Dale’s new mantra is ABO: Anyone but O’Leary

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I recently read an EKOS poll showing that since the turn of this century the number of Canadians who identified themselves as middle class dropped from 67 per cent to 46 per cent.

A fomenting frustration has been roiling and growing into anger ever since. While my friend and esteemed colleague Hugh Mackenzie may think this anger is a result of an entitled Liberal majority and an arrogant Prime Minister, it would seem that Canadians have been feeling dissatisfied since well before the most recent election.

Whether this anger is a result of an unreasonably sunny outlook by previous generations or a reasonably gloomy one by this generation is hard to tell. As an interesting aside, I remember my mother always telling us that we were middle class even though by any standards past or future we were decidedly not. Mom may have been an anomaly of her time or perhaps all poor people who at least had a roof over their heads and food on the table ascribed to that view. At any rate, we are ticked off and feeling hard done by now. In some ways it doesn’t even matter if it’s true because we’ll act – and vote – as though it is.

The same EKOS poll that said we feel we’re losing in the upward mobility stakes also found growing pessimism and increased levels of racism, xenophobia and a desire to protect the interests of native inhabitants – I’m not talking First Nations – against those of recent or future immigrants. We are closing in rather than opening up. Canadians also believe that most of the wealth that has accumulated is in the hands of the one per cent at the top. But, the 99 per cent seem to be embracing wealthy candidates like Trump and O’Leary for leadership, which seems like the very definition of illogical.

So – the sunny ways Liberal government notwithstanding – are we destined to see a Kevin O’Leary become the Conservative leader based on the thought that only O’Leary can beat Trudeau? Might we see a “cutting off your nose to spite your face” scenario like the one that transpired to the south of us?

The other Conservative candidates – and there are a boatload of them – are mostly unknown outside their home province/region and sometimes not even then. Lots of them are just plain terrible thanks to their instinct to try to appeal to the lowest common denominator in us; hopefully they don’t stand a chance.

But there are Conservative candidates who are promoting new economic ideas that have merit and those who are defending certain principles not generally endorsed by their party. Maxime Bernier has a prime ministerial demeanour, and he espouses policies that will attract centrist voters. Chris Alexander’s platform may appeal to immigrants who often appreciate economic stability and financial sense, not to mention his forward thinking on immigration itself. Lisa Raitt is likeable and has an incredible back story along with a solid ministerial record that make her an excellent candidate.

I still have faith in this country based on the government that we elected a little more than a year ago and the wave of optimism that followed it. But when election time rolls around again and if a truly progressive conservative has been chosen to lead the Conservative Party and then wins the election, I’d accept and even welcome a new perspective. I could not accept Kevin O’Leary and I shudder at the very idea that we might go down that dark path.

Following any understanding I have of the conservative philosophy, O’Leary isn’t even very conservative except on the financial side. He’s hardly ever in Canada and he’s contemptuous of other candidates and people in general. And he’s a reality TV figure. Scarily, he sounds a lot like a lighter version of a certain American presidential candidate who went on to win the whole enchilada precisely because he was seen as being outside the mainstream. It begged the question state-side and it begs it now of why a political party would pander to someone who seems contemptuous of them and their party?

The idea that government should be run like an efficient business is a popular one with some conservative types and it’s often quoted as a good reason for business people like O’Leary to run for office. But that idea betrays a basic understanding of the roles of the private and public sector.

Efficiency in the private sector means a profit is being made and that’s not what governments can or should do. The fact is that not everything that makes a profit has social value and conversely not everything that has social value makes a profit. Sports, pornography and drug sales make tons of profit but have little in the way of social value, while libraries, parks and public schools make no profit but have high social value.

O’Leary also paints himself as a tough guy who can manhandle the likes of a self-proclaimed feminist like Justin Trudeau. Conservatives who are swayed by a tough-talking adult who tweets like a teenage bully or think that they will somehow counter Trudeau’s celebrity with a celeb of their own need to look southward, think for a moment and then stop it.

Like a few other candidates who aren’t as well known, O’Leary is also pandering in a very cynical way to people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has left them behind and nobody cares about them. They’re desperate for change. We must empathize and look for solutions for all Canadians so everyone feels that they have hope for the future. Kevin O’Leary doesn’t have an empathetic bone in his body so don’t look to him for help.

I am not so cynical that I think conservatism and populism go hand in hand. But if the latter isn’t strongly challenged by Conservatives and O’Leary isn’t shown the door, I’m not sure what will be left of the party of Sir John A. Macdonald and John Diefenbaker.

Dale PeacockFollowing a career in the hospitality sector and the acquisition of a law and justice degree in her 50s, Dale embarked on a writing career armed with the fanciful idea that a living could be made as a freelancer.  To her own great surprise she was right.  The proof lies in hundreds of published works on almost any topic but favourites include travel, humour & satire, feature writing, environment, politics and entrepreneurship. Having re-invented herself half a dozen times, Dale doesn’t rule anything out.  Her time is divided equally between Muskoka and Tampa Bay with Jim, her husband of 8 years and partner of 32 years.  Two grown ‘kids’ and their spouses receive double doses of love and attention when she’s at home. 

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9 Comments

  1. Excellent and balanced assessment of the current Conservative race. I hope beyond telling that we do not make the same mistake as our friends to the south of us; assuming that a narcissistic clown couldn’t possibly win an election held by reasonable people.

