Gerald Caplan is an African scholar, former NDP national director and a regular panelist on CBC's Power and Politics.
How can you not love politics in a wild and crazy week like this? These are our leaders, after all. My grandkids' futures are in their hands. If I believed in her, I'd say god help us.
It all began Sunday night when Canadian Press reporter Murray Brewster revealed that "The Canadian army somehow lost three highly-sophisticated, precision-guided artillery shells on its ways out of Afghanistan in an embarrassing case that resulted in an almost two-year investigation." Let me only say this about that. First, if there ever were an iron-clad case for a precision-guided artillery shell registry, this is it. Second, with all the extra powers the government is throwing at our spy agencies, surely they should be able to recover the shells in no time. Third, let me save the snoops some valuable time. The Mounties spied on me for years but there's really no point in them starting again now. I do not have these shells and I don't care what anyone says. Like sweet Manuel in Fawlty Towers, "I know nothing." And though I can't be sure, I very much doubt Thomas Mulcair does either.
Political junkies were then really riveted by the epic defection of former Conservative MP Eve Adams to a party where her well-known bleeding heart will finally be appreciated. To add to the titillation, she's taking with her her fiancé, the gentle Dimitri Soudas. Watch this one carefully. Although it's completely inconsequential, it's what we political insiders consider a real game-changer.
Really, it's both biblical and Shakespearean. For pretty much their entire lives, both halves of this exemplary couple have, we now see, been forced to fake their devotion to what Ms. Adams called the bullying, "mean-spirited leadership" of Stephen Harper. Surely they each get an A+ for acting. Observing them all those years, you wouldn't have a clue they were just pretending they were fanatical Harper loyalists and actually hated every moment of it. Now, finally, two weeks after Eve (The Car Wash Kid) Adams was advised that she won't be allowed to run again, and with Mr. Soudas having been fired as the $300,000 director of the Conservative Party, to their own selves they can be true.
Ironically enough, both have been accused of being avid practitioners of the same bullying tactics that have now driven them from their Conservative home, where we naively thought they were such a perfect fit. If this isn't pretty Shakespearean, then I just don't know what is. And maybe that's true.
Of course, as the millions of viewers of Evan Solomon's Power and Politics show are well aware, I long ago publicly embraced these two crazy-in-love kids. What could be more miraculous than Mr. Soudas becoming Eve's Adam, if you see what I mean. They're a kind of Canadian fantasy couple, right out of Disneyland, our blonde princess, her prince of darkness, and the adorable little dog they borrow for campaign photos.
Connoisseurs of Ottawa Grand Guignol theatre are also appreciative of the truly Oscar-winning performance of Justin Trudeau in the Adams defection. The kid kept a perfectly straight face at the press conference where he graciously welcomed Ms. Adams and "all those she brings with her" to the Liberal Party, with which their values have been in complete sync since a week ago Saturday. Mr. Trudeau was utterly sincere in that special way politicians are sincere. So shame on those who accuse him of naked, crass, cynical opportunism.
So yes, the Liberals have a new marquee star, a household name in the Soudas-Adams household, so formidable a player they may just run her against Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver in his Toronto riding in which she's never stepped foot. Some of her new Liberal comrades have assured her that she's welcome to do so as long as she doesn't mind doing it over their dead bodies. These Liberals! Can't live with 'em and can't live without 'em.
Meanwhile, I hear that across the country the multitude of Liberals who have been crucified, vilified, slandered, abused, maligned, and otherwise run over by the Soudas Killer Express are anxious to greet him at the first available party meeting. Oh to be a fly on the wall.
We may as well add to the week's Ottawa antics the latest cabinet shuffle, with Mr. Harper once again showing his own delightfully puckish sense of humour. Allow me to interpret. Rob Nicholson as Minister of Foreign Affairs means Stephen Harper is Minister of Foreign Affairs. Pierre Poilievre in a senior cabinet position means open Conservative contempt for parliament at a much more senior level. And Jason Kenney at Defence means any opposition to Mr. Harper's mystifying military project in Iraq will swiftly be smeared as disloyal to country and troops.
Just remember this. You'd better not be caught laughing at our Commander-in-Chief, no matter what. After all, he himself is now a front-line warrior with boots just begging to hit the ground. Recall his warning: When they "fire at us, we're going to fire back and we're going to kill them."
Say, maybe that's where those artillery shells went to.