Blogs & Comment

The disappointing lightness of Canadian political leadership

Well, that was underwhelming wasnt it. The Canadian election I mean. For $300 million we’re back, basically, where we were before we took off on that jaunt. The Conservatives dont have a majority, the Liberals will have to support the government until they get a new leader, and the Greens, with almost 10% of the vote, remain unrepresented.
What are we to make of all of this? If a theme emerged last nights election its that our country is suffering from a real lack of political leadership, IMHO.
We dont even need to mention Dion. His campaign seems set to go down in Canadian history as a symbol of political ineffectiveness and incompetence. It behooved voters to reject the option pasted up by the Liberals, and they did so in great numbers.
As for Harper, I thought he was Palin-esque. You had a sense he is supposed to be good on the economy, and a real manager. But when he actually stepped up to the mike and began speaking you got the sense he was desperately trying to stick to a flimsy, undefined script. One that may or may not be an even flimsier front for some darker, undefined secret mandate the opposition pols talk about (but never seem to explain).
No wonder fewer Canadians voted last night than have ever voted before. I was surprised this past weekend when one of the immediate members of my family, someone in their 60s, asked about the ins and outs of registering a protest vote. So under whelmed was this person with the current political leadership they didnt want to vote. But they had enough respect for the system that they didnt want to waste the ballot.
As someone else commented in a private email this morning, The problem is simply that we do NOT have good leadership. In this election, we did NOT have a single leader in any party with the strength to inspire.
I was reminded of the annual dinner the CFA Institute of Toronto held in downtown Toronto a week ago. A special guest at the dinner was Jim Rogers, co-founder of Quantum Fund, a very well known global investor, and general man about the world.
In his after dinner address Rogers went on about his deep connections to Canada (some of his first investments were here and hes traveled here on countless occasion over the last thirty years). He went out of his way to laud the country in general, praising Canada for its strong fiscal and regulatory performance. But he also made a point of stating that he thought the “political class” in this country was especially weak and infective right now.
Its not just Canadians who see a crisis in political leadership in this country. Its the standard take these days among the global elite.