I caught part of Question Period while working out at the Y this afternoon, and it was even more surreal than this description sounds:
The issue of sponsorship spending being diverted to Liberal-friendly firms dominated Question Period in Ottawa again Wednesday, in spite of Mr. Martin's repeated efforts to switch the debate to health care.
In just one such exchange, Mr. Harper asked whether Mr. Martin had had lunch with a specific person related to sponsorship spending and Mr. Martin responded by accusing the Tory Leader of mistreating health care.
“Only this leader thinks that health care is a joke,” Mr. Martin charged, drawing roars from the Opposition benches.
Tomorrow's Hansard will have the exact transcript, but that's not the half of Martin's wonky character assassination. To respond to an accusation of maintaining a bit too cosy of a relationship with scandal-ridden Liberal hacks with the rhetorical nuclear option of OMG!!! TORY SECRET PLAN 2 PRIVATIZE HEALTH CARE WTF!!! shows that Paul Martin isn't just concerned for his current position; he's downright terrified. That's the kind of values-based attack - implying that anything but enthusiasm for the current state of socialized medicine is nothing less than un-Canadian - that usually isn't dredged up until the campaign actually starts. Hopefully he'll continue in full, ranty, Philosopher King mode long enough to make a few more Ontarians realize the depth of Liberal sleaze, and how business-as-usual such random casting of FUD is for the party.