What Harper Has In Common With Trudeau and King


TeddyBallgame
#1
- One of The Globe and Mail's staunchest liberals and Liberals is veteran columnist Lawrence Martin.

- One of Martin's virtues as a columnist is that he is usually able to be reasonably objective about the strengths and accomplishments of non-Liberals including the conservatives and the socialists who make up over 80% of the current parliament.

- In this recent Globe column, Martin rates our past and present prime ministers on brain power and rightly ranks Trudeau and Harper as the brainiest PMs of the past century. Blurting out the truth this way, particularly about a leader like Harper who is dedicated to destroying the Liberal party and thereby offering Canadians a straight up choice between a center-right party (the Conservatives) and a center-left party (the NDP) has, of course, made the most partisan and irrational Liberals barking mad and earned Martin a measure of enmity seldom conferred on a Liberal by Liberals. But anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex who has been paying any attention in the past few decades knows that Martin is right to rank PET and the pianist as our brightest leaders.

- Lawrence Martin also acknowledges that Harper is our only PM ever except for MacKenzie King who is educated as an economist (both earned masters in economics) and he makes the point that Canada would be better off with more leaders who know about economics as opposed to leaders who know the law but not economics. Certainly had PET been trained as an economist, it is doubtful that he would have increased the federal debt by over 1100% and almost bankrupted the economy.

- For me, the ideal PM would have Harper's brainpower and education, Mulroney's negotiating and people skills, Diefenbaker's charisma and oratorical talents, Chretien's populism and humour and, Pearson's fundamental decency. Unfortunately, this is asking for way too much.

- The only minor quibble I have with Martin's column is that he states that Harper is the longest serving PM not trained in the law. In fact, MacKenzie King who was an economist like Harper was 22 years as PM to Harper's almost seven and so clearly deserves that distinction.

Brains aren’t everything, but these PMs had them

LAWRENCE MARTIN

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Dec. 04 2012, 7:00 AM EST

Last updated Tuesday, Dec. 04 2012, 7:00 AM EST

So who were the big brains? Who among our prime ministers were the most cerebrally gifted?

In last week’s column, I raised a few eyebrows with my observation that Pierre Trudeau and Stephen Harper had the sharpest minds of the PMs of the past century. Some respondents agreed, while others took serious exception to the Harper ranking, asking how I could possibly say that someone who governed like an autocratic bully had such a smart mind. The two, of course, aren’t mutually exclusive.

A PM who should rank at or near the top in any brainiac rankings, a reader insisted, is the polymath Richard B. Bennett. The non-swinging bachelor, who served as PM from 1930 to 1935, had what biographer John Boyko described as “stunning intelligence.” By 18, he had already become a school principal in his native New Brunswick. He went on to make a fortune in business ventures before turning to politics. He had a prodigious memory that could recall full passages at will. R.J. Manion, the one-time Conservative leader who served under five prime ministers, including Wilfrid Laurier and Mackenzie King, said Bennett was the brightest by a long shot.

Brains, of course, are not always key to political success. Ronald Reagan, who had less mental equipment than any leader I ever covered, was clear proof of that. Bennett, regarded by some as a pompous ***, had the misfortune of governing during the Great Depression. The high IQ didn’t help.

Bennett was one of the few PMs who wasn’t a lawyer, a distinction held by Mr. Harper as well. Mr. Harper, whose academic field was economics, is the longest-serving PM not schooled in the law. The country has had an exceptional predilection for putting legal minds on the throne, as opposed to men of finance. Since Canada’s economic management is more important than attributes possessed by barristers and solicitors, the advisability of the tendency is debatable. Of our long-serving prime ministers, no fewer than nine were lawyers. Only two or three had substantive tutelage in economics and finance.

Although he is exceptionally smart, Mr. Harper operates in an ironically anti-intellectual fashion. His government’s shameful penchant for repressing research serves as an illustration. He is too entrapped in ideology and too unimaginative to be considered a great mind. That said, his strengths are considerable. He is encyclopedic and deep, a precise thinker who, as anyone who’s worked with him will tell you, is master of the files. His understanding of issues is nuanced, and he applies that knowledge shrewdly and strategically.

In terms of intellectual pedigree, no PM stands above Pierre Trudeau. His thorough and systematic pursuit of knowledge, as seen in scrupulous detail in biographies by John English and Max and Monique Nemni, was remarkable.

Among Conservatives of the last century, not to be forgotten is Robert Borden. He was not only a legal whiz but an intellectually layered man who, as historian Michael Bliss relates, read Greek and Latin. Brian Mulroney was a quick study and an articulate one. John Diefenbaker was off in his own mythological world.

