A few days ago Jennifer Smith over on Runesmith's Canadian Content reported that Stephan Harper has redecorated the lobbies behind the benches in Parliament. (It's the place where lobbyists used to hang out back in the olden days.) The full description can be found on the Green Party website [Model Parliament].
What may have been the most fascinating part of the afternoon was my time in the Government Lobby. Behind the curtains that run along the last row of benches on both sides of the House, are doors to long skinny living room areas. One is called the Opposition Lobby; the other the Government Lobby. In my pre-Green Party leader life, I have spent a lot of time in both. The Government Lobby was a frequent work space when I was Senior Policy Advisor to the federal Minister of Environment back in the mid-1980s. And I frequented both lobbies when I was with Sierra Club of Canada from 1987-2006. It did not strike me until I walked into the Government Lobby to await my turn as Speaker that I had not been in there since Stephen Harper became Prime Minister.Jennifer wrote to her MP, Garth Turner, to see if this was true and if someone could supply pictures. The title of her latest posting, Ask And You Shall Receive, tells it all.
It used to have some paintings on the wall. Past prime ministers, certainly a formal portrait of the Queen. Landscapes. I know there was the occasional photo of current Prime Ministers, but when I walked in this time, I felt chilled to the bone. Every available wall space had a large colour photo of Stephen Harper. Stephen Harper at Alert. Stephen Harper in fire fighter gear. Stephen Harper at his desk. Stephen Harper meeting the Dalai Lama. Even the photo of the Queen showed her in the company of Stephen Harper. None were great photos. None were more than enlarged snapshots in colour. They didn’t feel like art.
Not only did Garth Turner MP take pictures, he posted them on his blog [Let me count the ways…]. Cool. I stole some of them so you can see what's become of our government.
We need to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan and send over Stephan Harper, permanently.