I am not sure how many of you follow British politics (or Canadian for that matter) but I find politics quite fascinating – which may explain my MA in political history. There have been many similarities in the relationship between former PM Jean Chretien and his then Finance Minisiter and former Britis PM Tony Blair and his Chancellor of the Exchequer (AKA Finance Minister). Both underlings had been stalwart supporters of their leaders and arguably, had brought about much of their respective PMs success. But both had larger ambitions under party leaders who did not want step down.
What happenned to Paul Martin is well known here. Paul wanted to be PM because he wanted to be PM. He had no vision nor agenda. Paul’s father had wanted to be Prime Minister but had been thwarted. Once he became PM with no real agenda he basically foundered. He catered to the provinces (child care, gas transfer taxes) and he seemed to go about just trying to make everyone happy. Until the Gomery commission started releasing his findings. He could not weather that storm and now we have Stephane Dion.
I don’t know a whole lot about current British politics. However I do believe that history is about to repeat itself. Gordon Brown, saddled with an unpopular war does not seem to be making much headway. He also appears to be the victim of a perfect storm of political demise: terrorist doctors, flooding of biblical proportions and now a resurgence of hoof and mouth disease. It will be interesting to see if he is able to rise above the legacy of Tony Blair and lead the country successfully through this crisis or will he go down like Paul Martin.