Our English language evolved mainly from British dialects, along with many word forms derived from Latin and Greek, and a multitude of words borrowed, and sometimes “Anglicized” from other languages around the world.
One such word that is commonly used in political context these days is “schadenfreude” which, as many readers of The NEWS readers will know, is German for “satisfaction felt at someone else’s misfortune.”
There’s no better way to express how I think about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s present predicament.
Some 25 years ago as a top lieutenant in Preston Manning’s Reform Party, Harper was very vocal on how Ottawa needed to be changed, and how it should start with a Triple-E Senate (Equal, Elected and Effective).
Large parts of Alberta’s populace became very supportive; although the political leaders in the fledgling party, and many in the media, failed to point out to the gullible voters that they would need support from many more provinces to change how the Senate is constituted.
Let’s fast forward from the early days of the Reform Party to present-day Ottawa.
Two of the prime minister’s hand-picked senators have quit their caucus following questions being leveled against them about home-province residency and allegedly fraudulent expense claims.
The scandal that has also forced out the prime minister’s chief of staff has its genesis in the prime minister choosing two high-profile media mavens to fill Senate seats, and then use their popularity to campaign in fundraising activities.
I concede that the prime minister is a very clever politician, but at the same time I have never had much respect for him. So, when he gets dragged deep in the doo-doo over a Senate scandal largely of his own making,
I have to sigh and say with complete cynicism: it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
The sweet aroma of schadenfreude is filling my nostrils right now as I write this.