Sunday, December 07, 2008

A tale of two leaders.

Gilles Duceppe and Stephen Harper.

One cannot imagine two men who are more different in the choices they have made with regards to their career paths, their personal and ideological beliefs, and their leadership styles.

Gilles Duceppe has serious, long-term political credentials. He has often sacrificed his own interests, he has devoted himself to advancing the rights of workers, and he has spent long, badly or not remunerated, unsung hours on picket lines and at union meetings. He has taken on lowly tasks because the work needed to be done, he has rolled up his sleeves and pitched in when necessary, and he has listened to criticism from the rank and file. Duceppe takes his responsibilities as an elected official to heart and he dedicates considerable intellectual energy and vigour to being as well-informed, as attentive to the issues, and as knowledgeable about his riding and his caucus members as possible.

Stephen Harper bluffs his way when necessary, brown-noses when opportune and bullies when he feels like it. He has held three, perhaps four jobs so far. He has the personality of a sociopath and the gut instincts of a mafia capo. He was jonesing for an alliance with the Bloc québecois under circumstances less compelling than the asinine stunt that his henchman Flaherty pulled. He is a chameleon, providing in any given circumstance the words and the deportment that are instrumental to his getting what he wants. He needs sycophants, followers and cheer-leaders. He needs to see terror in the eyes of his workers. He constantly needs an audience.

So here's my idea. Duceppe should be the Prime Minister.

And Harper should be an actor. He would get the adulation and applause he craves. He is thoroughly incompetent as an economist; he merely got that degree to catch the attention of the Reform Party. His Famous Blue Sweater performance during the last federal election, except for a few moments when he dropped out of character, was worthy of an Academy Award™.

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