I thought I had said all that needed saying about Kevin O’Leary’s candidacy almost a year ago when I commented on his idiotic views on foreign and defence policy ~ in which he’s a near mirror of Pierre and Justin Trudeau, which means he’s totally and completely unqualified to lead Canada … or even San Marino, come to that. But his campaign appears to be gaining ground and I find myself in agreement with what Arlene Dickinson ~ a Canadian executive and, in the best and broadest sense of the word, public servant (she’s an Honorary Captain in our Navy) ~ had to say in an opinion piece for CBC News:
“The question on everyone’s mind,” Ms Dickinson says, “is the same: “Is the cold, money-driven person we see on television what we will get as a potential political leader?” … It’s the exact same question I’ve received from Canadians from coast to coast since we co-starred on Dragons’ Den together … And the answer is: Yes, he’s exactly the same person privately as he is on camera.“
But that’s not why I oppose Mr O’Leary’s candidacy. Heaven knows there is no requirement, at all, for a great political leader to be “warm” and “kind” or, à la Justin Trudeau, “nice.” Ms Dickinson, correctly, focuses her attack on two areas:
- Mr O’Leary’s lack of empathy for the plight of ordinary, hard working Canadians ~ an attribute he shares so fully with with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premiers Kathleen Wynne and Rachel Notely that one wonders why he is not running in a by-election to be a Liberal MP. That’s not about being “nice,” it’s about doing the right thing for the people one aspires to lead; and
- On his “backtracking” from and obfuscating over his “there’s nothing proud about being a warrior” comment. That, too, is a prototypical Liberal comment that reminds me of Jean Chrétien’s quip about the Canadian Forces being a bunch of boy scouts because, as his defence minister of the day said, that’s what Canadians wanted. Once again, one must ask: Why isn’t Kevin O’Leary trying to lead the Liberal Party of Canada ~ it seems like his spiritual “home.”
A real Conservative leader must see him or herself as both a protector of Canada, in every sense, including in being willing to maintain, equip, train and use the Canadian Forces as a combat force to protect and promote our fundamental national values, and as a guardian of the taxpayers’ wallets who understands that government, including the military, must be both operationally effective and efficient (cost effective), too. Mr O’Leary is saying many of the right words about both Canada’s and Ontario’s fiscal (political management) problems but he’s not promising to repeal stupid, regressive taxes.
According to Ms Dickinson, who knows him well, Mr O’Leary fails both of my tests and he is, therefore, unqualified to lead the Conservative Party or the country. I agree!