Monday, May 26, 2008

Conservative Minister Bernier Resignation Points to Severe Lack of Depth of Conservative MPs

Less than an hour ago Prime Minister Harper announced the resignation (resignation my rear end!) of foreign affairs minister Bernier because he left classified documents in an unsecured location. Specifically he reportedly left these highly confidential and classified documents in his former girl friend's apartment. Note, I said former. Apparently as a now jilted girlfriend she will tonight on Quebec TV reveal that this classified document was left behind in her apartment. Curiously even up to this afternoon PM Harper was still defending Bernier's choice of personal friends no matter that the linkages to organized crime were screaming out loud. Incompetence in spades!

Unfortunately Minister Bernier has not been a stranger to questions of competence in his posting at the highest security level of clearance in Canada as the minister of foreign affairs where he has dropped the ball several times over the past many months. Harper has now appointed David Emerson as his replacement. One has to wonder now about the judgment of our current Prime Minister as well in allowing the Bernier fiascoes to continue so long and more so why was he chosen to be the foreign affairs cabinet minister in the first place? His performance or lack of it reflects on Canada and our government internationally to ALL countries! Certainly very poor judgment don't you think?

This whole fiasco which will continue to spin in the house of commons and in the media for weeks and perhaps even months to come highlights to this Editor the saddest and obvious underlying problem of these fiascoes in the first place. The root problem is that there is NO substantial depth of capability of conservative MPs in the House of Commons. Bernier had no previous foreign affairs experience what-so-ever but did win his seat in Quebec by the biggest margin. Did this qualify him for the job perhaps?

So the real problem is that the elected conservative MP's are just smart enough (or their handlers, back room boys, are) to get elected but not smart enough to serve in important portfolios for our government. Sadly this Editor feels that this problem is due to a few factors. I will lay the blame at the feet of the Conservative party, the Media (especially the local media) and finally the electorate that votes in an MP based primarily on the Party or leader of the party and ignores the qualifications and capabilities of the candidate him or her self.

Look no further than Langley Township where our own Conservative MP defeated an outstanding candidate in the initial riding nomination election many years ago with what seemed to me at the time to be a strong Christian fundamental backing of membership and perhaps even membership sales. There is no doubt in my mind that had she won the nomination instead she would have had a better opportunity of being cabinet material than he, - hands down.

In fact our present MP parachuted into Langley from Abbotsford where he was a City Councilor who ran in the nomination against a local Langley female candidate who was viewed as perhaps pro abortion by too many of the voting riding delegates at the time. The meeting hall on the nomination evening was filled with conveniently placed rumours that spread and this issue I believe sunk her in the final analysis. Since our Langley MP first elected, the Conservative party has protected him and just about all the other sitting Conservative MPs by not allowing any challenges by anyone else for the privilege of representing the riding as a Conservative federal candidate. Sadly no better qualified candidate is allowed to apply any more. Hence the Conservative party is clearly responsible in limiting the best possible individual to rise to the top to become our elected representative. The cream is not encouraged or even allowed to rise to the top!

Once again subsequently when another female first ran against our Langley Conservative candidate as the challenging Liberal candidate it again became painfully clear that while in my opinion she was by far the most educated, capable, competent and intelligent, she was doomed to failure because the electorate voted primarily for the national party or the national leader. The "Sponsorship Fiasco" capped any other chance. The candidate qualifications were essentially ignored and deemed unimportant by the voters. In Langley the electorate would have essentially at the time voted in a monkey as long as it was branded conservative and not Liberal or NDP! Hence the electorate is also equally responsible for the lack of competent and capable depth across wide swathes in the benches of the Conservative House of Commons.

Finally the media and especially the local media were at fault because some of their Editors are often also blinded by party philosophies; party preferences and biases that do not help emphasize the best candidate as opposed to the best party or leader. That in this Editor's opinion was the case as well. In fact the media does an equally pathetic job in describing the capabilities of council candidates and incumbents in Langley as well in my opinion.

Don't get me wrong though. Our MP is a nice guy and so are some of the councillors on Township and City Council and so are most of our MLAs. But do we just want nice guys/gals or should we demand councillors and federal & provincial representatives as possible cabinet material candidates THAT COULD WIN the nomination and election rather than just nice guys who warm the back benches in silence. Why don't we want the best possible individual I wonder?

The Conservative Bernier fiasco of today simply points out to this Editor that the "Severe Lack of Depth" in the Conservative party and probably for most of our elected politicians is chronic and is extremely bad politics that is due to poor party politics, the media and yes, we the voting public. We ultimately get what we deserve then, embarrassment, poor leadership, bad decisions, bad policy, wasteful and questionable government spending and incompetently high and stupid taxes. Further the Conservative Party and perhaps the entire Canadian political system in fact encourages even more "nice guys" and 2nd, 3rd, 4th and even 5th class/tier elected decision makers. Why don't we elect 1st class candidates? Sad, but so true isn't it?

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