WHO WILL BE THE NEW CAPTAIN OF THE S.S. LIBERAL

With the twilight of his long political career approaching as sure as the end of the day arrives, Paul Martin has probably been giving his impending retirement some thought. Will he move to Europe, where he got his model for socializing Canada? Perhaps he will stay in Quebec. Maybe he will cruise the world on a CSL luxury coal freighter. Whatever his decision will be and whenever it will be announced, you can be sure that his potential successors are already mobilizing.

The S.S. Liberal will have a new captain the next time it heads out to sea. Among the deckhands that are now fantasizing about the captain’s hat, you can be sure that Belinda Stronach is among them. To tell the truth, I am surprised that she hasn’t attempted to cross the floor again since the Liberal fortunes have evaporated. While giving it some thought today, it suddenly occurred to me that there is a parallel between her and Hillary Clinton that I hadn’t seen, and that is a desire for power.

While many have said to me that it looks good on her to see the Liberal’s fortunes failing, I think that this is exactly the type of scenario that can help her. After all, you can’t get the top job when the boss is doing a fantastic job.

Other names that are being bandied about are Michael Ignatieff, the Harvard professor, born in Toronto. His nomination in Toronto has been steeped in controversy after he was more or less inserted into the riding over the wishes of the people there. I find it strange that the Liberals would choose not only a candidate that incited such raw emotion among the riding he is supposed to represent, but who is also a strong supporter of the War in Iraq. Here is a quote from a paper he wrote before Bush rode into Baghdad:

“Iraq may claim to have ceased manufacturing these weapons after 1991, but these claims remain unconvincing, because inspectors found evidence of activity after that date. So what to do? Efforts to embargo and sanction the regime have hurt only the Iraqi people. What is left? An inspections program, even a permanent one, might slow the dictator’s weapons programs down, but inspections are easily evaded. That leaves us, but only as a reluctant last resort, with regime change.”

Now this man would fit the “he sleeps with Washington” mantra that the Liberal Party has so tried to pin to Mr. Harper, but matters such as hypocrisy do not seem to matter.

One name that no one has mentioned yet, (I’ll break the ice for them), is Buzz “Leftfield” Hargrove. I have been trying to decipher his incoherent rambling this week and the only thing that I could think of is that he is being made to say things against his will. It hadn’t occurred to me until tonight that he may be on the verge of stronaching. (Definition below.Yes, it’s a brand new word. Someone has to make them up.)

stronach – verb, to change one’s allegiance, to cross the floor *example: “Unhappy with his present situation, the politician stronached to the opposing side” variations: to stronach, ing, ed

Could it be that Buzz, knowing that the NDP have probably peaked for his lifetime is tired of playing the same old tune? Could it be that ambition has taken hold? I guess only time will tell.

Then there is, of course, Ralph Goodale. Ralph now appears to be a “good old boy”, with the charges by some of insider trading and budget leaks making him damaged goods for all political purposes. His ascension is highly doubtful. After all, the last finance minister just didn’t work out for the party.

Whoever takes the wheel and leads the S.S. Liberal out into the political shipping lanes, I only hope that they have a sense of right and wrong, and of the dangers of socialism and judicial activism. I hope that they have a strong morality and have strong character and ethics than we have witnessed in my lifetime. (I know, now I’m just being plain silly.) Even better, I hope that the S.S. Liberal simply remains in drydock for a good, long time.