Saturday, July 16, 2016

They Never Were

Tony Clement wants to be leader of the Conservative Party. Perhaps he believes that the third time will be the charm. But, Bob Hepburn writes, there are five reasons Clement should reconsider his bid:

First, Clement deservedly earned the title of “The King of Pork-Barrel Politics” for his disgraceful role in doling out $50 million in special projects in his riding that were to be related to the 2010 G8 summit in Huntsville. Instead, most of the money went to totally unrelated projects far from the summit site, such as renovating bandshells and gazebos, planting flowers, repairing public washrooms and paving roads in his riding.

Second, Clement became an international joke when he enthusiastically killed the important long-form census of 2011. He saw it as an invasion of privacy for asking such delicate questions as how many bathrooms are in your home. The move so outraged Munir Sheikh, the country’s chief statistician, that he quit in disgust.  

Third, Clement is talking up his immigrant background, but he has a lot to answer for on immigration. Despite being a senior cabinet minister, he did and said nothing over the last few years as the Harper government deliberately dragged its heels in allowing Syrian refugees to come to Canada. He also kept his mouth shut when his cabinet colleague Kellie Leitch proposed a snitch hotline clearly aimed at Muslims where people could report “barbaric cultural practices.” 

Fourth, Clement is a Harper clone — and happily so. Like Harper, he is stiff, devoid of charisma and uninspiring. He is well-liked by the out-of-favour Harperites and offers voters nothing fresh, from his call to stop funding the CBC to Iran-bashing that voters didn’t see — and reject — in Harper himself in the last election.

And, fifth, there is Peter Mackay. Hepburn is sure he too will throw his hat in the ring. Mackay also has lots of skeletons in his closet. But, at least, he seems less moribund than Clement.

All in all, they're not an inspiring bunch. But, then, they never were. 

Image: Chris Young/Canadian Press


The Mound of Sound said...

A Tory friend served with Clement in the Harris government and describes him as an incredibly stupid human being. There's a reason Clement is wooden and doctrinaire. It relieves him of the need to think more than superficially. Matters complex and deep exceed his intellect and aptitude. He'd be more of an automaton than Harper only far less cunning and shrewd.

Owen Gray said...

Like your friend, I suspect that other Tory insiders have taken their measure of the man, Mound. That's why he's running for the third time -- and why he won't get there for the third time.

the salamander said...

.. i think there's a certain primitive 'drive' .. a dim kardashian urge for exposure.. a need for attention.. and of course a need to retain some relevance in the political or Party order of things. Thus the need to elevate oneself and circle the media light bulb

Seen another way.. these partisan shills truly are parasitic .. like lamprey or remora..

Lastly, money is not a concern.. It seems we are paying millionaire politicians with unbelievably astounding good luck with their 'blind trust' investment portfolios. I presume that each of the 'conservative' leadership candidates (and I use the term leadership loosely) are millionaires like Stephen Harper. Whether mulling leaping in considering leaning towards or already declared, the various Harper winkie wannabe's all have the dough to blow.. just to be at the big crap table..

Certainly, Jason Kenney was not short on money.. just short on marital status. Sack of hammers McKay is loaded. John Baird equally so. James Moore a wealthy but unwise man.. but none of them give a damn. So maybe its just the urge to be the big pig in a dreary complicated and confusing pond.. and thus we see dullard droogs like Clement, confounding oddities like Kellie Leitch et al throwing money at the political toilet Harper escaped through.

Like what happens to the 'winner' ? ? In some truly bizarre dreamworld they get sucked down the toilet, spinning faster and faster amidst the partisan muck and excrement.. and emerge in a septic tank where a cheshire cat resembling Stephen Harper or Ray Novak greets them ? I just don't get where its just a short step from there. to mebbe being Prime Minister.. ? Like you just have to be apartisan creep or freak, pay your dues.. enter a whacko contest.. and hey kumbaya shazambo.. you da PM .. in 7 years.. mebbe..

Owen Gray said...

It's interesting, salamander, to note how wealthy these folks have become while toiling in the public sector. They disparage public employees, of course. But, like Willie Sutton, they know where the money is.