We don’t need a Donald Trump North
By Bill Phillips
So Kevin O’Leary thinks a duly-elected Canadian premier is only worth a million bucks.
The Canadian fat-cat and reality show star (Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank) has said he’ll invest $1 million in the oil industry if Alberta premier Rachel Notley resigns. Wow, what a personal sacrifice he’s willing to make, shelling out $1 million to invest in an industry that is currently suffering (so stock prices are down) but will rebound eventually. That would make O’Leary, wait for it, richer. If he promised to give the money to charity then at least it would look like he’s in it for someone other than himself.
Sure it’s a stunt to gain attention, but what an arrogant buffoon. If the one-per-centers ever wonder why the 99-per-centers despise them so much, this a good example.
Here you have someone with money who doesn’t like something and the only solution is to throw money at it to try and make it go away.
Even worse is the notion that business trumps democracy. We seem to be far enough down that road already.
We have a newly-elected federal government promising some sort of electoral reform and if O’Leary had his way that reform would mean those with a seven-figure bank account would get all the votes.
If O’Leary doesn’t like what Notley is doing in Alberta, then maybe he should move to Alberta and run against her next time. It’s called democracy. However, we only need to look south of the border to see how frightening uber-rich reality television stars can be when they get involved in politics.
We don’t need Donald Trump North.
At least Notley took it in stride, referring to a group of Alberta businessmen, whom she dubbed the Monopoly Men, who urged voters not to elect the NDP.
“The last time a group of wealthy businessmen tried to tell Alberta voters how to vote, I ended up becoming premier,” she reportedly said.
She added that was when she knew she had won the election.
As we prepare for some sort of debate on electoral reform, it’s ironic that it’s the Conservatives who most vehemently abhor Notley and the NDP (or any New Democratic Party government) and it’s the also the Conservatives who staunchly support the first past the post electoral system.
One of the arguments Conservatives give in favour of keeping the electoral status quo is the system gives a majority government the mandate and stability to rule for four or five years. That system has given that power and that mandate to Notley and the NDP … Let her do her job.
Bill Phillips is a freelance columnist living in Prince George. He was the winner of the 2009 Best Editorial award at the British Columbia/Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards, in 2007 he won the association’s Best Columnist award. In 2004, he placed third in the Canadian Community Newspaper best columnist category and, in 2003, placed second. He can be reached at email@example.com