Comments about Chrétien

Yesterday’s wee post, linking to Don Martin’s Post column, generated quite a bit of commentary about my friend Jean Chrétien.  Some of it was highly, highly critical.

A sampling:

  • I ran into Jean at the Stampede some years ago. He was wearing a battered cowboy hat, jeans, and boots. I introduced myself and we chatted briefly. Next year’s Stampede I ran into him on the Stampede grounds again. He shook my hand, looked closely at me, and remembered my first name. Now that’s political style! – Joel Coates
  • Chretien, though, was definitely one of the better ones… I shudder to think about where we would have been if he [hadn’t been Prime Minister]. – M. Bellecourt
  • I remember they used to call Chretien “yesterday’s man” when he was low in the polls in opposition – now how did that go? Ah, yes – consecutive majorities. – Sandra Gifford
  • I think he’s tops. – Derek Lipman
  • Agree or disagree with his direction for the country, at least he proved himself an able leader and someone who was willing to find pragmatic and workable solutions, unlike this lot we’re stuck with now. – Gord Gilmour
  • In Europe, we loved Trudeau and highly respected Chretien. – Allegra Fortissima
  • I heard Jean Chretien speak at the University of Guelph in 1989, when he was out of politics. I was just so impressed by his engagement with the audience, his self-deprecating style, and his natural wit. And yes, damn, it it was inspiring. – Domenico
  • Unlike the last couple of PMs we’ve had to endure, Chretien knew how to govern. He had a vision, and while he was not always profoundly illuminating, he knew where he wanted Canada to go, and, more importantly, he more or less got us there without dividing and conquering Canadians. And, when it mattered, he could make the right call. He spared an entire generation of Canadians a tremendous amount of blood and suffering by keeping us out of Iraq, and along with his support of same sex marriage (and enduring direct attacks from the church for doing so), I’ll always hold Chretien in very, very high regard. – Kaplan
  • I remember Chretien giving a speech in Prince Rupert, BC cica late 1989 / ‘90. It inspired and convinced me that better days were ahead for both Canada and the Liberal Party. Everyone there understood and felt that Chretien was one of us, that he understood what Canadians were thinking and what they wanted out of a leader. – Francesco Sorbara
  • There are other great Liberals, I’m sure. But none have his presence or his innate ability to know what the average Canadian actually wants from government. With apologies to the current leader and to those very committed, genuine folks who support him, there is a gulf the size Canada between where we were with Chretien and where the party is now. – Michael Hale


Bosh Watch Tweet

This makes me super depressed.  Shoot me now, someone.

Slowly but surely, Chris Bosh is giving Toronto the kiss-off, and causing a minor Twitterquake in the process.

The Raptors’ all-star forward – at least, that’s his designation until July 1, when the NBA declares open season on players out of contract – changed his location from Toronto to “Everywhere” on his Twitter account, and removed a biography section that noted his status as Raptors captain. Meantime, his website was listed as down for maintenance on Tuesday morning.


The Daily Idiocy Award

…and we have a winner! Charlie Angus, come on down!

Now, it pains me to say this about Charlie, because he is a fellow aging punk rocker who dabbles in politics. He’s a good guy and usually pretty sensible.

But this bizarre attack on the CBC, just to get at Kory, is dopey. It’s foolish. It’s boneheaded, fatheaded, thick, cloddish, doltish, dense, dim, dull, dumb, obtuse, gormless, unthinking, nitwitted, senseless, soft-witted and witless. (I’m on a roll, baby! Someone pay me to go on a TV panel, fast!)

Charlie, baby, people on panels get paid all the time. Hell, I was in Ottawa yesterday, and the smart and savvy NDP guy to the left of me (natch) was paid, just like I was to punditize the peoples. I don’t recall him tearing up the cheque.

Going back more than a decade, in fact, I have been paid to be on political panels on TV. One that paid me, all the time, was on CBC and it was called Counterspin. It’s host was an incredible, brilliant guy named Avi Lewis. He’s the son of a guy named Stephen Lewis. You may have heard of him. Perhaps Avi’s grandfather, too – David. He led your party for a while, there.

If NDP politicians think there’s something to be gained by attacking the public broadcaster for having the temerity to provide balance in its programming, knock yourselves out. Blow your brains out, Team Stupid. It’ll do wonders for the coverage/exposure you get. Just you watch.

In the meantime, make sure you send back all the fees your representatives have been paid to appear on various shows over the years. And don’t forget the interest – it’ll be substantial!


RESIGN

Unfortunately, the only way to remove a Senator is to force him or her to resign. So, in 1998, Senator Andrew Thompson resigned after Prime Minister Jean Chretien removed him from the Liberal caucus. (Between 1990 and 1997, he’d attended only fourteen Senate meetings.) The “Tequila Senator,” you may recall, faxed his resignation from his villa in Mexico. Good riddance.

Nancy Ruth, the Conservative Senator who has told NGO’s to “shut the fuck up,” is also a disgrace. Her leader, the Conservative Prime Minister, must kick her out of caucus – or, failing that, explain why he won’t.

Ruth, meanwhile, should resign.