Edmonton Sun | 18Apr2010 | Orest Slepokura

Taking back the narrative

Here was Prime Minister Stephen Harper, until recently a hands-on prime minister who determined and configured his regime’s political messaging, now finding the national conversation spurred by the Guergis-Jaffer affair, by events outside his immediate control. It can’t be easy for him to be trumped this way. If it’s any consolation, the PM should know he is not alone.

Pope Benedict, with the Vatican’s metastasizing child abuse scandal, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with Israel’s untimely announcement of another 1,600 Jewish housing units for Arab East Jerusalem, to cite but two examples, are also struggling to take back a mercurial political narrative. For parliamentary opposition parties, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Note to opposition party leaders: When an opponent is entangled in the agonizing process of self-destruction simply remain a safe distance away and allow the process to continue. Memo to the CPC leadership: Learn the lesson of how the Reagan White House weathered and survived the Iran-Contra Scandal. It managed to uncouple the ongoing scandal in the public mind from matters pertaining to day-to-day governance. Iran-Contra was thus reduced to an orbiting satellite, and not allowed to become their whole world.

Orest Slepokura

(Oh, I imagine they’ll be trying all sorts of strategies.)