Mansbridge: I'm joined with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Prime Minister, you've come under fire for naming three recently defeated Conservative candidates to the Senate as well as having the second largest cabinet in Canada's history after calling for austerity measures. How do you respond to this criticism?
Harper: Let's be clear, Peter. The job of a cabinet minister is a very tough and difficult one. To assume that a minister isn't working diligently for the Canadian people... well, that just isn't the case. I'm confident that providing greater autonomy and specific jurisdictions to your ministers will only work to improve our government. Furthermore, the nomination of these Senators was done within the scope of a Prime Minister's powers so there's nothing irregular about it. Might I add, all three senators are committed to Senate reform so Canadians will be well-served by these appointments.
Mansbridge: Andrew Coyne has criticized these appointments as cynical and go against the express will of the Canadian people.
Harper: [stifling laughter]
Mansbridge: ...He's also mentioned that Canada has the most bloated government in terms of ministries in all of Western Civilization.
Harper: I know! His twitter feed is hysterical! All morning on Wednesday, he would not stop complaining about the cabinet size! Kenney and I were howling with laughter!
Mansbridge: Mr. Prime Minister, I don't think I understand...
Harper: Let's be clear, Peter. Ever since I've been been in politics, I had to suffer the opinion of Andrew Coyne whether he was at the Financial Post, the Globe and Mail or Macleans magazine. He's simply insufferable with his idolizing of the Trudeau Liberals. So when I became Prime Minister in 2006, I thought that the limited power of a minority government would best be served by trolling Andrew Coyne full time.
Mansbridge: Wait. You're telling the Canadian people that your appointments, all the bills that were passed and defeated were an attempt to troll Andrew Coyne?
|LOL Open Markets!|
Mansbridge: It wasn't just the Conservatives in on the joke?
Harper: Certainly not! Whether you're a Tory, Grit or Dipper, you've grown tired of Coyne's sermons. His patronizing annoys all Canadians and we stand united in our belief that Parliament works best when its resources are focused on trolling Andrew Coyne.
Mansbridge: What have been some specific troll-jobs that you're particularly proud of?
Harper: A tip of the hat has to go to Maxime Bernier and his lost document bit. And just when I thought Coyne was going to realize it's a practical joke, Julie Couillard comes out in that extremely revealing outfit that I was sure was going to give the gag away!
Mansbridge: Were you angry with Bernier?
Harper: If you were to say I hold animosity towards Maxime Bernier, well that just isn't the case. Sure, he almost blew our cover that we maintained for a number of years but the laughs he provided were well worth the risk.
Mansbridge: Do you think that the Conservatives were better at trolling than the other parties?
Harper: The Bloc Québécois probably topped us all but they didn't have to try very hard. Any budget request or motion they would make, he'd bite on all of them. All the other parties were at a disadvantage because of this and they'd clean up in our weekly "best troll job" office pools.
Mansbridge: Why are you admitting to this now?
Harper: I think that the joke was proving to be too big a distraction. A lot of our research budget was designated to trolling strategies. The ministry of Canadian Heritage was a front for a ministry of Trolling Andrew Coyne. Also, I think the Liberals were about to go too far.
Mansbridge: What do you mean?
Harper: Their whole interim Liberal leadership race is a troll job. It was really a fantastic idea but just too cruel. They are going to have debates between candidates vying for the interim leadership devolve into a shouting match until Bob Rae shouts above everyone else that "Only Andrew Coyne can lead the Liberals to the promise land!" Rae then gets a scepter and crown and asks Andrew Coyne to be the full time leader of the Liberal Party for perpetuity.
All the delegates bow to him and chant "Coyne! Coyne!" until the Queen of England throws open the double doors of the assembly room and light comes pouring in as she walks in. She tells Coyne that if he were capable of leading the Liberals back to a majority government, he'll be next in line for succession as King of England. At that point, Prince Wililam appears and says "It would only be fair."
Mansbridge: That seems very elaborate and twisted...
Harper: Now you understand why the Liberals could only come up with something like the Canadian Learning Passport as their platform. And that's been part of the problem, too. All parties were adopting legitimate policies only if they were guaranteed to troll Andrew Coyne. It was quite limiting to say the least.
Mansbridge: So trolling of Andrew Coyne is going to stop from this point forward?
Harper: I can't speak to the other parties but we promised an austerity budget and we'll deliver on one. We can't guarantee that we'll be able to remove all trolling of Andrew Coyne measures this year but we hope to be Coyne-trolling free by 2015.
Mansbridge: Thank you for your time Prime Minister and I'm sure this revelation will be of great comfort to all Canadians and, specifically, to Andrew Coyne.