Tuesday, May 16, 2017

No Stanfields

The Conservative Leadership Race -- thankfully -- is coming to an end. The whole spectacle has left Michael Harris underwhelmed:

The only thing that matters to this post-Harper cast of wannabes — the only thing they have to offer — is winning the leadership. They have made a gift of their blind ambition to their followers. How visionary of them.

Yes, the highest recommendation Conservative leadership candidates (and their many enablers in the media) can come up with is that they can win in 2019. For proof, they point to the candidates’ fundraising success. Could there be a better definition of contemporary politics — money and power for their own sake? No one beats a political opponent anymore; they out-fundraise them, out-market them and then outwit a voting public exhausted by information overload.

These folks do not inspire because they are treading water:

Instead of rebuilding, the CPC is trying to parade a new leader figure down the tawdry runway of image politics. They are hoping it can all be done by a guy in natty suits who played football in high school and has a weakness for chocolate. (There I am with you, Max.)

They should have learned from the Liberals. Exactly what did they think was behind that mighty implosion of blind ambition that gave Canada and the Grits Michael Ignatieff — and practically blew the Liberals to hell in the process?

Only one candidate -- Michael Chong -- appeals to Harris. A card carrying Conservative friend of mine cast his vote for Chong. He entered the party supporting Bob Stanfield. But, over the years, he turned away in fury as Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper proved to be pale imitations -- or the exact opposite -- of Stanfield. The last time around he voted for Justin. But he is now deeply disappointed with Trudeau the Younger.

I wonder how many other card carrying Conservatives feel as he does. There are no Stanfields in the running.


The Mound of Sound said...

Thanks for the reminder, Owen. I need to re-order some briefs from those magnificent Nova Scotians.

I take exception to Harris' depiction of Bernier as a guy with a weakness for chocolate. It more accurately should have read "chocolate and well-upholstered biker chicks."

Maxime is a radical with hard Libertarian instincts. There's a touch of Steve "tear it all down" Bannon to him. He wants to stage a political-economic coup d'etat.

Could he become prime minister? What did everyone say about Trump during the Republican primaries, during the presidential election campaign, on America's voting day? Recall how aghast we all were the morning after.

If that was to happen the blame will lie squarely at Trudeau's feet for betraying his promise of electoral reform. Much of the good his father achieved in advancing Canadian democracy could be erased by an act of inexcusable cowardice by the son.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about that, Owen. All of these Con candidates remind me of Stanfields - unwashed Stanfields worn for a week.


Lorne said...

I am not ashamed to admit that I once voted for Stanfield, Owen. He always struck me for his fundamental decency, something Harris is right to note is sorely lacking today.

Owen Gray said...

It wouldn't have taken a great deal of courage to institute a provisional ranked ballot, Mound. These days, courage is an endangered species.

Owen Gray said...

True, Cap. Even Stanfields need to be refreshed regularly.

Anonymous said...


Owen Gray said...

The line I remember about Stanfield, Lorne, was: "The best prime minister Canada never had."

Owen Gray said...

Upholstery is only skin deep, lovingit.

Anonymous said...

Amen brother. I do like to be well-heeled though, if you know what I mean.
Makes for better travel.

the salamander said...

.. as I recall, a single out of context photo of a bumbling & awkwardly fumbled football cast a pall over Stanfield. That's a wonderful quote from him bu the way.. I never had a doubt he was a good and honest man.. not a bumbler or fumbler. Michael Harris of course is a tem. never seems to put a foot wrong. Riddle me this though. why did O'Kenney, O'Leary, O'Tool, O'Baird, O'Clement, O'mcKay, O'JamesMoore et al cease n desist dreams of power? And now the dear Ms O'rona Ambrose suddenly discover an affection for time with the family and Directorships of MegaCorps and Higher Education?

Hmm.. though Stornaway like has a great executive chef, is rent free with limo etc.. perhaps the dreary idea of almost 7 years of wailing in the wilderness of phony & faux 'conservatism' and mingling with the vaunted base and black ops election droogs just aint so appealing? After all, its not so much fun not being invited into the trough to wallow in the insider information & fatten your portfolio.. only Dr Kellie Leitch is still embeded via her previously undeclared involvements with the federal and provincial landlords, so her cash flow is still sailing just fine.. but the rest?

Bernier may treat Canadians to his stunningly weak English in Question Period. and enjoy the fruits of Stornoway.. before giving up for the big money he's connected too. Lavalin, Bombardier no doubt. I've met a lot of Quebecers.. almost all I ever worked with had flawless command of both official languages.. and sorry to say, any of them would make a better PM than Bernier.. even the dishwashers in Hull

Rona is off to Washington to pimp for Woodrow Wilson's ascendancy & translate Canada eh to Trump et al.. and rodeo guy and his kids can fly down to glean more insider trade and commerce info and fatten all their portfolios..

Bernier? He'll have lotsa parking at Stornoway.. for biker chicks after The Chaudiere and the Hull discos close in the early morning rain

Owen Gray said...

Given the circus that is unfolding south of the border, salamander, it's hard to understand why the Conservatives would opt for the sincerest form of flattery.

The Mound of Sound said...

Jesus, Sal, is "the Chaud" still around? There's a name that revives long dormant memories. In was in the beer parlour one night in the 70s when a biker war was raging. Suddenly a loud boom and the cinder block wall buckled. A biker had left the bar, got into his pickup truck in the lot, turned the key and entered biker Valhalla. The Chaud, the Standish, the Beacon ("broken") Arms.

My one and only appearance in Time magazine came in 74 in a photo of me sticking a microphone in Stansfield's face on the first day of the federal election. I spent most of that election traveling with the David Lewis campaign.

For me it was Pierre Trudeau's most shameful moment. Stanfield was campaigning on wage and price controls. Trudeau ridiculed Stanfield with "zap, you're frozen." Stanfield's leave evaporated as Trudeau drained union support from the NDP. Even David Lewis couldn't hold on to his seat. Then, weeks after being returned as prime minister, Trudeau implemented wage and price controls, the dreaded Anti-Inflation Board.

the salamander said...

.. Chaud is gone, Mound.. A conference center is now on the site
You know, where political animals & biker chicks can discuss policy ..

Dana said...

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.


Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Dana. For those -- like me -- who didn't understand the reference, it's clear that the patrons gave the place a particular kind of reputation.