But did he buy a helmet?
The most noteworthy thing about the budget-day-shodding tradition is that the Library of Parliament, tired of answering hundreds of curious e-mails and phone calls every year about its origins, actually conducted a mini-inquiry on the matter and posted its findings, which are far more fascinating than the tradition itself.
Apparently it was invented in 1978, and somehow the public imagination immediately invested it with gravitas and nostalgia stretching back to colonial England. Maybe Tinker Bell waved her little wand or something. Anyway, it was all fabricated out of thin air and swallowed whole by a public starved for some means, however contrived, of empathizing with the chief bean-counter in Canadian politics. Which means it’s not really a tradition at all, but a hoax, and a really good one at that—our very own Piltdown Man. Sadly, no one has ever come forward and taken credit for it, though the meager evidence available points to this possible culprit.
Oh, and as for this year’s budget, I’ll just say this: whatever goodies it will contain, it will put Liberals and New Democrats at odds, because a divided left is an important part of Harper’s plan to win a majority, especially in Toronto.
Image credit: Reuters/J.P. Moczulski (Victoria Times Colonist)