The cartoonist should expect the unexpected
The above cartoon is the first draft to the original that was printed in The Hamilton Spectator. It was one of those cartoons that I thought I could safely draw even before the event took place. The going presumption was that there were just two unpalatable options before Stephane Dion in response to the Throne Speech. Several news agencies had sources saying that the Liberals in the House of Commons would opt to support the government rather than declaring non-confidence and subsequently pushing Canadians into a Federal election campaign.
It wasn't until about 4:30 that Stephane Dion announced that the Liberals would propose amendments to Mr Harper's agenda but, if they were rejected, his party would abstain from the confidence votes in the national interest. That's not exactly a decaration of "confidence in Mr. Harper's Conservative government." So I had to do something about the chalk board scrawlings by humiliated boy Stephane just to be fair, (not that it's necessary to be fair when editorial cartooning.)
If fairness is the strength of this cartoon, cheating may be its weakness. Through the magic of photoshop, I've banked images for future reuse. The classroom background is completely recycled from a cartoon I drew 2 years earlier:
...and funny enough it features Stephen Harper as opposition leader in the very same embarassing spot as Stephane Dion. The modification only had to be made in the content of the chalk writing.
...and as it turns out I was able to make the letters easier to read than the previous version. The only problem is that I jumped the gun before Dion's decision was made and I sent the early version to my syndicate. Oh well. Here's the final version: