Stronach unqualified Conservative Party leader

By Michael Jankovic

Belinda Stronach will not win the Conservative Party’s leadership.

Stronach, the daughter of an auto parts tycoon, has many obstacles on the road to success. I believe these obstacles are insurmountable.

First of all, she is a political baby. She is a board member of several distinguished organizations, including the JFK School of Government at Harvard, nevertheless she is not a proven commodity when it comes to the practical aspects of politics. In response to this criticism she replies she has run her father’s company for three years with hardly any practical experience. Of course, her run at Magna International has not been something to showcase. During her reign costs have gone up and despite increasing sales, annual income has dropped.

Her neophyte status was confirmed with a less-than-inspiring campaign kick-off speech and her even less inspiring answers to questions after her announcement.

Contributing to the image of being inexperienced is her background as an heiress rather than a self-made millionaire. The grassroots of the party, especially in the West, will be suspicious of the motives of anyone as wealthy as Stronach, particularly when her status was given, not earned. Add to that the fact that she dropped out of York University in her first year, and her experience in business is due less to her being a skilled businessperson as to her being the daughter of a captain of industry, and it would seem she should be discounted right away.

Secondly, she is way too liberal to be a Conservative MP, let alone a conservative leader.

She is a friend of the bane of all North American conservatives, Bill Clinton. That alone should probably disqualify her from membership, never mind leadership, in any conservative party in North America.

Her policy propositions are also distinctly non-conservative, especially her affirmation of gay marriage. She is fiscally conservative socially liberal, in Canada we call that a Liberal not a Conservative.

Her current strategy is to find members outside the traditional stomping grounds of the old Canadian Alliance: Quebec. Although this strategy may work in the short-term, it will soon be trumped by another of Stronach’s weaknesses–she can hardly speak French.

At first, I thought Stronach would be dangerous to the Liberal Party. She would probably soften the image of the Conservative Party, making it more palatable to the Eastern portion of the country, so those people looking for a change would feel safe in choosing the Conservatives.

Now, I think she is probably the worst choice for the leadership. She is inexperienced in everything and unproven in anything. And no list of board memberships can change that.

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