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The Article

The nation will spin into chaos if Dion becomes PM

My political colleagues describe Liberal Leader Stephane Dion as a twit or a twerp. Being somewhat more polite—but only somewhat—my own description would be feckless.

As environment minister under Paul Martin, he accomplished nothing at all. If he becomes PM he will literally spin the nation into chaos.

During his recent visit to Alberta, it was obvious he knew nothing at all how the energy sector works. Perhaps the closest he’s ever been to an oil rig was seeing James Dean in the 1956 movie Giant.

OK, OK—maybe it was closer to home and it was the 1973 movie Oklahoma Crude.

Or maybe from the Hadley Oil Company, as portrayed in the 1956 movie classic Written on the Wind.

Saw all three of those celluloid pieces myself and although I didn’t learn much about the oil industry from them I was taken by Elizabeth Taylor in Giant, Faye Dunaway in Oklahoma Crude, and Dorothy Malone in Written on the Wind.

The Liberals seem to believe they’ve found a white knight in Dion, when, in reality, they have anointed a neophyte.

This is an individual who has had a leisurely life in avademia and knows nothing at all about economics.

This is dangerous: If you have run a huge industrial plant or an international conglomerate, you have demonstrated managerial skills that demonstrate toughness, foresight and inspiration.

Reading books and giving an occasional lecture hardly prepares you for leadership.

I recall that back in the 1970s, when Canadians were complaining about higher oil prices, Marc Lalonde—sometimes health minister (and that turned out to be a mess)—sometimes finance minister (and that turned out to be a mess—and sometimes energy minister ( what a mess that turned out to be)—shrugged and told us to save money by turning down the thermostat and putting on an extra sweater. Lalonde blithely informed Canadians we used and wasted far too much energy.

He hardly gave a thought that Ottawa is the coldest capital in the world after Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar.

It wasn’t long after that snub about turning down our thermostats and putting on an extra sweater that he actually did close down the energy sector in our province and thus spurred a recession that swept coast-to-coast.

That’s the trouble with putting amateurs in top positions. Their incompetence generally results in catastrophe, often not for them, since they bail out with huge severance packages or gold-plated pensions, but for the rest of us.

Amidst the destruction that tore apart New Orleans after it was hit by a hurricane and the confusion in evacuating the place, getting food and temporary shelter to the homeless, the best person for the job should not have been some bureaucrat but the vice-president for distribution at Wal-Mart.

Ponder that: The man in charge of the largest retailer on the planet compared to some political appointee with doubtful experience in any field.

Again, this is what is so worrying about Dion, who already naively makes comments about issues he knows little—if anything—about.

Even worse than someone who is incompetent and realizes it is someone who is incompetent but whose pseudo-intellect prevents him from realizing his shortcomings.

For 33-million Canadians, the fall-out from a Dion government—should the good Lord not save us from such an apocalypse—will be dismal indeed.


Paul Jackson
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