Monday, September 20, 2004

"Beer, Mr. Petersen?"


"It's a little early, isn't it, Woody?"

"For a beer?"

"No, for stupid questions."

From the Yes, That Is A Rhetorical Question! file comes the man Colby Cosh is describing as "former internet journalist Andrew Coyne", with a depressingly accurate assessment of the Ontario leadership vote and the state of small-c conservatism in Canada. ($ubscriber only link here.)

"The problem with universal well-regard, after all, is that one is disinclined to give it up. Who wants to go from being the toast of the town to pariah? Is Mr. Tory willing to take the kinds of risks, make the kinds of enemies, that even the mildest attempt to reign in the Leviathan state demands?"

He goes on to note that "As of today, there is not a government or opposition party, anywhere in the country, that has any serious plans to reverse its growth." Did I already use 'depressingly accurate'?

The wood of the column though, for me, is the penultimate paragraph, which comes after he lists the various half-measures and struggles pursued under the Common Sense Revolution.

After such exertions, the party decided it needed a lie-down, electing Ernie Eves as its leader. This won it praise from the Liberal press, and not much else: the party went down to a crushing defeat at the next election. What lesson did the party learn from this? That it should repeat the experiment. Hence its present choice of leader, the second straight to be endorsed by the Toronto Star.
It's still six weeks away, but if there is one lesson to be learned from the U.S. presidential election, it's got to be the total folly of choosing a leader based on his/her presumptive "electability". Will it sink in this time? Heaven forfend. Conservative (and most other) Canadians remain wedded to the notion of an "ideal candidate"; they are undeterred by the fact that these candidates keep losing to people like Jean Chretien.

UPDATE 425PM: The previous paragraph appears to have been lifted directly from Adam Radwanski (Saturday the 18th). It wasn't, but full credit to him.

I could go on. I might tomorrow.


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