Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where are the Leaders?

Many have noted that Jack Layton came very close to matching the 43 seats gained in 1988 by the NDP under the leadership of Ed Broadbent.

But not many have pointed out the universe of distance between Broadbent and Layton.

It has been a long time since we have seen True Character on display in Canadian politics.

Who is the last Great Man who could cite chapter and verse of literature, history, war, agriculture, music and personal life?

This election was interesting in its minutia and its betting possibilities and not much else.

Barbara Yaffe says in her front page piece in the Sun this morning that Harper "has not demonstrated the warmth, openness, communication skills or values that a lot of voters want in their leader."

She's right; but go further, much further.

Harper is a reasonable enough manager; but he is a vapid blank of a person. Can you imagine struggling through a coffee or dinner with this fellow?

Dion - the less said the better. But who stands in the wings? Michael Ingatieff and Bob Rae. Oh, and "star candidate" Justin Trudeau. Lord help us.

Adrian Carr and Elizabeth May demonstrated the art of the wasted vote and why the Green party needs another 30 years or so to become a contendah.

Now, to some specific Yeas and Boos.

Thank goodness we can now say goodbye to Raymond Chan in Richmond, Don Bell in North Vancouver and Blair Wilson in West Vancouver. We don't know that their replacements will fare any better, but could they do much worse or much less?

The most baffling, confounding and maddening Boo comes in Vancouver centre where Dr. Hedy Fry, possibly the least deserving parliamentarian of all time, won for the sixth time in a row.

None of us know what it is that she has done for her riding to warrant this affection and loyalty.

Lorne Mayencourt, her Conservative opponent, whom she beat decisively, actually built a drug treatment centre in Prince George, a rare enough accomplishment for anyone let alone a politician.

The currency in political life has diminished significantly in the last 20 years. At all three levels of government, leadership, character and inspiration are at an all time low.

Will a new generation of The Inspired emerge?

We can only hope so.