Monday, April 16, 2007

This Just In: Kevin Potvin Still Doesn't Get It

Potvin clearly not ready for prime time politics

In a world that is constantly changing, it is comforting that some things will never change. Even after his disqualification from candidacy for the Green party, Kevin Potvin’s delusions are apparently one of those things.

In a recent statement, Potvin decried the decision of the Green party executive. "I think the Ottawa headquarters of the Green party misplayed this whole issue,” Potvin mused. “They're not ready for prime-time national politics.”

Fair enough. The Green Party may not be ready for “prime-time national politics.” Then again, neither is Kevin Potvin.

Although it is a well-known political fact that bad press is better than no press – the argument is that a party devoid of media attention will be regarded as irrelevant – the fact is that the amount of negative press heaped on Potvin (and rightfully so) would have made his candidacy a wasted effort. While the Green party may not have any ambitions of government, no fringe party can afford to waste the time, effort, and (most importantly for a small party) money in promoting an unelectable candidate.

Potvin’s most recently-reported musings aren’t the first time that he has engaged in some seemingly-thoughtful self-denial. On his campaign website, Potvin describes himself as a potential “middle of the road” candidate.

While Potvin’s empty anti-Americanism surely would have attracted votes from anti-American ideologues, the mainstream votes necessary for a candidate to win a campaign – especially on a “middle of the road” platform – wouldn’t be able to flee fast enough.

In what can only be described as a confusing logical fallacy, Potvin pointed to his troubles as the cause of the Green party’s other major controversy -- the back room deal between Elizabeth May and Stephane Dion that would prevent either party from running candidates against either leader . "[The National Post editorial] worried the Stephane Dion people enough to the point where they were able to say to Elizabeth May, `Look we took our guy out of a riding for you, you take your guy out of a riding for us,' '' he said.

If anyone can explain how Kevin Potvin’s removal satisfies the agreement in question – given that Dion is running in the riding of Saint-Laurent – Cartierville – or why Kevin Potvin’s 9/11 comments would be a source of worry for Stephan Dion, please let Potvin know. He probably can’t think of any plausible reasons himself.

As evidenced by a Republic column, Potvin also believes himself to be a threat to Industry Minister David Emerson. “The prospect of running against David Emerson had a beauty to it, but also, when I saw who the NDP and Liberals had nominated, I saw a real possibility of winning,” Potvin suggested. “The prospect of being the first Green in the House of Commons, and all the media glare that would come from that, tickled me when I thought about how that much attention could be turned toward environmental and industrial policy reform.”

Potvin clearly paints a very flattering self-image for himself: journalistic icon, environmental visionary, giant of Canadian politics. Unfortunately, none of them really fit.

As the headline reads, Kevin Potvin just doesn’t get it. And while it is very unfortunate that he has received death threats in the wake of the recent publicity of his 9/11 comments, it is very fortunate indeed that he is unsure whether or not he will continue to pursue a political career.

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