Belinda

There are very few new truly creative projects arising on the Web these days. It’s with pleasure that I discovered this one, called PostSecret. It’s a blog where anyone can submit a secret dressed up as a postcard; they call it a “community art project.” It really is quite gripping reading.

In other news, celebrity Ceonservative MP Belinda Stronach recently made waves when she defected to the Liberal party and took up a cabinet post in Paul Martin’s government. I have earlier disclosed my very brief association with the Stronach family in this bulletin entry (see Jan 16, 2004). With that in mind, here’s my take on this event:

  • Belinda’s father Frank is, to some extent, the master who pulls her career strings. And Frank always wanted to be a bigshot in the Liberal party of Canada. Is Belinda’s move in part a reflection of Daddy’s unfulfilled ambitions?
  • It is entirely possible that Belinda’s move was an altruistic one. She had earlier expressed a liking for the Liberal-NDP budget and has now moved to act on that support. Moreover, her handlers are likely poised to paint her move as “patriotic”, since she is effectively reducing the chances of another election, and no non-politician wants another election.
  • It is equally possible that Belinda’s move was one of opportunism. This is, after all, a woman who arrogantly sought the leadership of a major political party without ever having held public office, giving her a very real chance of moving straight from private life into the Prime Minister’s chair, without ever having weathered an election. With that kind of ambition, it’s not a great stretch to imagine her discontent with being an unadorned MP; the lure of a cabinet position would have been palpable.
  • What is very likely is that her Prime Ministerial ambitions have been quashed. In the Conservative party, she was always a contender for the leader’s office and hence the keys to the nation. With the Liberals, she stands a greater chance of being with the ruling party, but is way down in the pecking order. The Conservatives may never give her another chance, and the Liberals will make her wait a decade before considering her as leader material, if ever.
  • This might all blow up in her face. Many believe that the Liberal budget was designed to fail because the Liberals actually do want an election but don’t want to be seen as the ones who forced it. If an election comes, will Belinda’s constituency support her move? I suspect not. She and her team may have greatly overestimated the potency of her charisma which, while unique among the babe-free Conservatives, is not not so important for the Liberal base. She stands a very good chance of losing her federal seat.

Time will tell, my droogies. Time will tell.