Paul Martin for President
I remember seeing an article in the Globe & Mail a few weeks ago about some of the similarities between John Kerry and Paul Martin. I'd already mused about this a few times before and as time goes on, the similarities become more and more apparent. And due to this, I'm really starting to dislike John Kerry. Unlike up here, there's no real option since, let's be frank, George Bush is probably the worst President of the last 100 years whereas Stephen Harper wasn't really the demon he was painted to be. As a result, all Democrats need to get behind the guy but many of his "Martinish" (not to be confused with "Martini") tendencies should have them very worried.
1) How we got here: Like Martin, John Kerry has spent his entire life craving for the power that comes with the top job. And like Martin, he rode a huge wave of momentum during the leadership process since he was viewed as the most "electable" candidate. This, on the strength of a few polls showing him at 47% while Dean was at 45%. Wo-hoo. Neither the Liberal Party nor the Democrats really took a strong look at the candidates and preferred to go on the abstract "electibility" adjective or the X factor. For Martin, it was his father being a star cabinet minister and three-time loser for leadership. This made it "Paul's turn". I remember many Liberals saying they preferred John Manley or Brian Tobin but, hey, it's "Paul's turn". Kerry's X factor was his military record. Never mind that the most successful Democrat of the last 50 years was a draft dodger...for some reason, that Kerry fought in a senseless war 30 years ago, he's better suited to bring in health care reform.
2) Richie Rich: Paul ran a shipping company. Kerry married a Ketchup heiress. Both are filthy rich. Jean Chretien and Bill Clinton had humble roots. I won't add any comments but you can see where I'm going with this.
3) Enemy of the State: If Kerry wins, it will be because people hate George Bush. This is the same strategy Martin used and it got him a minority. Of course, Kerry's got a bit more ammunition to work it so it's likely not a bad idea for him. So long as he stays away from eating puppies on stage, he should be OK.
4) Mr. Saturday Night: Charisma? We don't need no stinking charisma! These guys are probably the dullest speakers in their respective parties. How on earth they can get anyone excited is beyond me.
5) They're both old.
6) Policy Matters: And now we get to the real area of concern. Paul Martin has been all things to all people his entire lifetime. Every issue is his number 1 concern. He's been Prime Minister 8 months now and he does not have a single accomplishment to speak of. Like Paul, Kerry describes himself as a "policy buff" but has done little during his political career to really make people take notice. The most troubling thing is that it's hard to find where Kerry stands on anything. The Republican talking points claim he's the "most liberal Senator" but I haven't heard any radically leftist policies from him during this campaign. In fact, I haven't heard any policies whatsoever. Just rhetoric. Both Paul Martin and John Kerry wake up every morning, eat a bowl of Whole Wheat cereal, go to work, and claim they're going to change the world. Do they have any ideas for changing the world? Nope. I'd put a lot more stock in Miss America than either of those two when it comes to over the top promises.
7) Hypocricy: This is likely a continuation of number 5, but it's the issue that really got me going. John Kerry supported the war in Iraq. Fine. The President lied, it's understandable that he'd vote for war. But when asked if he'd change his vote knowing everything he now knows, he's said he wouldn't. To me, this is mind-boggling. The Democrats are going to run against Iraq yet their leader would not have done a single thing differently than Bush there. Kerry's solution is basically "I would have fought the war smarter". Yet no one seems to care about this. Just like Martin could attack Harper on Health Care, Abortion and Iraq despite having very similar opinions on all of those issues.
8) They're both share a name with Beatles.