Wherein the scribe explains the mysteries of Maritime bachelors, Guides and condos

Allan Fotheringham October 15 1979

Wherein the scribe explains the mysteries of Maritime bachelors, Guides and condos

Allan Fotheringham October 15 1979

Wherein the scribe explains the mysteries of Maritime bachelors, Guides and condos


Allan Fotheringham

Tell me, Mr. Fotheringham, with Parliament finally opening after the long post-May coitus interruptus of The Wimp Watch, could you elucidate political matters pertaining to their specificity?

You may be stretching the totality of my parameters, experience-wise, but go ahead.

Well, could you tell me what is going to happen out of the starting gate?

Certainly. Mr. Trudeau, who knows his IQ breaks the sound barrier and thinks Joe Clark’s has a spark plug missing, will attempt to demonstrate in question period how unwise the voters were on May 22 as to their selection.

But Mr. Himself is a withering wit. Won't this work?

No. Lofty statements that Joe When is “half a leader” are counter-productive. What Mr. Trudeau does not realize is that he is not at this stage of the game insulting Mr.

Clark. He is, by inference, insulting the taste of the voters who chose Mr.

Clark. In this regard he is badly mistaken—and badly advised. Does Mr. Trudeau take advice?

Is the Pope Polish? Actually, there is some small evidence that he wisely submitted to counsel in shaving off that ridiculous beard.

Why do you say that?

Well, the charismatic banister-slider in a few days is about to hit 60 which makes him older than the Pope. That’s not lost on the Liberal thumbsuckers. Added to this is the fact that Clark is a perpetual Archie from the comic strips, a youth who looks like a refugee from Happy Days. The beard simply widened the gap. The entire national Liberal strategy board held him down and put a Trac II to his throat.

This insight into the philosophical subtleties of politics sure is interesting. What else you got?

Well, the most interesting battle in the Commons is going to come not between the Tories and the Grits (who are secretly terrified that they might force an election) but between Sine Stevens

and the rest of the inner cabinet.

What's the inner cabinet?

That’s what the outer cabinet is trying to figure out. Especially David Crombie who as Health and Welfare minister has the largest budget of any minister but didn’t make it to the inner cabinet.

Why is that?

Because he has a personality.

Oh. Moving right along, why don’t the chaps like Sine Stevens?

Well, The Happy Hacker is the Leo Durocher of politics. He would spike his

mother sliding into second base.


This clashes somewhat in cabinet with such well-rounded souls as Flora MacDonald, who went down to the United Nations the other day to demonstrate that she is in favor of Girl Guide cookies and helping old Tory senators across the street.

What 's wrong with that?

Well, the non-Girl Guide Argentines subsequently decided not to buy our Candu nuclear reactor. They decided to pay $500 million more to get the same equipment from the West Germans. It was worth that, since with the German deal you don’t get a sermonette.

Fm puzzled by one thing, Mr. Fotheringham. Joe Clark has appointed to the Senate his old New Brunswick friend and election guru Lowell Murray. Mr. Murray, strangely, was appointed as an Ontario senator and at the last minute, to qualify, he had to buy a condominium in Ottawa. There are no condominiums in New Brunswick?

No. They think it’s a birth control method.

Tell me, why are there so many prominent bachelors from the Maritimes at the top of Canadian politics—Murray, Flora, the former Liberal deputy PM Allan MacEachen, Premier Richard Hatfield?

Perhaps the oysters malfunctioned. I don’t know.

But really, what do you see as the major event of this new session?

Easy. It’s when Stanfield of Arabia, sand oozing from his oxfords, arrives back in Ottawa from his heady confrontations with the intellectual belly dancers of Baghdad and environs, having studied to boredom Joe’s sudden genius on Jerusalem that was supposed to win him a couple of Toronto seats. You’ve already heard the news?

What’s that?

Henry Fonda is to play Stanfield in the movie. He’s the only actor they could find who could slow his lip sync to Stanfield’s level.

Do you think the Tories will be bitter and attempt to even up old scores?

Not at all. Why should they bring up the fact that Dorothy Petrie, wife of Senator Keith Davey, the unblushing apostle of Liberalism, was fixed up with a 21-year appointment to the Immigration Appeal Board, at more than $40,000 per year. Who would be so tacky as to mention it?

Well, you know we’re in for bad times when last week they put the wooden covers over the cement steps leading up from Wellington Street to the West Block, so the sténos in their love-me spike heels won’t slip on the ice. It’s known as the climatic chastity belt.

Gee thanks, Mr. Fotheringham, you've certainly helped to muddify the circumstance.

Allan Fotheringham is a columnist for the FP News Service.