Thursday, April 14, 2005

Having your pork sandwich and eating it too

The natural habitat of career politicians is the Liberal Party, and London Fanshawe MP Pat O'Brien is going to remain right where he belongs after a very public dalliance with ship-jumping. Despite his opposition to same-sex marriage, he's an habitual glad-hander of government spoils to special interest groups at ritual Liberal handout ceremonies, so he's going to bunk down after all, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

But "[t]he Liberal party is starting to look like the NDP-light. I don't know if I can even vote for the Liberal party . . . How can I represent it?" Those are pretty strong words… how would he be received in the Party after saying that? Well, I'd guess that Paul Martin probably recognizes that keeping O'Brien pretty much guarantees the Party a safe seat — London voters seem to display an annoying propensity for casting ballots based on little more than name-recognition, which O'Brien possesses, and general homogeneity of response with other southern Ontario ridings. This in turn reflects Liberal confidence that anti-Liberal sentiment in Ontario is typically a very short-lived phenomenon. Unlike Pat O'Brien, they don't "talk the talk and walk the walk." Yes, he's our hero.

And, yes, in turn Pat O'Brien gets the best of both worlds — he retains the perks of association with the natural governing party and simultaneously can market himself as a maverick conservative to any disaffected voters in London who actually mean it. Clever dick — I'm going to hire him to market the London Fog. And he won't have to sit across the aisle from his new sweetheart, either…

Pat O'Brien's London is kind of foggy… but it's ours


darcey said...

"natural habitat" I almost envisioned some who's who music in the background - the liberal hinterland

MapMaster said...

I had sort of envisioned suits popping their heads above the tall grass occasionally in response to the perceived presence of angry media, the contented cud of pensions and expense accounts dripping from their mouths.