MUSINGS, NOVEMBER 10, 2018

Ponderables

Does U.S. President Donald Trump have even one redeeming virtue?

When will the CFL put a team in Halifax and end the travesty of western cities playing in the eastern semi-finals?

Things I Firmly Believe

Tony Clement should resign as an MP.

The importance of communication skills cannot be overemphasized

As the next item illustrates, greed is a stronger motivator than shame.

Political “Entitlements”

When it comes to milking “entitlements,” former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson makes Senator Mike Duffy and former Liberal MP David Dingwall look like pikers. Dingwall, of course,  is  the MP who, when confronted about his dubious spending habits, famously defended himself by saying, “I’m entitled to my entitlements.”

Lack Of Effective National Political Leaders

Those of you who follow my feature “Thought For Today” on Facebook or Twitter know that it often describes characteristics of effective leadership. And many of you also know that I’m  a political junkie. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I believe we’re living in an era of an unprecedented lack of effective national political leaders.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has proven to be an annoyingly Pollyannish and narcissistic politician who seems to care more about his image, his socks, and his personal social engineering agenda than effectively leading the country. Let’s start with some of his major broken election promises, such as  election reform, no more omnibus bills, more openness and transparency, nothing but evidence-based decisions, modest deficits, a balanced budget, better federal-provincial relationships, lower small business taxes, restoration of home mail delivery service, and a new health accord. 

Then there are his foolish pronouncements, like “the budget will balance itself,” and his praise for the Chinese and Cuban dictatorships. His naive international missteps, such as trying to introduce gender equality and human rights provisions into trade deals, are becoming legendary. His bizarre behaviour during his lengthy visit to India made both himself and our country laughing stocks. Let’s not overlook his mind-boggling, wrong-headed financial decisions, such as giving eleven million dollars to a known terrorist, and telling a Liberal MP that he doesn’t have to show up in the House of Commons in order to collect his pay. And hearkening back to my earlier comment about the importance of communication skills, unless he’s reading talking points (almost certainly written by someone else) he’s an appallingly poor speaker.

Opposition leader Andrew Scheer at times looks more like a person who’s auditioning for a leadership role than someone who’s actually playing it; often looking a bit, as the great National Post columnist Christie Blatchford put it, prissy. For example, although he eventually got it right, he initially waffled too much about whether he would reverse Trudeau’s legalization of marijuana should he become prime minister. However, he did demonstrate timely, decisive leadership in his handling of the mind-boggling Tony Clement affair this week, and appeared quite confident while doing so. But many still consider him  a work in progress.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has to be concerned about his own party having severe doubts about his leadership qualities; which is not surprising since he’s exhibited absolutely none since winning the NDP crown.

The Green Party’s Elizabeth May is basically a one-trick pony (the environment) who lost two federal elections in Nova Scotia and one in Ontario before finding enough like-minded souls in British Columbia to elect her in 2011. One example of her leadership shortcomings was her obscenity-laden speech at the 2015 press gallery dinner in Ottawa in which she characterized terrorist Omar Khadr as a very classy individual. Another example was her being accused earlier this year of being an abusive employer. (Yes, Omar Khadr is the terrorist to whom the eleven million dollars mentioned earlier was paid.)

Political Idiocy

Getting back to Prime Minister Trudeau’s profligate spending, the Liberals spent twenty-three million dollars to purchase  631 new vehicles to be used for only a few days during the G7 summit in Quebec last June. It’s now known that many of them were hardly ever used, and some not at all. They’re in the process of trying to sell them off. Even at discounts ranging as high as fifty percent only 167 have been sold.

The only way this could be worse is if those 167 bargain vehicles were purchased by government employees. It’s my fervent hope that some intrepid reporter is feverishly searching for this information.


MUSINGS, OCTOBER 27, 2018