There is rumbling in the ranks. The solidarity of the backbench is weakening. It is the usual mid-term muttering of the drones of parliament. While Prime Minister Stephen Harper has held out the carrot of a summer cabinet shuffle, the drones know they have no hope of elevation. They will either start now on their re-election plans or ride out their terms with their perks and privileges, while making new plans for the future.
The Conservative caucus in Ottawa is normally divided into the religious right, libertarians and fiscal conservatives but it is important to remember the fourth category of Conservative MP. This is the hanger-on who is more of an opportunist than an ideologue. Many are just small-town politicians who find it easiest to ride the Conservative coat tails to being quasi-important as a Member of Parliament. These are the drones.
All parties have drones. Some of the New Democrat drones are quite unusual. It is just since 2011 that the Conservatives have had so many. These people do not even know that they have the balance of power in the House of Commons. They would never have a clue how to use that power.
Up until now many of the drones have kept busy. Because of their minority position during the Conservatives’ first two terms in government, these people were constantly campaigning for re-election. They kept a steady stream of taxpayer-funded ten percenters going out to voters. They had to be ready for a new election at any time.
Many of them were used by cabinet members to ask the easy questions in parliament. Those that did as they were told, got to sit on committees and sent on interesting trips. And even the least attractive of the MPs finds it easy to get laid in Ottawa. Life as an MP can be good.
But even drones can grow up. They get bored with doing nothing of importance in Ottawa. Sure the Prime Minister might be nice to them and take them on one of his many trips but there is no future in carrying the PM’s luggage.
But even the stupidest drone can read the ennui on the faces of his constituents. People are tiring of the Conservative agenda in Ottawa. Nobody can please real Tories for too long. The rest of the population are restive and the drones know it. Stephen Harper is on his last legs and it is time to flee the sinking ship. You have the next two years to find that new career. Better get to it.
Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry
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