Friday, September 01, 2006

# Posted 12:57 PM by Patrick Belton  

STUPID CANADIAN-PARLIAMENTARY TRICKS: OXBLOG'S NEW FRIDAY NIGHT SPECIAL! And here you were worrying it'd involve baboon blogging.

So, Her Majesty's prime minister has got everyone wondering, when will he step down? No, no, no, not Blair, Harper. Some of our friends in British North America have written to point out that Prime Minister Harper, whose poll numbers are down in the cedar cellar post-Lebanon, may try to use a different sort of wood to bring his own government down and allow Palpatine to become emperor secure a proper majority in a subsequent snap election.

Bilateral relations between Canada and the United States, wily observers may note, are when you dispense with all that Nato peacekeeping and silly human security stuff, basically boiled down to one word: lumber. (Or, if your spacebar is broken, softwoodlumber.) There's a brilliant deal in place under which Canadian lumber companies set aside their Nafta-based legal challenges and allow the Americans to keep $1 billion in legally dodgy tariffs, which will also permit sufficiently wily observers to note something else quite subtle about world politics: America is stronger than Canada.

So, where the wood hits the fan (note to self: think of another pun while working out. must involve wood) is that the election would in all likelihood be held before the Liberal leadership convention scheduled for December, which will likely come down to Ignatieff (hurrah!) and an as-yet-unknown leading challenger (boo!).

It's all a bit sappy in an odd timbre sordid, as our friends over in the Dominion blogosphere point out, but it does permit several puns about 'lumbering up to an election'.

P.S. Oh, go on now. Friday baboonblogging, for those of you who would be disappointed, this from a shayner head-shrinker at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Sephanie writes, 'Shortly after this photo was taken, the baby baboon stopped reading the paper and began to eat it instead.'
(3) opinions -- Add your opinion

Lumber matters a whole lot to some people and some parts of Canada, but it is hardly a major component of overall trade. The biggest Canadian exports to the US are probably car parts and energy. While it is rotten to get abused on the lumber issue (in violation of WTO and NAFTA rulings), it isn't worth sacrificing the overall trading relationship over. The Americans know this just as well as we.
There's no way the government's going down on softwood lumber. All three opposition parties would have to vote against it. The NDP will for sure. Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale has said his party will, (though it's far from clear that he speaks for the entire caucus).

Quebec industry, however, supports the deal 157-3. The Bloc Quebecois will not be voting against the deal.
Patrick Benton is back at Oxblog and all is well with the world...
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