Thursday, 4 December 2008

Fuzzy on all fronts

The image - out-of-focus and so poorly composed - was telling. That the Liberal Party of Canada - the party of Laurier, King, Trudeau and Pearson - showed itself inept at something so simple as focusing a camera showed me everything I needed to know about our leaders.

There was a time - not so long ago - that you could count on the Liberals. You may have disagreed with their policies. You'd have been right to say they were oft-arrogant, an attitude no doubt the result of running one of the world's oldest functioning democracies for the better part of a century. But at the very least you'd expect them to be competent. To get things done. Quietly, seamlessly, and occasionally, with a touch of class. The Liberal Party - and by extension the civil service it built in its image - was an execution machine.

No more. The Party lost more than its two warring leaders in the Chretien-Martin feuds. In business terms, it's lost its ability to execute. The party that gave us free national healthcare, our own flag, and the ability to amend our own constitution can no longer find its way out of a paper bag.

Stephane Dion, the stiff academic who led his Party to its worst-ever electoral showing a mere two months ago, now wants to be our Prime Minister. Yet in his (and his sidekick Jack Layton)'s ravenous, near-rabid drive to topple the Harper government (one of which I am not a fan), I'm reminded of a Seinfeld episode. There was George, (a man so inept at life as to be unable to sustain a job or a relationship) who, upon hearing one of his lies about to crumble, running out of the bathroom yelling "Vandelay! Vandelay!" George trips, falls, then lands face-down on the floor of Jerry's apartment.

At this point a bemused Jerry stands over him, remarking: "And you want to be my latex salesman."

Friends, we're all Jerry now.

How sad.

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