  2. Absolutely nonsense to mention O’Leary and Idiot from U.S. in the same article. You have fallen for the TV schmalz but then again Trudeau fooled Canadians with his warm and fuzzies ( missed 2/3 of question period time allotment and now wants to legislate less time in Ottawa for himself by taking Friday off and he gets paid for this part time work.) I think a guy who actually proposes solutions to economic problems and job creation would be far preferable to a guy who is mortgaging my Grandchildren’s future. You really shouldn’t be trashing Kevin with your opinions on his empathy for Canadians. You haven’t sat down and talked to him but you choose to believe every negative thing said about him by persons with other agendas. You are right about the “Devil we know” and I hope people will give a chance to “The Devil we don’t know ” .PS : Justin is off today/ out of the Office .

      • I try to put forward the view of those people without an agenda but a wish for those who suffer from platitudes, inaction and promises designed to mute MEANINGFUL progress for needing health and well being. Stop the platitudes, the politics and put the money where the mouths are.

    • Randy Spencer on

      Did not think I would have agreed with you on much but Bill you are dead on. Young Mr Trudeau is a true member of what I call the Elites – too many selfies not enough leading

  3. I think that Mr. O’Leary is a bully and only has his own interests at heart. We need someone who will work for the everyday working people!

  4. Dianne Adams on

    The middle class is fast disappearing and has been for some time now with the constant draining of their finances by groups like the OEB, OPA and Hydro One. Formerly “comfortable” people are moving out of the province, selling their homes, and losing their businesses. Trashing Trump always makes me laugh – how soon we forget – Canadians were in exactly the same position and situation as the Americans a number of months ago. We were sick of Harper, wanted a major change, and BOY! did we ever get one. We now have a narcissistic, selfie-loving, silly man-child with no political experience running our country. and spending money we don’t have like a drunken sailor! Scenario sound familiar? Maybe the US took their lead from us?
    Possibly waiting to see just what does get accomplished in the first YEAR of Trump’s term will give us a much more educated view of what a businessman can do for a country and give us a bigger picture on which type of candidate to vote for at the polls next time around?

  5. Jim Sinclair on

    Cute little mantra indeed! Anyone but O’Leary! Shows how little Dale thinks of the rest of us. “Take the worst candidate and elect him/her as opposed to O’Leary” This is advice???
    Funny how people will stoop to any silly, stupid catchphrase to make a stupid point. Anyone but Harper was the watch phrase in the last election, and look what we got. A silly idiot who drags his missus with him to boost his fortunes.
    The local leadership candidate knows 7 languages, has absolutely no chutzpah and no stage presence yet the local riding endorses him out of local, misplaced loyalty. After all this stupid crap when elections roll around, Trumpism is the new normal. Bah, Humbug!

  6. Certainly one of the significant attributes of a Conservative party leader would be having experienced success as a businessman, having run a successful corporation . But as a voting member of the Conservative party for leadership my first priority would be a leader that has the greatest likelihood of forming a majority government and defeating Justin Trudeau who is well under way in the implementation of his hidden, personal agenda of selling out the Canada that we know for his personal benefit. The Conservatives must strategize differently to achieve this goal to save Canada- become the party of the people by repeatedly and clearly contrasting Canadian patriotism i.e. putting Canadian interests first, with the Globalist Elitism of Justin Trudeau-serving the interests of multinational corporations. banks, and other well connected politicians This group of globalist elites who dominate Canada must be defeated and the Canadian people put back in charge. Trudeau’s agenda involves Canada becoming a Post National State (he has stated this). He aims to destroy any sense of Canadian nationalism and replace it with a globalist ideology that does away with the values of Western Civilization and replaces love of Canada with a vague and unclear “global citizenship”. In this endeavour, it appears that he is being coached by his father’s college mate and Obama’s pal, George Soros. Currently in Canada these elitists have a power structure that empowers Trudeau. He and his elitists do not have Canada’s best interests as even a remote priority. We need to let Mr. Trudeau know that we are Canadian citizens first not Global citizens and that we are proud of being part of the Western civilization and stand up for the ideas that we’ve been so fortunate to inherit. The best choice for Conservative leader, be it Kevin O’Leary or one of the other candidates, would give priority to emphasizing Canadian economic patriotism, putting our interests first, recognize the negativity of across the board taxations such as the carbon tax, look at other regulations that are limiting to the Canadian economy reaching its full potential, reduce beaucracy dramatically to facilitate tax cuts , national defence spending, and infrastructure spending. A successful leader would be committed to Canadian businesses and workers.

    Trudeau was handed a government led by Stephen Harper, who with the expertise of Jim Flaherty, Minister Finance, was incredibly successful in bringing Canada through the worst global recession since the Great Depression. He kept taxes low. He carefully spent when there was a credit crisis affecting the entire world, but brought us out of the deficit when there was no further need for this kind of spending. He avoided the crises that other countries had to deal with. He always chose to do the right thing for the country even at the risk of not being liked. We never had a national unity crisis under Stephen Harper. The Conservatives reduced income taxes, cut the size of governments and had balanced budgets without cutting transfer payments to the provinces.
    Now we have Justin Trudeau with his outrageous spending of our money as if it was his own- $9 966 120 100.00 of Canadians money indiscriminately handed out to other countries in the world with nothing to show for Canadians, some like seniors, native Canadians, veterans in need, taxation on serving military salaries. All to glorify his image and impress the Muslim dominated UN. He is clearly not willing to listen to Canadians who have expertise and experience in Canadian affairs and will quickly dismiss anyone who opposes him. We have a huge problem Canadians and we should not be afraid to fight for our best interests and the future of our country.

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