Thursday, April 15, 2004

'You brought this on your self'
Whether or not one, as Prime Minister, sits down with the Dalai Lama is a difficult decision of deep diplomatic, political and, uh, spiritual importance. Whether or not one poses for a photo with Barlow is, well, not.
Here, the Prime Minister arranges a spontaneous photo-op with this little known, Canadian pop star. But only after reading said pop star's blog, researching said pop star's history and ensuring he was "the guy."
(This can't possibly be real? Can it?)

Rush the Vote is a non-partisan organization dedicated to encouraging young people to become engaged in our political process by, among other things, voting. (Only 26 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18-25 cast a ballot in the last federal election.) I’m supposed to perform a song with Mladen at a major Rush the Vote/Juno event and then do a quick question and answer session with Jenn the Much Music VJ.

The theatre is packed and I’m getting ready to go on when things get all RCMP Giant men in suits talking to their sleeves are suddenly anywhere, then a frazzled stage manager tells me I’ve been bumped. ”It’s the f’n Prime Minister! He’s here and he’s going to make a speech” Wait a second I think, this is a non-partisan deal here, as in no political affiliation and certainly not campaign style speeches.

Our leader gives his blah blah blah on voting and takes some questions and is being whisked away, when someone from the PM’s office tells me the boss would like a photo…. with me…there’s pushing, confusion and a scrum of photographers then the staffer tells me….’look we’d like a photo…you’re here and the PM will be walking by you and we’d like a quick snap…’ Now this doesn’t happen to me every day ya know, so I put my arm around him and look him in the eye and think to myself….’Paul, you brought this on your self.’...

... Oh ya, I found out later that the PM’s peeps did not randomly ask me for a photo, it was not a matter of coincidence and convenience, nope, they read my blogs and researched me and decided I’d be the guy. Imagine that the Government of Canada reading these little musings. Should I be flattered or should I get a firewall and start making all my calls from pay phones?

Next on the PMO To Do list: Seek focus group analysis on whether or not to reference Lee Aaron in upcoming speech on Senate reform.

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