Looks can be de­ceiv­ing

The Compass - - OPINION -

Sea­mus O’Regan burst on to the New­found­land and Labrador po­lit­i­cal scene with gusto in a care­fully staged “well here I am at last” theme this week at the St.Theresa’s Par­ish Hall in St. John’s, close to the area where he grew up.

He made no back bones about his friend­ship with Lib­eral leader Justin Trudeau and said to a re­porter at the press con­fer­ence Trudeau was not the driv­ing force for his de­ci­sion to run in the next fed­eral elec­tion.

I am not one bit pol­lit­i­cally at­tracted to ei­ther Trudeau nor O’Regan. Both came on to the na­tional po­lit­i­cal scene emp­ty­handed. Trudeau rid­ing on the coat tail of his late fa­ther Pierre and O’Regan pan­der­ing to the crowd who for years watched him on the pop­u­lar Canada A.M. pro­gram.

Justin and Sea­mus have one thing in com­mon in my opin­ion — boy­ish looks and brains — but there’s no ob­vi­ous strength (ma­tu­rity) in their voices or their pres­ence. An au­thor­i­ta­tive voice is es­sen­tial to a strong leader I think.

Pierre Trudeau had it and Danny Wil­liams had it. There is a large gap left between what Justin and his friend Sea­mus think they have to of­fer vot­ers and what they can de­liver down the road.

Of late the only thing Trudeau talks about is the cur­rent gov­ern­ment scan­dal. O’Regan only dreams about a Lib­eral sweep with Par­lia­ment Hill de­liv­er­ing seven (red) seats filled with fight­ing New­found­lan­ders af­ter the next fed­eral elec­tion. (Pos­i­tive think­ing at work).

No guar­an­tees

I ad­mire Sea­mus for his in­tel­lect and his achieve­ments. (Trudeau too is bril­liant in­tel­lec­tu­ally). Be­cause Sea­mus made it to the top in broad­cast­ing and be­cause he dab­bled in the of­fices and back­rooms of pol­i­tics some years back won’t nec­es­sar­ily make him an effective NL MP. He is like a fish out of wa­ter. A square peg in a round hole to coin a phrase.

This slick dressed tag-team of Justin/and Sea­mus is en­ter­ing the 10th round of a 12 rounder and I doubt it if they can de­liver the knock out blow to Stephen Harper. (Ac­cord­ing to polls most Cana­di­ans des­per­ately want Harper booted out).

Boy­ish looks and rid­ing the wave of pop­u­lar in­sti­tu­tions of the past, and present, good lead­ers don’t nec­es­sar­ily make. The only na­tional at­ten­tion Trudeau com­manded lately is the un­for­tu­nate de­tails about the break in at his Ottawa home.

As for Sea­mus, he got the spot­light merely be­cause he made the “well here I am at last” leap of faith this week in St.John’s.

O’Regan makes Ryan Cleary look like a prize fighter and un­for­tu­nately the same can be said of young Trudeau in re­la­tion to Harper. He makes Ste­vie look like Rocky Bal­boa. And, so it goes.

— Bill West­cott writes from Clarke’s Beach.

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