Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Personality Cult?

Andrew Coyne --with some justification -- is frustrated. The Liberal Party, he writes, is preparing itself for Justin Trudeau. And, to that end, it will "transform itself into a personality cult. Anything but define itself."

I confess that I have reservations about the younger Trudeau. His support for the oil sands is a little too full throated for me. But, the oil sands aside, Coyne's knock against Trudeau is that he has no platform -- except for some vague defense of the middle class.

But let's be realistic. The way politics is played these days is different than the way it used to be played. We live in the era of the 24/7 campaign. And that means you must define your opponent before he or she defines him or herself. Unveiling a platform during a leadership race gives your opposition all kinds of time to frame you as they wish.The time for a platform is not during a leadership race. It's during an election.

There are more important questions to be answered during a leadership race. Does a candidate possess the character and temperament to be prime minister? I would argue, for instance, that Stephen Harper possesses neither. More importantly, does a candidate possess the communication skills to connect with Canadians? Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff -- for all their their academic brilliance -- did not.

And then there is the matter of experience -- which seems to be Justin's short suit. How he deals with that problem will either make him or break him.

Like Coyne, I would like to hear more ideas coming from the Liberal tent. But I don't expect to hear them until after the leadership race is over.


Kirbycairo said...

It is profoundly disingenuous for Mr. Coyne to bemoan the rise of Trudeau and to criticize the process as some kind of regrettable cult of personality. Mr. Coyne has been part of the media that has robbed our political culture of meaningful content. Coyne has written many articles in mindless praise of Harper while Harper has operated the first real completely contentless government. And when I say that I mean a government that has been doing many things to this country but most of them by stealth while continually avoiding actual addressing issues head on, and with a PM who has never answered an unvetted question since he came to power. Mr. Coyne has, de facto, celebrated the whole notion of emptying politics of content so his fussing now is completely nonsensical and not a little ironic.

Owen Gray said...

From what I read of Coyne's opinions, Kirby, it would appear that -- regardless of his economic policies -- Coyne believes Harper is profoundly undemocratic.

If he had paid more attention to the man and less to Harper's policies, perhaps Coyne would not have had to admit that he voted Liberal in the last election.

Anonymous said...

Harper's job action-less plan, has done what? Given our resources and, our resource jobs to Communist China, that's about it.

The media are mostly, propaganda machines for Harper. They are a disgrace to their professions. There is no such thing as, good honest journalism and reporting anymore.

Of course Harper isn't democratic. He was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation Party of 1989. It's kind of hard to miss. Harper has no ethics, morals, decency nor democracy in his make-up, what-so-ever.

Owen Gray said...

That's why whoever the Liberals choose has to be a man or a woman of integrity, Anon.

Dana said...

Owen, Coyne is the enemy of the possible in search of the perfect.

There won't be any chances any time soon to vote for someone who isn't a politician.

I know you understand what that means.

Owen Gray said...

And, because politics is the art of the possible, Dana, we'll always be disappointed by our politicians.

On the other hand, I continue to hope that Canadians will come to the conclusion that there is better prime ministerial material than the present specimen.

e.a.f. said...

I don't think ole andy has any thing profound to say at this point. He is part of the media problem which gave us stevie stime.

It would be nice to know what the Federal Liberals were all about but I'm from B.C. The provincial lieberals out here just say one thing, get elected and do another. It leaves one just a tad wary of anything a politician has to say. Better to look at what they have done, hope for the best and then see what they do, not what they say.

Haprer promised open government. Did we get it? No Secrecy abounds and scientists are muzzled. If people had looked a little closer at stevie's past actions, prior to voting for him, we could have avoided this mess.

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps folks will take David Suzuki's advice and vote for Joyce Murray, e.a.f. You probably have a pretty good read on what she's about.

I confess I don't.