Even Santa, who was walking around the Canada Place lobby greeting people, wasn’t finding it so easy to get laughs. When two men who appeared to be rally organizers spotted a couple of young children sitting behind a pillar with their mother, they walked Santa over to greet them. “Ho, ho, ho!” Santa asked in a jolly tone, “So do you support the Coalition?” The young mother responded in a less than festive tone, “No.” Santa responded, “Neither do I.” Oh, Oh, Oh. Santa instantly moved on and the children, like most Canadians, were left asking questions about what exactly was going on.
Then, of course, there was the pro-coalition rally at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. The crowd, with professionally printed signage courtesy of the labour movement's war chest, were left to play an embarrassing game of "Where's Stephane," when Mary Walsh invited the presumptive coalition leader to the stage and, like Macavity in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Cats," Dion wasn't there. (Or, he wasn't quite ready -- which is also telling.)
Dear Mr. Dion: Optics are actually rather important in modern politics.
This sort of reminded me of the embarrassing moment during a Republican rally in the U.S. election campaign, when John McCain wanted to acknowledge Joe the Plumber. McCain asked Joe the Plumber to stand. But Joe the Plumber wasn't there. So, in probably the worst cover line ever, John McCain, frustrated and a little on his heals, said: "Well, you're all Joe the Plumber."
Well, you're all Stephane Dion.
PS. Since Santa is clearly going to be giving a lot of lumps of coal this year, what exactly will his carbon footprint be?