking Prime Minister.
I'm not vain or smug, but I do take care of myself. I'm not saying I'm perfect. But I assure you that what flaws I do have are contained entirely within Guelph, Ont., or the surrounding 519 area code. And yes, I do know how lucky I am.
But there are downsides to being this pretty a Prime Minister. The main one is that other people hate me, for no other reason than my lovely looks.
Over the years, I've learned that others dread being compared to me and thus avoid being close to my face. I've lost more communications directors than seems fair, but if genetics don't favour the likes of Angelo Persichilli and Dimitri Soudas, am I to blame?
I recognize that other politicians – particularly, I've noticed, those in other parties – feel threatened by my strong jaw, broad shoulders and chiselled features. They clearly resent the advantages my Cary Grant-esque appearance gives me, at home and on the world stage.
I challenge you to look at the other leaders of all the countries who were given seats at the United Nations Security Council and not think, “Frummm- py!”
You do the math.
The bottom line is that Canada has paid a heavy price for my beauty: Job growth has remained virtually stagnant since 2008, as neurotic foreign investors flock to the thickening, greying shores of more homely leaders. But I'm not prepared to walk around with a paper bag over my head out of sensitivity to the somewhat unfortunate-looking Vladimir Putin and his ilk.
Thank God, my most valuable player, Peter MacKay, obviously never looks in a mirror, or I'd not be able to keep him around, either.
Of course, I wanted the Keystone pipeline to go ahead, and I met with President Barack Obama. I opted to wear my beige chinos and best argyle sweater vest – demure, albeit attractive. But if the President of the United States is too insecure to be my friend, ultimately our nation must accept that the loss is his.
Look, Canada, I dearly regret that Research in Motion is tanking. But when people around the world look at a BlackBerry, they think of me, and they eat their hearts out. It has been terribly unfair to Jim and Mike. (Those two really should dress better, by the way.)
This week, I had to endure more of the kind of snarky comments I've grown accustomed to. I overheard things like, “Do you really expect the Canadian people to trust you ever again when, without engaging in an open bidding process, you opted to spend $25-billion purchasing F-35 fighter jets, withheld the true amount of the monetary commitment from both Parliament and the public, and acquiesced to the rigged selection process engaged in by Defence officials, while you and your ministers accused anyone who questioned the purchase of ‘playing politics' with the lives of the men and women serving in our military?”
Meow. They're just bitter because it was my government that was offered the exact fighter jet that our military said it needed in the uncannily accurate letter it wrote outlining its requirements, after it had already ordered the jets, a process obviously superior to a review – all at a price so fine that no one in my government will admit to being able to ascertain for sure what that price was.
Look, I've also never had to line up at nightclubs. Deal with it.
Let's be honest here: People can handle really great, possibly even functional fighter jets. Occasionally they can handle a man allowing billions of dollars of tax money to be spent while refusing to hold any of his ministers accountable.
But when a devastatingly handsome man subverts the very process of democracy, people get all weird about it. Jealousy is such an ugly thing.