Do Uncle Paulie and his helpers really know best?
I’m not sure whether Scott Reid has seen too much of the Trailer Park Boys on TV or has sat through one to many showings of Bob and Doug McKenzie, but his impression of his fellow Canadians and their parenting skills leaves a lot to be desired.
Reid, the communications director for the Prime Minister did a little mis-communicating on behalf of his boss this weekend with his out loud thoughts on our suitability to be parents. Reid found himself in hot water when he was pooh poohing the Conservative ideas on the daycare situation, suggesting that should the great unwashed of Canada be left to their own devices, they would probably end up buying beer and popcorn with any money supposedly destined for the young ones.
Now while most Canadians probably wouldn’t turn down a brew if offered and everyone loves popcorn, one suspects that the vast majority of the nation’s parents can make a suitable choice when it comes down to bread or beer. Pampers or Pilsner? Well it’s a safe bet that in most cases the nation’s toddlers will be freshly powdered before we sit down to our six packs of beer and trough of popcorn at night. In Reid's world it seems that the whole family unit is destined to deteriorate into Home Alone, unless the Liberals have a say in how the family cash is spent.
The arrogance of the Liberal leader’s spokesman has put his boss in a rather tight spot. All of a sudden the Liberals once again come out sounding like they know better than the people they supposedly are here to serve. Making matters even worse, Reids' statements were later backed by one of Paul Martin's senior advisors John Duffy, providing two smacks on the bottoms for our vociferous little voters today.
Reid’s faux pas comes hot on the heels of a similar mis-statement by Ralph Goodales Communication director,John Embury, who last week described the director of public policy for the Canadian Association of Retired Persons as “old and confused”. It was a comment which he, like Reid in this case, was quick to offer up an apology over.
The damage though may already be done, in less than a week the Liberals have come across as know it all smart asses. A group of folks who seem to think that they and they alone, know what’s best for the country and those inconvenient little obstacles to power, the run of the mill voter. These litte side trips are tending to take them off message and leave an opportunity for the Conservartives to try and claw back some of the voter numbers.
They seem to forget that those same people that will receive the day care monies, also pay the taxes that make the government run in the first place. It's not quite clear how we're not to be trusted to spend our own money.
However, despite their many verbal miscues, they still hold a fairly solid lead on their competition, but they had best reign in their press hacks quickly before any real damage sets in.
So far they’ve ostracized the seniors, the near seniors and parents. They’re not leaving much in the way of wriggle room for potential voter turn out. Young, urban, single, gay and child less folks may be the only constituency left for them, by the time their spokespeople are finished spreading the good word.
Perhaps it’s time for the actual politicians to do some of the talking; surely they can’t inflict any more damage on their campaigns than those they pay to talk for them!