Belling the cat has always been the problem. Back in the 1960s, the conservative party of Canada had a problem with leadership. It was leader John George Diefenbaker, who declined to go quietly into the night. He was fighting with his own party. His nemesis was conservative party president Dalton Camp. I could not say it publicly at the time but I really liked Dalton. And, until he shot down the AVRO Arrow, I liked John Diefenbaker.
It left me in the envious position of giving liberal commentary on Toronto’s best radio news station for the penultimate conservative leadership convention at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1967. Dalton ran the events from the lounge in the Gardens and engineered the win by Robert Stanfield from Nova Scotia. One of the delights of the event was wandering around the darkened grey section of the Gardens and finding fellow liberals there, enjoying the show. I was always ready with liberal comments on the convention and even had some that were breaking news.
I was sitting in the board room of the liberal party’s advertising agency for the announcement by prime minister Lester Pearson of the next year’s liberal leadership convention. I had lost my bid for a seat in the Ontario Legislature but there were some interesting opportunities for the upcoming liberal leadership. I took the offer from Bob Winter’s group mainly because the Ontario party president was his campaign manager and he wanted me to look after the media and the convention.
Nobody had told Mr. Pearson that it was time to go—unless it was his wife who really hated politics. Nor did we feel any urge to suggest that Pierre Trudeau take his walk in the snow. He set his own schedule. He tried to rid himself of that demanding job twice. My advice to all politicians as well as with actors: Is leave them laughing.
I am concerned that Justin Trudeau does not have the acumen of his father. He has worn out his wife who probably told him it was time to go long before the marriage fell apart. Justin lacks the timing that his father had. When you pile on the failures in office, people start to believe your nay-sayers. Justin Trudeau’s time is up.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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