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Saturday, October 02, 2004

My book's first media mention

The Toronto Sun writes about Jean Chretien: A Legacy of Scandal. (No link so either buy the dead tree version of the Sun or check my blog at Sobering Thoughts). Michael Taube writes:

"This book is a thorough repudiation of the former prime minister?s decade of destruction. The author meticulously picks apart every aspect of the Chretien Liberals, from patronage appointments to political boondoggles. No stone is left unturned, and no scandal is left untouched."

Well that is very kind, even if I do know and sometimes write with Michael. A number of people have said to me, in a somewhat surprised voice, that Jean Chretien: A Legacy of Scandal reads easily. Well, thanks. Now, I'm somewhat biased, but I think that everyone needs to understand that the real legacy of Chretien is the scandal of the endless, petty pursuit of power for the sake of power. As I note in one of the last chapters of the book, we are lucky that Chretien didn't want to do much with that power, because he and his office had a dangerous degree of control over our government. Taube captures the essence of this argument that scandal is more than patronage, cover-ups, pay-offs, etc..., but in the case of Chretien it was all for the purpose of keeping power. Adscam was bad enough as a mere waste of money; it was unconciousable as a method of maintaining a Liberal base of political power in Quebec.

Posted by Paul Tuns on October 2, 2004 in Books | Permalink


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I saw the article on my travels today. Sounds like an interesting book and congratulations on receiving some attention. I guess your interview on the CBC is all lined up now.

Posted by: Greg Staples | 2004-10-02 1:32:43 PM

Could Chretien have achieved such tremendous power in Canada without the fawning left wing "lickspittle" Canadain mass media with blinded eyes, closed minds and muted voices to the corrruption of his Liberal administration. I don't think so.

Sadly the socialist mainstream Canadian media mindset remains. Witness promoting the corrupt Liberal regime for re-election in June.
I intend to purchase Paul Tuns new book.

Posted by: Joseph Molnar | 2004-10-02 2:00:33 PM

Decent review, and I'll be looking for the book.

A small nit to pick with your post, however. You say that, "we are lucky that Chretien didn't want to do much with that power, because he and his office had a dangerous degree of control over our government." Wrong tense, there.

The PM and his office STILL DO have a dangerous degree of control, and I see absolutely no evidence that this is going to change.

Nor is this the fault of Paul Martin, but of the entire country. As long as Prime Ministers (and Premiers for that matter) continue to be treated as gods rather than as "first among equals" (by the media, the voters, and most critically by their parties and caucuses themselves), there will be NO reduction in the powers accorded to those individuals, and hence no devolution of powers either within Parliament or more broadly within Confederation.

This is, in my humble view, the most critical failing of our political system, and it receives lip-service at best.

/rant off

Posted by: Doug Kemp | 2004-10-02 2:03:41 PM

It is disturbing but Martin's supreme court appointments may make Cretien look benign.

Posted by: Pete E | 2004-10-02 3:18:44 PM

is it in bookstores yet?

Posted by: Jonathan | 2004-10-03 10:31:12 AM

You are correct that we are fortunate Chretien had no grand ambitions outside keeping power. My opinion of him is very low, but IMHO he actually did understand that most of the electorate did not want any more social programs. Paul Martin may yet make Chretien look good in retrospect.

Posted by: CJ | 2004-10-03 7:11:59 PM

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