November 22, 2005

At Least In The End Mulroney Did The Right Thing

After watching the CBC Special, The Secret Mulroney Tapes, last night and getting all fired up at some of the most ridiculous, unfounded and self-important comments, Mulroney provided a partially saving grace for himself. For the first time I believed him and respected that he was honourable enough to admit it. At the end of the show they air a clip of the former Prime Minister explaining why he was leaving politics. His reason: his heart wasn't in it anymore. To have to admit this to yourself, especially when you hold an office like that of Prime Minister, must be a hard and sobering realization. It is also the one reason I feel too few politcians are never willing to admit to themselves because they have become too addicted to the power of their position. I believe it's why Chretien hung around for his third term (though I believe he rekindled his spark for his fourth based on the wrong reasons) and I believe it's the problem that both Martin and Harper are in now and is why both men are easily gawked at by the public. What is worse is that politicians that govern for reasons lost to them are risks to the nations they work for because they only have ideology to cling to instead. But for Mulroney to be able to realize that his enthusiasm was gone and was strong enough to admit it, I do hold a small ounce of respect for the man. Some people on the Right might question why I can believe that statement and not others. Well, partially because there's a lot of emptiness and baselessness to the majority of what he said. Much of it was personal opinion given as fact. And I don't think he had a reason to lie at that moment. There was nothing weighing on his decision and in the context of what he was looking to do with all these conversations it would have gotten lost as something trivial compared to his commentary on say Meech Lake or Charlottetown. Some on the Left may argue that this was his was excuse, realizing the impending doom of his party. While he may have been privy to the truth of the situation, Mulroney was a man that believed he was one of the greatest Prime Ministers, that he could do no wrong. He also points out before the election that he could probably win it and even after the massive loss, believed he could have at least pulled off a minority government. This was a man that was so awash in his own fantasy that there is little reason to believe that really knew what was about to happen.


williamNPH said...

I thought the documentary painted a very balanced and sympathetic picture of the man.

Not having ever been a fan of Mulroney, I found myself understanding his perspective a little clearer, even while I disagreed with much of it.

I didn't get the sense that any of what he said was insincere. It may have been misguided, but ultimately the bulk of his words carried the weight of a man at one with his convictions.

I think that your point is a good one. Latching on to power, white-knuckle faction, once one has attained it is not enough ... if the vision and the passion is gone, the right thing to do is to step aside. If nothing else, at least Mulroney got that right.

Simon Pole said...

Yeah, at the end of the day, Mulroney was one of us, despite all the bad decisions. The same can't be said about Harper.

Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)