Appeared in North Shore News – April 29, 2011
Turning now to the other election: You remember The Two Ronnies. Are you ready for The Two Pams?
Sound bet: Pamela Goldsmith-Jones and former TV anchor and now Christy Clark camp-follower Pamela Martin will seek the lush, fat provincial Liberal seats in West Vancouver.
Evidence: Silence. Asked by email, Mayor Goldsmith-Jones didn’t reply.
Obstacles: Ralph Sultan and Joan McIntyre. The sitting Liberals for West Vancouver-Capilano and West Vancouver Sea-to-Sky respectively.
Obstacles indeed. Sultan didn’t defeat rivals in the 2009 general election. He annihilated them. He drew more than twice as many votes as all five put together. One of the most popular, respected politicians in B.C. And McIntyre, who served as intergovernmental affairs minister, also polled more than her two rivals combined.
If the two don’t go away quietly, this could be one of the most hellacious backroom fights in memory. Martin and Goldsmith-Jones have a huge fan base among some — the “Pamettes” in the mayor’s case. Among others, they’re about as popular as a heart transplant for Willie Pickton. Not as amusing as The Two Ronnies, but they’re more attractive. Bet on this too: newly-minted Premier Clark wants more women in the legislature. Her women. (McIntyre was Gordon Campbell’s.)
Liberal nominations are tantamount to election in West Van ridings. Loyalty in the constituency associations could be under test, big-time. Watch this.
– – –
Caught the Michael Ignatieff show at the Pinnacle. Handsome, smooth Taleeb Noormohamed, potential TV host, warmed up the crowd. Iggy more impressive than expected. Has the kind of leftist appeal that certain professors have for first-year students. Like all politicians who have all the answers, also helpfully provided the (obviously planted) questions. Loved his swipe at “the oil companies, the insurance companies, the banks.” The Liberal, mostly middle-class crowd roared approval. Funny. Those companies are crucial to their own Canada Pension Plan, RRSPs and portfolios. Iggy knows it. Be sure of it — he schmoozes with the executives of those evil companies and similar ones, and if prime minster would schmooze more. A prime minister only runs the country. They happen to run the economy.
– – –
Stephen Harper: Has run an unexciting campaign. Privately, an unlikely pianist and singer. Publicly, no entertainer. Which is a compliment. Has a bigger gut — in the other official tongue, embonpoint — than almost suspiciously flat-stomached Iggy. Scandals? Mistakes? Inevitable. Most involve what someone brilliantly called “inside baseball,” Parliament’s fussy fine print and antique furbelows. Handled the Great Recession better than most did, and than Ignatieff and Layton would have (disaster). Has the most winning wife. Harper’s the middlest Canadian of them all. No big-money connections like Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and Pierre Trudeau. Would pick him as least likely to leave public life with a few select gems dangling from his pockets.
– – –
Nothing to report on Gilles Duceppe, that fart from Quebec.
– – –
Jack Layton’s fortunes in polls have zoomed. At this writing tops the list as most popular leader, his New Democrats have the mo-mo-mentum. Will that hold to Monday? Layton furiously sucking up to Quebec. His first language is plainspeak. No translation necessary, no annoying nuances, few would guess he holds a PhD. Hobbles well, too. His great personal courage on Canada’s geographically torturing campaign trail touches the heart more than his statist ideology touches the head.
– – –
Elizabeth May’s cheerful chipmunk face is straight from central casting as leader of the nature-loving Greens. Impossible to dislike. Gets the animal vote. Can’t get enough people vote. The chipmunk would be over the moon if she came third by a squeaker. CKNW’s Jon McComb had the shrewdest take on the TV cartel’s denying her a seat in the leaders’ debate: Forget fairness. May’s Greens appeal to the young. The big TV brains fear they’re losing the young audience. Duh. Join the dots, ye moguls.
– – –
Harper’s my choice. Soft spots in my heart, though, for the Green’s May, NDP’s Terry Platt (charm and real, not political, candour) and, always, brave Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh.
– – –
Now, getting back to real life — what about them Canucks, eh?
So what about them already. No question, these are strong, tough, skilled athletes — as are all who play the supposedly great Canadian game.
But how do I see that game? Swans packed with dynamite. Incredible grace and beauty carrying the power to destroy bones, teeth, backs, brains. Concussions are accepted as just part of the game. And moronic fans love those crunching board hits.
My take: Keep the game’s muscular elegance — and adopt women’s hockey rules. Imagine trying to sell that to Don Cherry and the morons.
© Trevor Lautens, 2011