You also need to listen Martha.

There is no question but that Tom Clark’s West Block on Global Television is the best short glimpse each week of what is going on in Canadian politics. It is an opportunity for aspiring politicians to observe, to listen and to learn. When invited on the show, you should listen carefully to your host. Guest, Liberal Martha Hall Findlay was so eager to make her points this week, she managed to talk over the attempts of Tom Clark to manage his show. And that is bad form.

Martha needs humility. She also needs lessons on handling television interviewers. There are interviewers whom you never want to appear with again and there are those who can do you some good. Tom Clark is one of the good ones. Continuously talking over him is a recipe for never being invited back.

What she really needed to listen to was the series of questions that Tom intends to ask each of the competitors for the federal Liberal leadership. This was an opportunity to gain ground and, in this contest, Martha has a long way to go.

The only question for which Martha had a ready answer was the one about whether British Columbia should be compensated for oil pipelines across that province. She came right back with Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s answer that they can have anything they want as long as it came from the private sector and not from Alberta’s cut of the pie. Martha gave the same answer and then embellished it while saying the same thing again.

What these politicians do not seem to understand is that the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline across Northern B.C. to Kitimat is really a two way pipeline. It is designed to pump light crude oil to Alberta to mix with tar sands bitumen which then enables a larger pipeline to pump the resulting slurry back to Kitimat. What a smart politician would do with that question would be to redirect it to the very serious environmental concerns.

With MP Joyce Murray overshadowing her in the west, Hall Findlay has less and less going for her in the federal leadership. It might be time to cut her losses.

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Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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