AP has outdone himself. He is the clear winner of our Comment of the Week Award. The message in his comment is clear. Beware the Messiah. Read his take on four leaders in the past who looked to slay the dragon and only got burned in the process. An excellent discussion in the ongoing Next Face debate.
Here is AP's entire post as promised.
And while you visit Next Face be sure to cast your vote. Ignatieff and Dryden are neck and neck. Dion is trailing after 100 votes cast.
February 15, 2006.
"Ignatieff and the Next Face Manifesto."
Beware the messiah.
This comment is not intended to be an endorsement of any one of the potential leadership candidates. I just want everybody to take a deep breath and think.
Recent Canadian political history is littered with new leaders who were going to rejuvenate and save their party from political oblivion. These new leaders were destined to win big and leave the other party leaders in their dust. Amazing how things did not turn out that way. I present to the faithful readers of Next Face the holy quad of electoral disasters.
Exhibit # 1 – John Napier Turner. In 1984 he returned to lead the Liberal Party of Canada after years on Bay Street. He was going to save the party and show the good ol’ Trudeau Liberals how to govern. Turner was new. He was not part of the Trudeau crowd who Canadians came to dislike. Turner was a breath of fresh air and he had new ideas. Of course we were told he was head and shoulders above this guy named Jean Chretien who had been around forever. He spoke so much better then the little guy from Shawinigan. We were asked if we really wanted the magnificent Liberal Party to be led by some guy who told us how much he loved Canada and loved hoofing it to separatists. Turner was different. He was going to be nice and gentle to Quebec’s separatists and he was going to show this new kid named Brian Mulroney just how you go about winning gigantic majorities. Election night 1984: PC 211, Lib 40, NDP 30, Other 1.
Exhibit # 2 – Avril Phaedra Douglas “Kim” Campbell. In 1993 there was a new fresh face on the political landscape. Campbell was going to lead the Progressive Conservative Party and take over from where Brian Mulroney left off. She was going to win big majorities and make Canadians love themselves again. She was going to do politics differently. Oh yeah, one more thing, she was going to wipe the floor with some guy named Jean Chretien. Apparently this guy didn’t have the greatest command of English the way she did. He was too old and a has-been. He liked the rough and tumble too much and loved sticking it to separatists. He also loved sticking it to any premier who got in the way of his love for one Canada. He liked to play rough and she like to play nice. Result: Lib 177, BQ 54, Ref 52, NDP 9, PC 2, Ind. 1.
Exhibit # 3 – Stockwell Burt Day. Jr. In 2000 we were told that his “Quebec roots” and his “fluency” in French were just what the new Canadian Alliance party needed to break through into Ontario and Quebec. We were told that he was a fresh face with new ideas. Apparently he too was going to wipe the floor with Jean Chretien. It seems this Chretien guy Chretien was this ol’ geezer type who wasn’t hip and happening and his only shtick was telling us about how much he loved Canada and the Rocky Mountains. Oh yeah he loved to kick the stuffing out of Quebec separatist leaders. Well Stockwell was all about getting along and he was going to do things differently and everybody would see that this country needed was to kick out this crazy ol’man Chretien and let young people with new ideas, like Stockwell Day, have a crack at governing. Result: Lib 172, Alliance 66, BQ 38, NDP 13, PC 12
Exhibit # 4 – Paul Edgar Phillipe Martin. In 2004 Paul Martin became Liberal leader and Prime Minister and he was going to do things differently. He was a fresh face the real brains behind the Chretien government. Finally the crazy old man Jean Chretien left and just in time, no doubt, because Paul Martin had to save and rebuild the Liberal Party so it could win the largest electoral victory in Canadian history. Paul Martin was going to win seats everywhere. He was going to be nice to everybody. He was smart too and could speak well – not like that Chretien guy who could only tell us one thing: he loved Canada and the Rockies and that he didn’t like separatists and loved to take ‘em out whenever he could. The ol’ man was not about cuddly and soft and he kept on telling us that if you wanted to be Prime Minister of this country you had to have elephant sized cojones. Oh yeah, he also told us that no premier is your friend and that they were in the business of fucking over Canadian prime ministers as if it were a bodily function for them. Pshaw we were told. Paul Martin was a nice guy and everybody loved him. Besides after his “mad as hell tour”, fixing health care for a generation and putting in place a solid record of achievement the crazy-ass-big majorities would keep rolling in. Result: Inherited a majority, won a minority and finally lost power altogether. Not bad for two years worth of work.
February 15, 2006 1:52 PM