Starting a column on the subject of politics always fills me with a certain amount of dread. You would think it would be easy to avoid the subject of politics on that basis, but there are times, too many to count, that I forge ahead in spite of my gut feeling to write about anything else. You've probably noticed that any sense of humor I might be able to bring to this exercise always goes south when the subject of politics comes up. I just can't help myself.
According to Corporate Research Associate polling, the PC party is up in the polls again at 51 percent favorability after being down in November to a 38 percent approval rating. Naturally, they attribute this rise to the Premier having stepped down. The party did not do anything different. Their goals, objectives and platform haven't changed. The Premier recognized that she was apparently responsible for the downturn in the party's fortunes and for the sake of the party, she walked into the sunset.
At the moment, the only person to have come forward interested in the leadership of that party is Bill Barry, the fish plant owner and businessman who has already indicated he intends to run government as a business. If you don't know how I feel about that, you haven't been reading this column.
I guess it's time you knew this about my view on party politics. It's crazy.
Politics appears to be one of those endeavors where you either have to be all in or all out. Each party thinks the other crowd is out to lunch. There is nowhere on earth that this is more apparent than in the United States at the present time. Conservatives down there think that liberals want to give everything away while thinking of themselves as the protectors of the faith, everything moral, and the pocketbook.
We are not all that different here. In my 20 years of involvement with the PC party, I was often accused of saying things about ourselves that was taken as having shot ourselves in the foot. This is premised on the fact of life in politics that you cannot police yourself for fear of looking weak to the crowd across the floor.
My core conservative values haven't changed. But there is also room for liberalism when it is appropriate and we're willing to fund a liberal cause.
The all or nothing dogma of politics doesn't allow one to recognize that the other side might have a good idea. The irony is that this has never stopped one party from stealing ideas from the other. You can't think about it too much or it'll make your head spin.
Bill Barry is not going to be good for the Conservative Party if he intends to run it as a business. Completely unrelated to this is the PC party's apparent inability to tolerate women at the helm. That's more likely a result of a fickle electorate, but since Corporate Research Associates has never done a poll on that issue, probably because they wouldn't be able to, I'm likely to be labeled as somebody who hasn't got a clue what they're talking about. Politics attracts all types.
I have no idea where we're going. I don't know what direction the PC party is going to go in, and I haven't heard any great revelations from the other side about how they would do anything different. It's all about the game of who could win, or, more precisely, who can pick apart the other side.
I clearly was in the minority when I held the view that Kathy Dunderdale could have been a very good premier, but for her gruffness and direct approach that the electorate didn't understand.. That's okay, I guess.
I was in the same minority when I thought Lynn Verge would have also made a good premier. The majority in this province went the other way with Brian Tobin. History has taught us that was all about the image without substance. Every time we repeat a history that looks at image over substance, my involvement in politics takes another hit.
If somebody doesn't step forward for the PC party leadership other than Bill Barry, we are going to continue to spin our wheels in the sand.
I don't know whether to continue to fight, or cry.