Among Liberal PMs of a similar time frame, Louis St. Laurent had an exceptional legal mind. For street smarts, it’s hard to top Jean Chrétien, the meat and potatoes pragmatist who eschewed intellectualism with good results. Lester Pearson was of impressive scholarly and diplomatic pedigree but too woolly of a thinker to rank with the best. And while Mackenzie King was gifted in many cerebral ways, his frequent descent into the looney chamber for table-rapping sessions and communing with the dead can’t be overlooked in any ranking of our most enlightened leaders.

King was one of the few with a background in economics (a master’s degree in political economy and work experience with the Rockefellers). It served him well, as it seems to be doing for Mr. Harper. While the country has produced many prime ministers of high intelligence, we could have used more men of finance and fewer from the bar
 
DaSleeper
+2
#2
See...........http://forums.canadiancontent.net/me...very-word.html
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
+1
#3
I see Teddy has written another novel. What else? He's another Canadian Prime Minister!
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+1
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

See...........http://forums.canadiancontent.net/me...very-word.html

Now I see what sparked the idea for the thread. lol.
 
Locutus
+4
#5  Top Rated Post
Why the need to pick, re-pick and nitpick another member's threads?

It's a petite troll sure but what does it gain or even change?


Does anyone actually expect Teddy to alter his personality to suit yours?


Do you really think we'll delete his contributions or ban him?
C'mon man.

He's sniped at me for this 'n' that too but I'm over the hurt.


Teddy provides OC where most of us (especially me) present regurgitated articles or links found (and hat-tipped if we're honest) on the web. Sure, he often includes a fully c&p'ed article too. What of it? If you haven't got him on ignore, does this mean it is hindering or worsening your experience here on CC? If so, please let us know so we can purge our boards of the offending posts. Otherwise, please ignore, use self-restraint or even the decency to live and let live.


The constant name-dropping, third-person ( e.g. Walter) chatter and innuendo is nothing more than petty flame throwing. It contributes nothing positive to the site and only demonstrates an attitude of intolerance and exclusion.


I'll tell ya though, it won't take much more than a mouse click from here on in to clean up the sanctimonious nonsense. I won't even break an e-sweat. Try me.


And hey, thanks in advance eh.

Yours truly,

Mod at large

Locutus
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by TeddyBallgameView Post

- One of The Globe and Mail's staunchest liberals and Liberals is veteran columnist Lawrence Martin.

- One of Martin's virtues as a columnist is that he is usually able to be reasonably objective about the strengths and accomplishments of non-Liberals including the conservatives and the socialists who make up over 80% of the current parliament.

Objectivity seems to be quite rare. It's comical that some people choose to avoid objectivity.

Quote:


- Lawrence Martin also acknowledges that Harper is our only PM ever except for MacKenzie King who is educated as an economist (both earned masters in economics) and he makes the point that Canada would be better off with more leaders who know about economics as opposed to leaders who know the law but not economics. Certainly had PET been trained as an economist, it is doubtful that he would have increased the federal debt by over 1100% and almost bankrupted the economy.

"1980 to 1984 - Pierre Trudeau (Liberal)
1984 to 1984 - John Turner (Liberal)
1984 to 1993 - Brian Mulroney (Progressive Conservative)
1993 to 2003 - Jean Chretien (Liberal)
2003 to 2006 - Paul Martin (Liberal)
2006 to 2011 - Stephen Harper (Conservative - minority)
2011 to present - Stephen Harper (Conservative - majority)

" - http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/...t-history.html

Yep, Harpy the Economist has done very well alright.

Quote:

- For me, the ideal PM would have Harper's brainpower and education, Mulroney's negotiating and people skills, Diefenbaker's charisma and oratorical talents, Chretien's populism and humour and, Pearson's fundamental decency. Unfortunately, this is asking for way too much.

True enough. Downright surreal to get one politician like that.

Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post

Why the need to pick, re-pick and nitpick another member's threads?

It's a petite troll sure but what does it gain or even change?

Does anyone actually expect Teddy to alter his personality to suit yours?

Do you really think we'll delete his contributions or ban him? C'mon man.

He's sniped at me for this 'n' that too but I'm over the hurt.


Teddy provides OC where most of us (especially me) present regurgitated articles or links found (and hat-tipped if we're honest) on the web. Sure, he often includes a fully c&p'ed article too. What of it? If you haven't got him on ignore, does this mean it is hindering or worsening your experience here on CC? If so, please let us know so we can purge our boards of the offending posts. Otherwise, please ignore, use self-restraint or even the decency to live and let live.

