Post Mortum Reflections
I have been absorbing the news of Belinda Stronach's defection to the Liberal party and trying to come to terms with what I witnessed today. It really is quite remarkable. The only comparator I can come up with is the defection of demagogue Lucien Bouchard from Brian Mulroney's government to the separatist cause. Perhaps that can be better expressed as the return of Lucien Bouchard from his federalist flirtation to his separatist roots.
That defection, like this one, happened at a critical moment in the political history of our country and was calculated to do the most political damage to the party and leader left behind. Perhaps the most laughable moment in this latest tawdry affair came when Ms. Stronach defended her betrayal of her constituents and her party by stating that she wanted to bring integrity into the political process. Pardon me, but that is just pure humbug.
Remember that too I am a turncoat and know something of crossing the River Stix. I left the Liberals and joined the Conservatives last December. The difference is that in doing so I was at least consistent with my public utterings and views on matter political before and after my admittedly inconsequential "defection." Belinda Stronach on the other hand was specific in condemning the very budget, party and leader for which and for whom she is now prepared and eager to vote.
She was very specific in denouncing Prime Minister Martin as a leader. She was very specific in denouncing the sponsorship scandal and denouncing Mr. Martin for either knowing about it and doing nothing, or not knowing about it and being incompetent. So with what are we left? Unlike politics, the first principle of philosophy is that something cannot both be, and not be, at the same time. Perhaps it is even the first principle of reason.
Is Belinda Stronach then a liar for denouncing the Liberals, Paul Martin, the sponsorship scandal and his current budget, or is she a liar for supporting all that now? The rules of logic and reason require us to believe one proposition or the other. Don't think that's true? Consider this. On February 24, 2004, in her bid to be leader of the Conservative party, she had this to say to the combined Canadian and Empire clubs of Canada:
The day the Auditor General released her findings on the public works scandal was a sad day for Canada. And Canadians right across the country are still angry. This was not just about management or waste ? although there's been plenty of that in Ottawa these past ten years.I heard on CFRB this morning that she attended the Conservative election war cabinet meeting last Saturday, where the confidential Conservative party election strategy and tactics were discussed. On the following Tuesday she emerged from her privileged Conservative vantage point to reveal herself as a full fledged midshipwoman on the corrupt ship HMCS Grit.
It was about corruption and contempt for the Canadian taxpayer. It was about a lack of competence and a lack of leadership.
I do know this: as a former CEO of a major public corporation I was held to the high governance standards - and also had to make a profit. If I ran my company the way Paul Martin ran the finances of the country I would have been fired.
You cannot run away from your own record.
Paul Martin wants us to believe that he was a stowaway on the good ship Chretien when if fact he was the first mate. Canada deserves better. Canadians deserve better.
As I recall, the nickname for midshipmen in the navy is "Snotty," because of their habit of wiping the snot from their runny noses on the sleeves of their tunics. From now on I shall refer to Belinda Stronach as Snotty Stronach, cabin girl to Captain Paul Dithers.
Snotty won her prominent billet on the ship of state through betrayal and expediency. Remember that fact as she speaks to us of wanting to bring integrity back into our much abused political system. Snotty has a great deal to learn, and nothing to teach us, on that subject.