Sunday, September 14, 2008

Victor Ruminates on the differences between Politics and Politicians in the Excites States and Canerda

The Sarah Palin competence controversy provides an exiting opportunity
for Canadians to examine the role that competence plays in the
selection of Cabinet Ministers in this country.

Those with a minimal knowledge of Canadian politics understand that
there are four criteria for selecting Cabinet Ministers. These are:

Region, plurality, gender and ethnicity. Competence for the Cabinet
portfolio, which is an executive portfolio often involving billions in
spending authority, is an unintended and rare consequence of this

Before briefly explaining how these four selection criteria are
applied for selecting Cabinet Ministers, we should acknowledge that
competence is not always a leading factor in selecting a Prime Minister.

Look at Pierre Trudeau. When he became PM at age 48 he had 3 years of
political experience. Prior to that he lectured briefly and edited an
obscure policy pamphlet in Quebec. As for his foreign affairs
experience, it consisted of backpacking around the world well into his
30's, an age when the rest of us had a job. He famously wore a Nazi
helmut during WW2 and fawned over Castro and Mao. We should brag.

In terms of the criteria for selecting a Cabinet, it works as follows.

In Cabinet selections, a PM needs regional balance and plurality means
that a dummy from a big constituency gets the nod over a Rhodes
scholar from a small one. Gender selection and Ethnicity require no

Let's look at the results of this process.

Region: How about Max Bernier, the biker chick boinker from Quebec
elevated to international relations.

Gender. Can you say Hedi Frye?

Ethnicity: Dosanjh can glide from party to party assured of a Cabinet
post. Ditto Raymond Chan, another Mensa luminary

As for plurality being a determinant, it's hard to top the career of
Sheila Copps.

Ms. Copps did nothing before entering politics other than have the
good fortune of being sired by a popular Mayor of Hamilton. She made
her name in Opposition as a member of the so-called Rat pack. Her most
famous exploit in that phase of her career, proudly described in her
biography, consisted of crawling in fury across a finance committee
table to intimidate John Crosbie. If I saw Ms. Copps massive butt
crawling at speed in my direction, I too would be intimidated.

She became Deputy Prime Minister. The PM in this country has far more
executive powers than the President of the United States. Scampering
Sheila was a heartbeat away from the job.

Another member of the Rat Pack was Brian Tobin, later touted by many
as a Prime Minister in waiting. Prior to being elected at 24, he spent
2 years as a disc jockey at a 5000 watt radio station. I'm impressed.

So while Canadians smugly sniff around the competence issue in other
countries, we maintain a blissful or willful ignorance about how we
elevate people to powerful Cabinet posts here at home.

Maybe with two elections in the next 7 months, it would be a good time
to start. But we won't .

Victor Godin


Tomorrow morning, Monday, September 15th, I must be at a work assignment at 8:30.

Thus, no blog.

Back Tuesday in fill mojo.

The Science of Shear Conjecture

"Mayencourt said B.C. residents are already taking more transit and driving less as a result of the provincial tax, which came in July."

This fantasy came from what info pool?

Lorne, give your head a shake.

We really, really, really want you to get rid of Hedy at long last, but stay out of Disneyland en route.


Thefts from autos are on the rise Went up 33 per cent in 28 days in downtown core

Headline in this morning's Province.

Wonderful tribute
to the great work being done by Insite and Harm Reduction.

We all send our gratitude.

So there!

My whole life I have thought of myself as not very bright about money.

I am neither rich nor poor.

I am a typical Canadian rube, overextended, and blissfully, ignorantly happy.

All my life I have watched the Masters of the Universe, the Titans of Industry, the Golden Apollos of Finance strut across their skyscrapers and luxury SUVs and second fairway homes and thought of myself - at least in this area - a lesser human being.

Imagine with what glee, I receive the daily count as Lehman Brothers goes down to the canvas.

Shares worth $80 last week are now below $10. Assets, if you can call bad mortgages that, are being sold off at fire sale prices. And the $120 Million a year CEO's are looking at the pavement a mere 55 stories below and considering it a solution to their woes.

Of course, one cries for the poor schleps who entrusted their life savings to these arrogant bastards.

But that feeling is quickly replaced by a petty sense of triumph - albeit entirely unearned - watching the mighty choke on their rugala.

Palin Revealed???

This is a five-page condemnation of Gov. Sarah Palin, as printed in today's NY Times.

If you are a Palin admirer, you will abhore this kind of writing.

If, like me, you find this candidate offensive and dangerous, you will welcome anything that reveals more than can be shown from a podium.

Either way, it's great Sunday morning reading.