Menon: Snow Pants Standoff? Get Stephen Harper

This year I have only one resolution: To be more like Stephen Harper.

And you know what? We're only five days into 2010 and I already feel like a brand new leader inside the sham democracy that is my household. Tough, inflexible, secretive, ambitious, shrewd, vaguely evil - these are the qualities to which I now aspire.

On Friday, Day 1 of the Harper Resolution, the leader of the official opposition wandered into the living room. She wanted to know why a new bathroom storage unit was not assembled, as per a Boxing Day request (back when she was still Prime Minister - ha!).

This was it, the first real test of my Harper Resolution.

How would Stephen handle this situation?

I thought, tugging at my sweater vest.

Turn the tables! Zero in on her weaknesses! And if she starts hinting at some kind of bathroom storage unit inquiry, don't hesitate to prorogue anything that moves!

I looked her dead in the eyes.

"First, let me be clear. It's a little sexist for you to assume that I'm the assembler of furniture around here. Secondly, is this storage unit even going in the bathroom? You said it might look good in the hallway. You said it might work in the foyer. You mentioned the basement. Before I begin the arduous process of assembling - that thing has like 100 different parts! - it would help to know where exactly it is to be erected."

I braced for opposition wrath. I expected her to lash out and accuse me of stonewalling, of deceit, of tyrannical arrogance.

But, amazingly, my projected strength sapped her will to muster a coherent attack.

She apologized, smiled and wandered away to leave me alone with the NHL Winter Classic.

My God,

I thought.

Why didn't I turn into Stephen Harper years ago?

The next day, as I was bundling two small members of another opposition party into their tundra garb, I was met with the usual resistance and hostility.

"No hat!" shouted one member, ripping a toque with earflaps from her tiny skull and kicking it across the floor.

"I don't want pink coat!" shouted her colleague. "You give me purple!"

Now, before the Harper Resolution, this situation would have quickly degenerated into a fiery question period. Pointing tiny fingers at me, their faces contorting with diabolical rage, these pint-sized MPs would have risen from the dressing ottoman to grill me with indignant queries: Why we need scarves? Why you no wear snow pants? How we carry Little Pony with mitts?

"Mr. Speaker," I would have then replied. "Do I really have to explain wind chill to these power-hungry lunatics?"

But on Day 2 of the Harper Resolution, as I stood in the house of uncommons, I was in no mood for bipartisan co-operation. Compromise was not an option. I would be granting no interviews on the subject of appropriate winter attire.

It was my way or no highway to grandma's house.

I glowered. I ran a hand through my stiff hair. Then I swooped up the errant toque and spoke in a hushed tone that crackled with resolve and menace.

"Listen carefully," I said. "You are wearing that hat. You are wearing the pink coat with the big, fluffy hood. Little Pony can ride in my pocket or stay home. And when grandma asks if you want a second bowl of ice cream, you let me do the talking."

That was that.

In the parliamentary system that is marriage and fatherhood, I have discovered the joys of dictatorship. And I will stop at nothing to retain this new-found power.

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