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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 08.31.08
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

In Canada: The Harper-Dion E-mails

STANSTEAD, QC | Prime Minister Stephen Harper has purportedly been trying to meet with Liberal leader Stéphane Dion to discuss whether the latter will continue to support the minority government. To date, Dion has declined. Here, for the first time, is a transcript of their e-mailed correspondence:

From: Stephen Harper
Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2008
To: Stéphane Dion
Subject: To dissolve or not to dissolve
Hey Steph,
Haven't heard from you. Still wondering if you want to get together for a chat about the fall session, what's on the table for you, whether you're planning to topple the government, etc. Because if you're not, I probably will. Or not. Depends on whether you're ready to play ball. Speaking of which, how's your golf game?
Yours truly,
Steve

From: Stéphane Dion
Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2008
To: Stephen Harper
Subject: Re: To dissolve or not to dissolve
Hello Stephen,
Yes, I have received your numerous requests for a meeting. However, if you are determined to dissolve parliament yourself, as I believe you are, there really is no point in our meeting. Besides, I am still upset about your backbenchers chanting "poutine-head" at me last spring. I have it from a reliable source that this directive came straight from the Prime Minister's Office. Not very statesman-like.
Sincerely,
Stéphane
P.S. No time for golf this summer. Kyoto has mange.

From: Stephen Harper
Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2008
To: Stéphane Dion
Subject: Re: re: To dissolve or not to dissolve
Stéphane buddy,
I swear that had nothing to do with me. That's simply an example of the "dysfunctional parliament" that I've been telling everyone about. Honestly, I don't have control over what my backbenchers do, despite their signed contracts and the sessions of hypnotherapy. Me, I've been too busy thinking up ways to get tough on crime. (My latest: mandatory sentences for cyclists who wear too much spandex. What do you think?)
The chaos in parliament is one of the reasons I'm thinking of dissolving parliament early, get a fresh start, clean slate, majority government. Surely, you're with me on that?
Besides, don't be so sensitive. It's not like they called you a "panty-waisted, four-eyed weenie-wuss."
SH the PM
P.S. Sorry to hear about Kyoto. Me, I've had this rash.

From: Stéphane Dion
Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2008
To: Stephen Harper
Subject: Aha!
Mr. Prime Minister,
I just so happen to have a copy of a handbook, produced by your office, entitled, "How to Throw Parliament into Chaos and Have Fun Doing It," subtitled, "Putting the 'Function' in 'Dysfunction.'" On page 21, it clearly states, "Be sure to call the Leader of the Opposition a ' panty-waisted, four-eyed weenie-wuss." There is also an introduction written by you entitled, "How to Manipulate Parliament so the Opposition Topples the Government and Gets Stuck With the Blame for the $400 Million Election Bill." There's also an addendum entitled, "Rationales for Backing Out of Promise of Fixed-Date Elections."


From: Stephen Harper
Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2008
To: Stéphane Dion
Subject: Re: Aha!
Damn you, Dion! You're cleverer than you look. See you on the hustings.
Harper

From: Stéphane Dion
Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2008
To: Stephen Harper
Subject: Re: re: Aha!
I don't drive a Hustings. I drive a Volkswagen hybrid. So there!
Steph

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