October 12, 2000
Thinking with the wrong head - THE COMMENTARY
By Joseph Planta
Before I get to the Commentary, here’s my take on Glen Clark’s possible hiring by my beloved CKNW. The time slot in question is the evening talk show that was once inhabited by the remarkable David Berner. Mr. Berner was relatively left-of-centre, yet with the years he moved to the right, well sort of. I grew up listening to David, in the wee small hours of the morning, so it was with great shock I learned of his resignation from ‘NW over a month ago.
Now, a rumour in Mac Parry’s Sun column of Saturday was that Glen Clark is to be his replacement. The ‘NW VP of Current Affairs has said that Clark is on the short list of which a permanent host is to be named either today. It’d be a good choice, but I doubt it would do CKNW much good. I wouldn’t hire a man so close to the scene of controversy and such. It would do serious damage to the creditability of Ujjal Dosanjh’s government, as his razor-thin majority will be thinner, compounded by Rick Kasper’s ‘crossing the floor’ last Tuesday.
As Rafe Mair said yesterday: “I do fear very strongly that if Mr. Clark does become part of this radio station, it’ll be so out of synch to people who have come to listen to this station over the years. It will cause a drop off in listenership.” I agree, somewhat, but the problem with Clark is that it’ll probably be a short-term gain for the station and nothing more. They’d be better off hiring Fanny Keifer.
VANCOUVER -- Pierre Trudeau has been entombed for over a week now. Today’s column won’t delve into his legacy, political or otherwise. I think David Frum and every other columnist with a space worth filling has done enough. I would, however, like to quote his much-quoted adage in life, “Reason before passion,” as means of opening today’s column.
It’s a proverb that Mr. Trudeau used in good stead throughout the War Measures Act invocation of 1970, the patriation of the constitution exercise in the ‘80s and to everything about the life of our ‘Northern Magus’.
Our current Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, who now claims to be the heir apparent to Trudeau’s legacy, could use that mantra in the way he conducts the business of the nation. Jean Chrétien, who said an election is imminent, claims that he’ll be running on Trudeau’s record and legacy.
He should restrain his mindless drivel, while he checks his facts, because Chrétien in his 7 years as PM, has strayed far from Trudeau’s policies. During the Charlottetown debate Chrétien sat on the fence, while his “mentor” fought the Accord in a little Chinese place in Montreal called La Maison Egg Roll. In 1995, Chrétien put forth a motion in the House of Commons that essentially recognised Quebec as a distinct society, something Trudeau subsequently denounced, not to mention fought against his entire political life. Chrétien has brought Canada all the more closer to being American, case in point his buddy-buddy repartee with President Clinton. I digress.
Chrétien has always practised politics at his own whim. The only reason he sees in running an election now, is to ensure his place in history alongside Laurier as winning three consecutive majority mandates.
The reason I bring it up is this because of this great fuss over the renaming of Mount Logan, named after some cartographer, which is the tallest point in the nation. Now, I have no qualms about enshrining Mr. Trudeau’s legacy in something tangible, but come on. Chrétien made the announcement almost a day after the burial of Trudeau. His body wasn’t even cold yet, and the PM has redrawn the map of the country, simply because the national emotion cried out for it.
If Mr. Chrétien does go ahead with this, even after the cartographers of the land have raised their compasses in the air, then he’ll be no more closer to being that great disciple of Pierre Trudeau. Now, if he goes on with the renaming of Logan to Trudeau, he will be paying lip service to another great Trudeau quote.
Late yesterday came the story that two BC MP’s have raised concern of the Prime Minister’s plans to rename Mount Logan. One of the local MP’s, Dr. Edward McWhinney has asked the PM to reconsider. The second - which is most baffling, because I’ve considered him a rather loyal lickspittle - PoCo MP Lou Sekora, has said it would do a disservice to the legacy of Logan. Will the PM listen to his lackey’s? (Sekora’s outburst is further indication an election is imminent.)
That other line of Trudeau’s, and a more appropriate assessment of Trudeau’s shadow upon Chrétien, will be the one of MP’s being a bunch of nobodies. I defy the Prime Minister to accept his MP’s advice. Faint hope.
All this is what I call thinking with the wrong head. So often, is the case with Mr. Chrétien that he lets personal passions get the better of him. Passions that have no regard for any inkling of reason. Sad, isn’t it. Trudeau’s death and this silly thought of Jean Chrétien.
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