Thursday, October 02, 2008

An Interesting Observation on the Debate

At Angry in the Great White North, Steven Janke makes a fascinating observation, which I think I had partly noted, though I did not see the whole round of answers.

Everyone used this simply [ed. typo for 'simple'] question -- say something nice about the person to your left -- to say something nasty or promote themselves.

Everyone, that is, except Stephen Harper. He didn't trash Jack Layton's policies. He listed two of his government's successes, but only in the context of sharing some of the credit with Jack Layton.

Why does this matter? Because it shows that Stephen Harper can turn it off. He can compartmentalize. He can look at Jack Layton, a take a measure of the man without necessarily looking for a political opening.

That's a healthy sign. As for the others, everything they touch turns into a cheap political commercial. Elizabeth May was clearly the worst, but the others were little better.

There is something significant in that ability to stop being a politician and turn into a normal guy. I think it is that I trust Stephen Harper to be the least consumed with ideas of power. The others, given a chance to just be normal folks, couldn't pull it off. The kept on being partisan politicians. Do you think people like that would ever give up political power willingly?

But when Stephen Harper was asked to say something nice about a politician he disagreed with, he said something nice. When the time comes, Stephen Harper will likely give up the reins of power with little fuss or fanfare.

I get the feeling Stephen Harper knows there's a lot more to life than politics. I find that very reassuring in a politician.

But then I seem to be the only one who gets it, so maybe I'm wrong.

We'll see how right Steve is when Harper does finally yield power.


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