Asked to list the hot-heads in the Liberal caucus, most would put Mark Holland, Joe Volpe, Mario Silva and even Ruby Dhalla close to the top.
But Ralph Goodale? Seems he’s due for consideration.
For a guy who has made a franchise of Ernie Eves’ hairstyle, the former finance minister made famous by his “I’ve learned nothing from Gomery” response to the income trust leak in the last election is considered generally unflappable.
But anyone who saw Goodale’s reddening, sweat-covered brow on CBC’s Sunday program this week would agree: Ralph had a melt down.
His troubles came in trying to explain why Liberals intend to prop up the Conservatives in the coming votes on the throne speech. He just couldn’t make the logic of not standing-up to a government that Liberals have called “Republican” and “extreme rightwing” work. His frustration built up to this foaming twaddle:
“Well, let me answer your question. The NDP are engaged in this short-term maneuvering and how is that standing on principle if, in fact, in the long-term it ends up playing into Stephen Harper’s pro-Republican agenda? That's exactly what happened in the last parliament when the NDP caused an election at that time and they ended up defeating climate change and child care and the Kelowna accord and they strengthened the hand of Steven Harper and they still finished last. How is that moving Canada forward? This is not the kind of game that the NDP want to play, there's serious longer term issues that need to be addressed. We are going to read that throne speech and make a judgment when we read it about what is good for Canada and not what's good for the NDP party.” – Goodale, CBC Sunday, Oct 14, 2007
In summary: Stephen Harper has a “pro-Republican agenda,” but Goodale still needs to read the Speech to know if it’s “good for Canada”. Er, o-k-a-y.
Ralph could have saved himself some embarrassment if he'd just said what we are all thinking: “the Liberal Party isn't standing-up to the Conservatives because we don’t know what we believe.”
PS: Ralph loves the bit about the NDP “defeating” climate change, child care, 25-cent pay phone calls, etc. But correct me, didn’t the Liberals have three majorities to get those things done and didn’t? And didn’t Paul Martin call an election that would have been only FOUR weeks after the one that actually came in 2006? If Liberals can't fake principle, they should at least muster honesty.