Friday, April 11, 2014
Jim Flaherty: The Man and the Legacy
I think it's fair to say that he was a better person at the end of his political career than he was at the beginning.
He did reinvent himself from a pit bull to something vaguely resembling a pragmatist.
He did become more human.
And I'm sorry he died before he could spend more time with his family, or on the golf course, as he well deserved.
But it also must be said that he was a prominent member of the worst government in Canadian history, and this is part of his legacy.
Because a legacy is the sum of everything we did when we were alive, the good and the bad.
And on a day when praise is flowing like water, in a country where we have a truth deficit, that truth must be told.
And that is that while Flaherty did some good things, like help the disabled, and was said to be a warm man, he never could shake his insatiable desire to kill government.
He was just a money manager, with no vision to transform or prepare this country for the challenges ahead.
He would rather squeeze the poor and the elderly, than his friends in Big Business. There was all the money in the world for the Porky Action Plan ads, but none for the country's veterans. He caused an enormous amount of suffering, and on the day he died this too is his legacy.
CBC/Radio Canada will axe at least 657 employees over the next two years, reduce regional programming and dramatically scale back its sports coverage as it tries to stay out of the red.
A little more of the idea of Canada killed or shrunken for no good reason, more Canadians unemployed.
In a country never more grubbier or fractured.
By a leader he served so well...
The one who today was praising him extensively. But who on the day Flaherty left hardly mentioned his departure.
As if to punish him for daring to leave, and daring to disagree with him on the question of income splitting.
Still, I do believe that in his last year, Jimbo as I used to call him, finally realized the true nature of Stephen Harper and was starting to distance himself from him.
I believe in the power of redemption. I look for the good in everyone.
If he could move a man like Tom Mulcair to tears he must have had some good human qualities.
And while I will fight his disastrous right-wing policies, and his ghastly Cons, until the day I die. In my own way I'll also miss him.
For I always did portray him a little more gently than the others.
While making a not so subtle comment on his tragic lack of vision, and the sum of his economic legacy.
And after so many years, I will miss him standing there on his tiny molehill...
Rest in peace Jim Flaherty.
Good night Jimbo...
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