Friday, May 14, 2010


In Old Bridge, New Jersey, Donna Simpson is about to become America's next "Reality TV" star. The show's outcome is all very predictable. Donna aims to break the Guinness Book of Records by becoming the fattest woman on earth. She weighs 604 pounds, and eats 12,000 calories per day to reach 1000 pounds (half a ton) by January first.

Back here on "The Hill" we have our own endless "soap opera" of sorts with a seemingly endless cast of colourful characters, now entering it's 35th week - The intrigue is palpable, the outcome not so predictable.

It begins as a love story and a hasty wedding on October 15th, 2008 - Clearly not since the "affair", starring the bosomy Soviet spy Gerda Munsinger, against the backdrop of Montreal's "Caffe de Paree" burlesque bar and Conservative Cabinet Ministers, George Hees and Pierre Sevigny, has the nation's capital been so taken with an endless story of encounters. Alas, reality TV didn't exist in the late 1950's. Though the 1992 TV movie "Gerda" is probably still archived somewhere.

On another web site:; I have been running an unscientific poll asking participants for an ideal title for the long running saga of Helena and Rahim now about to pass its calendar day number 250. "Survivor:Ottawa" is tops, with "Big Brother - Harper" and "Parliamentary Idol" also in contention.

Rahim Jaffer was pulled-over and arrested for speeding, and charged with impaired driving and possession of cocaine on September 11, 2009. From that moment the cast of characters, incidents, events, airport tantrums, fake letters of support, Parliamentary hearings, police investigations has grown expeditiously. It even includes bosomy escorts (Hello Gerda!). True to television ensemble casting the plot has been weaving through a series of marvelously rascally characters: the business mogul, Nazim Gillani - The hilarious bankrupt "two bit" gumshoe, Derek Snowdy P.I. - the bulldog government mouthpiece, John Baird - Green Fund promoter, Patrick Glemaud...(endlessly) I could go on. And quite like masterful television screenwriting the twists and turns of the story always return to the central characters: Helena Guergis, Rahim Jaffer and the plot's "grey eminence" - Stephen Harper. If it weren't true it might be unbelievable.

Lest I digress - Pundits, doubtless with tongue-in-cheek, have claimed the casting is out of character for Mr. Jaffer who, before his election defeat in 2008, had been voted the "laziest Member of Parliament" by the weekly parliamentary newspaper: The Hill Times.

Though we've all been entertained by their endless saga: It could be that the tribulations of Helana, Rahim and Stephen are just another manifestation of a Parliamentary session paralyzed by a minority government so bereft of ideas that there's simply nothing better now, nor on the horizon, to warrant the interest of Canadians.

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