Geoffrey Stevens's blog

Deciphering scandals: which ones are real and which are faux?

There are at least three varieties of political scandals – real scandals, maybe (or maybe not) scandals and faux scandals.

In the category of real scandals, I would put the Sponsorship scandal in which an estimated $100 million in taxpayer money disappeared to into the bank accounts of friends and supporters of Jean Chrétien’s Liberals. Another real scandal was the Airbus affair in which former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney secretly accepted $300,000 in cash from Karlheinz Schreiber, the Airbus lobbyist.

What will the Conservatives do without their “Mr. Wonderful?”

When “Mr. Wonderful” left the stage so abruptly last week, he sucked all the air out of the Conservative leadership drama.

Kevin O’Leary’s candidacy had thrilled and distressed Conservatives in roughly equal proportions. Every conversation about the party leadership turned inevitably to the star of Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank.

Not quite the dawning of the Age of Aquarius

In times past when the government had a really big deal to announce, or an item of long-anticipated legislation, it would pull out all the stops. Parliament would be primed. The prime minister would beam proudly while the sponsoring minister(s) explained in lavish terms how the new measure would dramatically improve the lives of ordinary Canadians, enhance democracy and make the nation stronger, safer and more prosperous. Then cabinet members would fan out across the land to deliver the glad tidings.

Hype like that.

Trump and the perils of governing by impulse

“People will tie themselves in knots trying to discern a linear, rational decision-making (process) from Trump. It’s never been part of his character and it’s never going to be.” – Tim O’Brien, a biographer of Donald Trump.

That’s scary.

The world is dealing with an American president who is motivated by impulse rather than strategy, by whim rather than rational decision-making.