Friday, June 06, 2008

The Importance of Balls In Politics

I'll start off by saying this is not a "pro-any-gender" post. Margaret Thatcher has one of the biggest set of balls of any politician in history... Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi... they all had big cajones...

In politics, one needs to be perceived as being decisive and tough when needed. How you handle the proverbial "3am phone-call", or how you "control the red button" is critical to how the media has pumped up the public to believe how you should be... How you react to crises is critical in the perception of your leadership abilities.

In the US Presidential race, I would say that Hilary Clinton had much more of the "cajone factor" than either Obama or McCain. Certainly a gutsy person... but that didn't win her my support, or that of most Democrats. Other factors were at play, including Sen. Obama's oratory skills and focus on "change" at a time when most Americans are looking for change. 4 years ago, when Americans were looking for a "tough" leader with a lot of resolve, Sen. Clinton would have been able to battle Bush better than Mr. Swiftboat.

Here in Canada, we have some interesting "posturing" by the ruling Cons. Conservatives by their very nature require the perception of having balls. It doesn't matter that they don't actually HAVE them... they just need to look like they do. Conservatives love to play "War Prime Minister". They try to look tough on perceived foreign threats. PM Bungles loves the military image... He loves to pose with guns and tanks, and wearing a flak-jacket (somewhat improperly). Like his conservative/republican cronies down South he probably wouldn't care to spend tax dollars on VA Hospitals, or treatments for PTSD, or better base housing, but he sure loves to say he "supports our troops".

Harper/Mr. Bungles is devastated when anyone tells him that Pierre Elliot Trudeau had bigger balls than him. Mr. Trudeau spent the most $s in Canadian history on the military. He made eloquent comments like, "just watch me", that emphasized his swagger. Compared to Trudeau, Harper is nothing but a poseur. Debra Gray would have been a more competent PM than Mr. Bungles.

Mr. Bungles has begun his "virtuous and integrity-filled" government with scandal, hypocrisies, and crises. Whether it was lying about his election promise on Income Trusts, to the Cadman affair, to election financing irregularities, to his attack on Ontario, cities, daycare, and our First Nations,... his NAFTA-gate scandal, his bungling of the position of the Italian government on Italian troops in the field of battle, his appointment of incompetents to cabinet (culminating in the affair Bernier-Couillard), Mr. Bungles-Harper has been buried in the reek of incompetence and lack of cajones...

The funny irony in all this is that Mr. Bungles' crack team of strategists has attempted to discredit the Liberal Leader - Mr. Dion - as not being a leader... Funny how that's worked out, eh? Meanwhile, as each day passes, Mr. Dion is looking more and more like the true leader of the pair. Certainly there is room for improvement. Many of us disagree with the timing of the election call. Still, as time passes, Mr. Bungles is looking less and less like a leader, and more like someone who is into something seriously over his head.

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