I might be very much alone in what I am going to say about Paul Martin’s silence in terms of what he stands for as the inevitable successor to Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
He can’t speak out.
He is not the Prime Minister, Jean Chretien is the Prime Minister. Martin doesn’t have a Cabinet. Hell, he doesn’t even have a Ministry. At face glance, he is nothing more, and nothing less than “just” another Liberal back-bencher.
Of course he will be far more than that. But not until he takes over the real reigns of power.
Martin is right when he says that there is a government in place, and he has to toe the Party line. As much as I believe it is a major flaw in our political process, toeing the Party line that is, it is nonetheless necessary if we want to keep our current form of governance from collapsing until we can change our current form of governance.
It is one thing to be the leader or Prime Minister in waiting, and an entirely different thing to be destroying the governmental process from the sidelines while you are waiting.
Failing some extraordinary occurrence, Martin will become Prime Minister, and then he will have no choice but to clearly spell out his ambitions for Canada.
However; in many respects, Paul Martin has already said where hew stands on several important issues.
He is clearly in favor of reconstituting Parliament in terms of giving the Members of Parliament more freedom to better represent their constituents, and to vote more often according to their own conscience.
He is on record as saying that believes it most necessary to mend our fences with the Americans.
Through his tenure as the Minister of Finance, we’ve seen what he believes should be the fiscal policy of Canada. Pay down the debt!
As for National Unity, he was a supporter of Meech Lake and the decentralization of many federal powers to the provinces.
What I find strange is the media’s appetite to see him interfere with the ongoing government. If I know where Martin stands on these important issues, based upon what he has already said and done, why doesn’t the media?
They can’t be so stupid. Can they?
If the Media really wants to rip into someone, they should be going after Jean Chretien who is throwing the longest political retirement party in world history.
Chretien is a cretin who just doesn’t want to leave. And in staying, he is trying his best to undermine his most likely successor. And that is wrong. Really wrong.
It is just as wrong as it would be, if Paul Martin would be doing the same by spelling out where Canada will stand on important issues once he takes power, undermining the legitimate current government of the day.
Martin is doing the right thing. To do less would only diminish Canada.
Whether Martin will be a good Prime Minister is the big question. I don’t hold any great expectations, and will most probably vote for the Canadian Alliance, since I have a much better idea of what they stand for, opposed to what Martin stands for.
But that can change.
After Martin governs for a while, and spells out his vision of Canada, who knows what I will do then. Perhaps he will be a refreshing surprise. With a little bit of patience, we will all know soon enough.
In the meantime, instead of putting pressure on Paul Martin to undermine the government of the day, and to split the Party he will ultimately run by creating dissension in the ranks before he becomes Prime Minister, let’s concentrate on getting Chretien out and away from the Longevin Block and the PMO.
Then hold Martin to task.