Sunday, September 18, 2011

David Suzuki Extinguishes His Own Credibility

When the Ontario Liberal Party secured the endorsement of David Suzuki, they were so excited they went out and made an ad about it.

In it, Suzuki extinguishes what little remained of his own credibility. Gushing over Premier Dalton McGuinty's environmental record, Suzuki declares how excited he was when McGuinty promised to shut down Ontario's coal-fired power plants. He declares the promise to be "a big step" toward fixing Ontario's relationship with the environment.

The problem is that McGuinty made the promise, then promptly set about breaking it. In 2006, he promised to shut down those power plants by 2009. In 2009, he promised to shut them down by 2014 He might not be around to keep that promise in 2014. Even if he is, he probably won't.

Even McGuinty's vaunted green jobs accomplishments are fading, as green energy firms continue laying workers off. Adding to the comedy is McGuinty staging a photo op at a solar panel factory that had shut down production.

In other words, McGuinty's environmental record is not all rainbows and sunshine. It's actually piss-poor at best. All he's offering in the 2011 election is more of the promises he already broke. He'll never keep them.

It only makes sense that the Liberals would work so hard to establish themselves as good environmentalists. But Ontarians aren't stupid, and can spot a broken promise when someone makes it again. In their effort to brand themselves as the party for the environment, they've managed to counter-brand themselves as promise-breakers.

For himself, Suzuki has done worse. In attempting to brand himself the voice of environmentalism in the 2011 election, he's counter-branded himself as an unprincipled hack who offers the Liberal Party's broken promises up as if they were achievements.

He's definitively turned his back on his own credibility. He'll never be taken seriously again.

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