The constant name-dropping, third-person ( e.g. Walter) chatter and innuendo is nothing more than petty flame throwing. It contributes nothing positive to the site and only demonstrates an attitude of intolerance and exclusion.

I'll tell ya though, it won't take much more than a mouse click from here on in to clean up the sanctimonious nonsense. I won't even break an e-sweat. Try me.

And hey, thanks in advance eh.

Yours truly,

Mod at large

Locutus

e-sweat? lol
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post

Why the need to pick, re-pick and nitpick another member's threads?

It's a petite troll sure but what does it gain or even change?

Does anyone actually expect Teddy to alter his personality to suit yours?

Do you really think we'll delete his contributions or ban him? C'mon man.

He's sniped at me for this 'n' that too but I'm over the hurt.


Teddy provides OC where most of us (especially me) present regurgitated articles or links found (and hat-tipped if we're honest) on the web. Sure, he often includes a fully c&p'ed article too. What of it? If you haven't got him on ignore, does this mean it is hindering or worsening your experience here on CC? If so, please let us know so we can purge our boards of the offending posts. Otherwise, please ignore, use self-restraint or even the decency to live and let live.

The constant name-dropping, third-person ( e.g. Walter) chatter and innuendo is nothing more than petty flame throwing. It contributes nothing positive to the site and only demonstrates an attitude of intolerance and exclusion.

I'll tell ya though, it won't take much more than a mouse click from here on in to clean up the sanctimonious nonsense. I won't even break an e-sweat. Try me.

And hey, thanks in advance eh.

Yours truly,

Mod at large

Locutus

I don't see anything objectionable in the three responses, or perhaps you removed one?
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

See...........http://forums.canadiancontent.net/me...very-word.html

Actually, although I don't read all of Teddy's posts, when I do read one, I usually read all of it. I appreciate the effort and the amount of thought in them, if not the content sometimes.
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

Objectivity seems to be quite rare. It's comical that some people choose to avoid objectivity.



"1980 to 1984 - Pierre Trudeau (Liberal)
1984 to 1984 - John Turner (Liberal)
1984 to 1993 - Brian Mulroney (Progressive Conservative)
1993 to 2003 - Jean Chretien (Liberal)

Kimmy won't be happy!
 
damngrumpy
No Party Affiliation
#10
The main thing he has with Trudeau, is he has assumed the mantle of king, Mulroney
did this too and even when he was popular he wasn't. It is a strange Canadian thing
and ultimately we throw out even popular leaders when they crown themselves king.
It is something about preceived arrogance and Canadians don't like it, they tolerate it
but they don't like it.
If it continues, Harpy will find himself back in a minority position.
 
Locutus
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

I don't see anything objectionable in the three responses, or perhaps you removed one?

I made it clear what I find 'objectionable'. The sarcasm, innuendo; the implied 'oh it's this thread again' and elbow-digging. If you really do need further clarification, please ask me again.

In as far as I mentioned myself and Walter, my remarks were certainly not limited to this single thread; although it runs congruent to my point.


If you have something to contribute to the topic, please share it, otherwise, do us a favor and hold your e-tongue. It takes much more effort and emotion on your part to type out a flame or troll than to not bother at all.


And please, if the OP is such a nuisance, place him or her on ignore. Thanks.
 
TeddyBallgame
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

The main thing he has with Trudeau, is he has assumed the mantle of king, Mulroney
did this too and even when he was popular he wasn't. It is a strange Canadian thing
and ultimately we throw out even popular leaders when they crown themselves king.
It is something about preceived arrogance and Canadians don't like it, they tolerate it
but they don't like it.
If it continues, Harpy will find himself back in a minority position.

- Yes, the imperial prime ministership began with Trudeau in the late 60s just as the imperial presidency began with Nixon in the late 60s. And every PM and POTUS since then has continued the tradition of huge personal staffs, increasing isolation from ordinary citizens and from the media, an ever more luxurious lifestyle, the marginalization of the legislative branch, increased centralization of power in the PMO and PCO and the rest of the trappings of the sovereign ruler. It is a worrisome development but they all do it and to expect that replacing Harper will put an end to this trend is not very realistic. (Even the populist Chretien got in on the act with the purchase of new luxury jets for the PM and ministers' use, the more than doubling of the PM's pension payout, a large increase in the PMO staff, etc.)

- The days when one could wander up to parliament hill and see PM Diefenbaker walking around outside the centre block with aids and reporters in tow and get close enough for a word or an autograph are sadly long gone except for occasional staged events.
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#13
"Imperialism"? Don'tcha mean "monarchism"?
 

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