Two important news events caught my fancy this week.
One refers to Prime Minister Stephen Harper who is working extremely hard to rebuild his party’s reputation in light of the recent scandals, particularly the senate expense.
The other item is in reference to someone who wants to replace Harper in the 2015 federal elections.
The Canadian public has been following the two events with a lot of interest.
Prime Minister Harper is pushing ahead with the government’s refreshed agenda and upcoming October throne speech which will focus on the economy, jobs and helping the middle class families.
During a well crafted tour of the Arctic and policy statements in the north, Harper made a good impression during the tightly scheduled tour.
But something went wrong at the end of the tour.
A Chinese journalist from a state-owned newspaper was initially chosen to ask the prime minister a question.
Harper normally takes in about a half dozen questions from pre-selected journalists.
The Chinese reporter was prevented from asking a question at the last moment.
This did not rest well with the foreign journalist, who got upset and shoved a female staffer during the Arctic tour, Harper’s eighth as prime minister.
Until this incident the Arctic tour, which allowed for many photo ops, had gone smoothly and without a hitch.
Why the journalist was prevented from asking the prime minister a question still remains a mystery.
Was the Chinese journalist prevented from asking a question because the Harper is reportedly uncomfortable answering questions from the international media?
We will never know the real reason.
Since June when the senate scandal broke, the prime minister is wishing this issue would disappear and the media would stop asking him about this.
Many Conservatives would like Harper to loosen up and meet with the press regularly, perhaps on a weekly basis.
This is not going to happen.
Even on foreign trips, Harper is reluctant to answer more than a few questions.
Li Xue Jiang, bureau chief for the China People’s Daily, should have been allowed to ask the question despite constant attempts by Harper’s habit of tightly controlling questions.
Was the question about the senate or Chinese investments in Canada?
We do not know.
On the other hand Justin Trudeau, the national leader of the third place Liberal Party, was frank and honest about admitting he smoked marijuana after becoming a member of parliament.
Had it denied this, the national media would have found this out.
Most politicians have their secrets but very few are willing to admit or talk about it.
Trudeau, in his interview, said he does not smoke cigarettes but he believes that marijuana should be legalized.
This admission will both hurt and help Trudeau when Canadians decide who should lead them.
What the Liberal leader did as an MP was not right and against the law.
But, Trudeau is showing courage about sharing information and opening up in a way not many politicians are comfortable with.
Trudeau has taken a calculated risk that could destroy him or vault him to Sussex Drive.
Many world class leaders have openly admitted experimenting with weeds.