Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Blonde Ambition Strikes Again!

Belinda Stronach Makes Blonde Jokes Fashionable Again

Politics is a game that is not unlike poker. For many, the goal is ultimately to deceive your fellow players while jockeying for the best hand you possibly can.

On May 17, 2005, Belinda Stronach played a winning hand – at least on paper – by crossing the floor to sit with the Liberal party. Her ultimate reward? A cabinet position as the minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Never mind the little detail that Stronach’s Newmarket-Aurora constituents elected her as a member of the Conservative party – a party for which she placed second in the 2004 leadership convention.

“ I cannot exaggerate how hard this is for me,” Stronach said at a press conference.

“ The country must come first.”

The country. Right.

“ I’ve been uncomfortable for some time with the direction the Conservative party was taking,” Stronach explained. “I regret to say that I do not believe the party leader is truly sensitive to the needs of each part of the country and just how big and complex Canada really is."

While she may have a very arguable point regarding the party’s stance on same-sex marriage, the runner-up to the party leadership crosses the floor and immediately begins criticizing Stephen Harper? Wow. Never saw that coming.

Harper had his own thoughts. “ There’s no grand principle involved in this decision, just ambition,” Harper said.

Ambition is something that Stronach is no stranger to. Considering she dropped out of the York University school of business in 1985, it might be considered curious that she would become a board member at Magna international, an automotive parts company. Then again, maybe not -- her father started the company.

In 1990 she married Magna executive Donald Walker. After five years and two children, she divorced him in 1995. Shortly after, she became a vice-president of the company. In 1999 she would replace Walker as executive vice-president of the company.

So, with a history like this, it’s supposed to be hard to believe she would actually hesitate to stab Stephen Harper in the back for the sake of advancing her career?

From Paul Martin’s end, this couldn’t have worked out any better. He makes Stronach responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Gomery inquiry and makes it look as if his party is actually prepared to act on the scandal. This was very much the PR gambit that the Liberal party desperately needs.

Furthermore, Stronach’s defection brings Martin to 133 seats in parliament. When combined with the NDP’s 19 seats, Martin has the capacity to control 152 seats – dead even with the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois, increasing the importance of Parliament’s three independent sitters.

For Stronach, however, the future should not be so rosy. In crossing the floor to sit with the Liberals, Stronach has betrayed her constituents, her party and her country – all to benefit her own career by keeping a corrupt government in power.
Thankfully, sometimes actions speak louder than words, and Stronach’s actions have spoken pretty loud.

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