Uh, Beavis? He said wood. Huh huh huh huh huh

So as I promised earlier, I'll get around now to saying a brief bit on the big news story in Canada last week:

Stephen Harper received a phone call from George W. Bush and steered the conversation to softwood lumber, kick starting five days of fevered negotiation culminating in a seven-year settlement.

Its a huge development, really. There were several Canadian concessions and a couple smaller American concessions. There's been a lot of ink spilled, and from people who know or care about this a lot more than myself.

Two things catch the eye: if B.C. and Quebec followed the Maritimes example, there'd be no problem in the first place. Second, though Canada was in the right the whole time, that doesn't make much difference in such a dispute and therefore should be filed away in the back of the brain.

The biggest part of this has to be though that the Liberals couldn't do the deal. The Conservatives could, merely through a pleasant relationship with a president in his second term low on political capital. That sends a message that most people won't understand and even fewer will actually appreciate.