Musings —02.07.2012 08:19 AM—
Politics is all about the effective use of symbols. Ask Jean Chretien or Brian Mulroney, they’ll tell you. Or they’ll show you.
Case study one: Summer 1993. Conservatives have just picked ex-justice minister Kim Campbell to be their leader. Campbell’s brainy, but she also doesn’t take herself too seriously. Earlier, someone circulated a photo in which a coiffed Campbell — bare shouldered — holds her Queen’s Counsel robes in front of her. The photo was republished around the world. One gushing account in Britain’s The Independent carried this headline: “A provocative picture may help Kim Campbell become leader of her country.”
The British paper wasn’t entirely wrong. Soon after her selection as Conservative leader, Campbell became the most popular prime minister in decades.