Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Would Paul Martin do the right thing?
If I read the news correctly these days, it's not that the Canadian electorate thinks the Liberals in general are corrupt. Rather, they think Paul Martin and his cronies are corrupt. And, truth be told, Martin isn't giving them any reason to change their minds, is he?
When facing the press, he stammers, he stutters, he's evasive, he can't make eye contact and so on. And the electorate seems to be surprisingly sophisticated in distinguishing between Martin and his boys, and the rest of the party, which inspires a kind of offbeat question: How could Martin best assure Canada that the Liberals are the party of integrity and accountability? And the answer is surprisingly simple: he and his entire good old boy network should resign.
Quite simply, Martin should suck it up, face the cameras and say something like, "We've tried to govern in a way that would make Canadians proud, and that would make them feel that we had their best interests at heart. It's obvious that we haven't lived up to those expectations so, for the good of the Liberal party and the country, we're going to step down."
I may be wrong, but I'm betting that kind of gesture would suddenly be the deal-breaker for a lot of people who were agonizing over who they were going to vote for. But that's not actually what this post is about.
Rather, having set the stage with that delightful little fantasy, I'm curious about one thing. If, based on numerous reliable polls, Martin was convinced that, if he stepped down as the leader of the Liberal Party, the Libs would win a majority in the next election, do you think he'd do it? Would Martin actually put the interests of his party above his own interests?
I don't think so, and that's what I dislike most about Martin -- that everything seems to be about him. I sincerely believe that, if he was offered that choice, he wouldn't take it. His overwhelming ego just wouldn't allow it.
One could probably say the same thing about Stephen Harper, who seems to be single-handedly responsible for making the CPC unpopular. I mean, Jesus, can you imagine how well the CPC would be doing in the polls if anyone but Harper was in charge? And yet, I'm sure Harper also would never consider the welfare of his party ahead of his own.
Thoughts? I'm just free associating here.