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Adam Radwanski

Why is this MP talking? Add to ...

Admit it: Until yesterday, or maybe today, you'd never heard of Brad Trost.

So here's an interesting question: Why have you heard of him now?

The latest version of what got Diane Ablonczy in trouble with the Prime Minister's Office is her failure to follow the preferred communications script. She apparently didn't clear the announcement of gay pride funding beforehand, and the showiness of it rubbed some people - in the Conservatives' caucus, in their base, and evidently in the PMO - the wrong way.

In other words, Ablonczy ran afoul of this government's very tight message control. What's odd, though, is that there's been little suggestion that Trost did likewise - despite the fact that he's the one who's helped create a minor brouhaha over an internal matter.

Now, it's possible Trost has been reprimanded behind the scenes. But it's equally possible, given his extremely low profile before this week, that he was fully authorized to slag Ablonczy in public, in hope of appeasing irritated social conservatives.

If so, this is obviously about more than just ensuring ministers don't veer off script - it's about the issues we touched on in today's editorial.

It may also, yet again, be about this government being too clever by half. It's debatable how many of its socially conservative supporters, outside the real diehards, were even aware about the pride funding until this week - and it's not as though the government is now retroactively revoking it. Meanwhile, any points it scored with social liberals have been squandered too. Truth be told, most of them didn't know about the funding before this week either; now they mostly have the impression that the Tories regret it.

Would leaving well enough alone really have been a lesser option?

***

Update: On the off chance you haven't already seen it, Kady O'Malley helps shed some light on why Trost popped off.

Follow on Twitter: @aradwanski

 

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