Paul Martin has acquired a number of unfortunate nicknames over the past year — The Jellyfish, Blinky, The Headwaiter — but it appears that one of them will stick: Mr. Dithers.
Canadian papers are falling all over themselves reporting on The Economist’s new piece,
‘Mr Dithers’ and his distracting ‘fiscal cafeteria’
“Fiscal cafeteria” doesn’t have a great ring to it. I prefer Tom Kent’s coinage in last November’s issue of Policy Options: “Sugar Daddy Federalism.”
At any rate, the Economist piece ends with this bit of hope:
All this means that the budget, on February 23rd, will have unusual political importance. It should allow Mr Martin to set some priorities, rather than responding to those of others.
Funny. That is exactly what I said to my mom last summer, after we’d been discussing how Paul Martin seemed to have no focus, and was determined to be all things to all Canadians. “An election,” I said. “That will allow him to set some priorities.”
As Paul Wells said ages ago: The man is a senior citizen. He’s been this way forever. He’s not going to change.