Ok, actually it does, but not if we use the Stephen Harper definition of the word. Let me explain.
Some of Canada’s war veterans are upset and rightfully so that government officials including Harper and Prime Minister Paul Martin missed
Sunday’s V-E Day Celebration in Europe
for political reasons, specifically the current situation that could see the Liberal government fall and an election called within a few days.
When explaining why Canada’s political leaders arrived in Holland a day late, Martin had the following to say:
“”Unfortunately, there were political events back home that got in the way. I’m very glad we’re here today. I wish we’d been here yesterday.”
To which Harper, taking his job as leader of the Opposition way too literally, replied, “This argument that somehow it was politics that prevented the Prime Minister from being here is absurd. The House of Commons does not sit on Sunday.”
That would be a fine and dandy retort if not for the fact that it was already made public knowledge that the only reason anybody made it to Europe at all was a purely political one. Martin had decided to miss the entire trip to deal with his fragile hold on the Prime Minister’s office because Harper among others had been turning up the heat and threatening to bring down the minority government. He eventually proposed that he would make the trip if Harper and the other leaders went with him so that nothing underhanded could happen while he was away. Everyone agreed to that deal, and off they went.
Now knowing all of this and especially since he was part of the decision making process, how can a seemingly intelligent guy like Harper say something so ridiculous with a straight face? You’d think that a guy who takes every opportunity that comes his way to make policy statements for his political gain would understand that the idea of political and non-political doesn’t begin and end when you enter and leave a single building. If you’re a politician, you’re a politician 24/7, that’s it, end of story.
Consider this. If everything that happens outside of the House of Commons has nothing to do with politics as Harper would like us to believe, why is he wasting so much time and energy trying to bring down the government over the whole sponsorship deal when none of the shady contracts were signed while the House was sitting? Considering that this was all behind the scenes stuff, it’s completely non-political and Harper is wasting perfectly good work time that we the tax paying citizens are footing the bill for to worry about purely personal matters that are none of his business.
And when that election is eventually called, and it will be, Harper had better campaign from the House and the House only, otherwise he’s just showing up in my city for no real reason other than taking a vacation. Unless he wants to have a beer with me and chat about sports and how my family is doing,, I’m not listening to him. Hey, I’m doing him a favour, because we wouldn’t want politics crawling out of Parliament and finding its way into real life now would we?