Sunday, April 17, 2005


Conservatives smell blood

The Conservative Party of Canada is wise to let sleeping dogs lie. Conservatives, for the most part, are content to have the party shift towards the center. In fact, former Reform Party stalwart Myron Thompson admits that after 12 years in Ottawa on the opposition benches, the government side looks good (and has never seemed so close).

This is in stark contrast to the state of the Liberal Party of Canada. Make no mistake about it, this party is in deep, deep trouble. Jean Lapierre can rattle swords that they are ready for an election, John MacKay can wax poetic about how Ontario gives and gets it fair share and various Cabinet members can make threats that Budget 2005 measures will not be implemented without the Liberals in power, but nobody is buying it.

Prime Minister Paul Martin likes to wax poetic, to anyone who will listen, about the Mexican peso crisis and how world leaders (Martin included) worked to fix the problem. It appears he may be adopting the same strategy with the Liberal brand. Devalue it, almost to the brink, and then build backup.

It is rare that I see value in Globe columnist Margaret Wente's work, but she may have written the best summary of Martin's PM tenure. The executive summary reads like this:
1. Liberals are stuck with a leader that they no longer want;
2. Martin is carrying too much weight and might drop on the campaign
trail (PM's are supposed to look like that after retirement);
3. He drinks up to 15 cups a coffee a day (yikes);
4. He is a workaholic - not the best if you are the boss
5. He possesses neither the leadership nor the management ability to
govern the country; and
6. He will cover the country trying to speak to every Rotary Club.

The critique is harsh, but not off base. One could add that Martin's single-handedly trying to eliminate unemployment in the country. He has added more advisors, on more subjects, than anyone in recent memory. In fact, stay by your phone and he may call and ask you to help solve some HIGH priority problem.

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