PRIME MINISTERStrategy is long-term thinking about how to achieve goals.JISBELLAYes.PRIME MINISTERA tactic is an act you take in the short term that serves a particular strategy.JISBELLAOkay.PRIME MINISTERIt always bugs me when people confuse the two.JISBELLAI bet. Can I get a coffee?PRIME MINISTERNo.JISBELLAYou have a coffee.PRIME MINISTERI do. Now --JISBELLAWhat time is it? I mean, holy shit.PRIME MINISTERNow. There are certain things the press pays attention to, and certain things they don’t. Sometimes we have a little trouble figuring out which things they’re going to pick up on, and which things they are going to ignore.JISBELLAThat must drive you nuts.PRIME MINISTERThe long form census is an example of this. We thought we could kill it without the press noticing.JISBELLAWhy would you want to kill the census?PRIME MINISTERI’ll tell you later. I’m making a point.JISBELLAOkay. Can I just get a coffee?PRIME MINISTERAbsolutely not. So, in looking ahead, there are programs I want to enact, which I feel might raise the ire of the press, possibly of the people as well, and I want to do what I can to minimize the chance of that happening. Fortunately, the first thing I want to do is spectacularly dull. Odds are, it will go completely unnoticed.JISBELLAWhat is it?PRIME MINISTERI’m going to reform the Privy Council Office. Under the Liberals the number of people working there ballooned. I’m going to shrink it again.JISBELLAWhy?PRIME MINISTERIt doesn’t need to be that big. Also, there are people there who are… resistive to our influence. It’s so petty. The PCO loved us at the beginning.JISBELLAThey did?PRIME MINISTEROh yeah. When we came in, in 2006, as a minority, we had a narrow agenda focused on five priorities. Remember?JISBELLANo.PRIME MINISTERNo?JISBELLANo.PRIME MINISTERYou don’t remember, when we got elected in 2006, how we focused on five things?JISBELLAReally?PRIME MINISTERDid you notice the GST went down?JISBELLAThe GST went down?PRIME MINISTERI mean, really?JISBELLAI was busy in 2006.PRIME MINISTERThe point is, the bureaucracy loved us when we came in, because we were focused. We had five things to do, not a thousand, and it was easy for them to plan and get things done.JISBELLASure.PRIME MINISTERBut now I’m going to trim them, and I need your help with that.JISBELLAYou want me to go fire some people? I’ve never done that before. Well, I fired a dishwasher at the restaurant I ran, but really, like, he wasn’t showing up for his shifts, so --PRIME MINISTERMs. Lyth…JISBELLA-- like, at all, so I called him and got his machine, and so --PRIME MINISTERMs. Lyth…JISBELLAI called him --PRIME MINISTERI don’t care.JISBELLAI’M TALKING. I CARE.A beatJISBELLAAnd I just got his machine, so I fired him over his machine.PRIME MINISTERI don’t want you to fire people. I want you to distract the press.JISBELLAOkay.PRIME MINISTERSo, in a couple weeks’ time, you’re going to stand up in parliament and introduce a private member’s bill.JISBELLAOkay.A beatPRIME MINISTERDon’t you want to know what’s in the bill?JISBELLAThat coffee you’ve got smells like ass. And yet I still want some. Can I have just a sip?PRIME MINISTERYes, here, take the coffee. God.She drinksJISBELLAYou’re the fucking prime minister of Canada. And this is what you drink in the morning?PRIME MINISTERIt’s decaf.JISBELLAYou monster!PRIME MINISTERYou’re going to introduce a bill limiting abortion.JISBELLAAn anti-abortion bill?PRIME MINISTERA pro-life bill. We’ll draft it for you. I will pretend to be caught off guard, and I will say that you’re acting on your own, and that I strongly disapprove. The press will spend several days gleefully watching your rebellion, I’ll cut the PCO, and they will miss the story.JISBELLAAnd what happens to the bill?PRIME MINISTERIf it ever comes to a vote, it’ll be defeated. And you’ll have a reputation as a maverick who won’t conform to party discipline. Okay?A pauseJISBELLAOkay.PRIME MINISTEROkay?JISBELLAOkay.A beatPRIME MINISTERAny questions?JISBELLANo, I got it.A pause. He’s looking at herJISBELLAWhat?PRIME MINISTERYou don’t have a problem doing this? Morally?JISBELLANope.A pausePRIME MINISTERThat’s… um.JISBELLAWhat?PRIME MINISTERWell, I had assumed you were going to object to the plan. I…JISBELLAYes?PRIME MINISTERNever mind.JISBELLAWhat?PRIME MINISTERNo, I had come up with several compelling arguments, that’s all.JISBELLAReally.PRIME MINISTERYes. Never mind.JISBELLAYou were going to change my mind? On abortion?PRIME MINISTERYes.JISBELLAUsing arguments?PRIME MINISTERIt’s --JISBELLAWell, now I would like to hear those amazing arguments. Because they sound like they would be amazing.PRIME MINISTERWell, sorry. Now I don’t need to deploy them.JISBELLADammit! But what if your arguments didn’t work?PRIME MINISTEROh, they would have worked.JISBELLABut what if they didn’t?PRIME MINISTERIn that case… I was going to flirt with you.A beat. She’s dumbstruckJISBELLAYou were going to try arguments… and then flirting?PRIME MINISTERI was going to, yes, flirt with you. My sense is that you respond to flirtatious behaviour. Am I wrong?JISBELLANo. In fact, next time skip the arguments and go straight for the flirting. Because I’m dying to see that shit.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Excerpt: Proud, by Michael Healey (unexpurgated)
Reprinted by permission of Michael Healey
Posted by THE CHARLEBOIS POST at 1:27 PM