COLUMN

In search of leadership

Allan Fotheringham May 1 1995
COLUMN

In search of leadership

Allan Fotheringham May 1 1995

In search of leadership

COLUMN

ALLAN FOTHERINGHAM

Spring is supposed to be the time of renewal. Hope springs eternal, etc. A young man’s fancy turns to you-knowwhat. Buds burst, birds sing and baseball reappears.

That’s the problem. Why is the mood so sour, fans not picking up their season tickets, everyone surly, including the hotdog vendors? The answer is that no one can run anything anymore.

The billionaire owners of baseball and the millionaire players of baseball have managed to turn off ordinary, dull people who finance them. The people who run hockey don’t know how to run hockey, chopping the season in half while charging the same money for a debased view of the game.

The experts who are in charge of guarding the country’s resources turn out to be as surprised as the rest of us at the news that the cod have disappeared. The same experts from Ottawa now reluctantly admit that what they’ve done in the Atlantic—screw up—they may have done in the Pacific with the salmon.

“Can’t anyone here play this game?” Casey Stengel plaintively asked when he was stuck with the inept New York Mets. Apparently not. The largest and richest province in Canada, Ontario, is run by a government that is roundly disliked and appears ready to be pummelled in the polling booth.

The most important province in Canada, Quebec, is so involved in an incestuous intellectual wrestling match with itself that it has decided its brave desire to be a separate country has dissolved—like chocolate fudge—into an admission that what it would actually like is a political version of divorce with bed privileges. Oh dear.

Can’t anyone run things? The President of the United States, since he can’t make up his mind about anything, is now run by a wildeyed Speaker of the House of Representatives who never stops talking and has the answer to everything.

Britain is hamstrung because the weak Prime Minister can’t prevent his Conservative ministers from falling out of bed with doxies, popsies, tarts and other politicians’ wives. The CBC fires Pam Wallin and won’t explain why. CTV fires Keith Morrison and won’t say why. The CBC sacks Front Page Challenge, and Pierre Berton, after near 40 years of being its lodestone, finds out about it through a speakerphone message to his assistant. Can’t anybody run anything?

A German court, for a second time, refuses to jail a nut who stabbed, on court, in full daylight, the best female tennis player in the world, and Monica Seles is so traumatized she has never returned to the game she dominated.

The most peaceful and serene province in Canada is Prince Edward Island, the last place one would think where some jerk, emulating the Oklahoma City tragedy, plants a bomb at the legislature.

The man most likely to be the next president of the United States—the most vigorous nation on earth—is likely to be Bob Dole, who would be 77 if he completed a first term. He would be the oldest American president ever elected. Can’t anybody get better at this game?

In British Columbia, they actually have a conflict-of-interest inquiry into a premier who gives advertising contracts to people who belong to his party. By such criteria, half the prime ministers of this century would be in jail. Who’s running things?

Now that Ontario law forces bank presidents to reveal their salaries, public disclosure of their incomes has resulted in most of them getting raises—to catch up with their rivals. These are the same chaps who okayed the disastrous loans to Latin America and the Reichmanns. If you can’t run something, you get a raise.

This fits in with Sony and the rest of the Tokyo brains, with more cash than they knew

Lucien Bouchard, who has the charisma, and Jacques Parizeau, who has the power, now appear in public like two sulking children at a birthday party. They ask for approval of their proposal, but can’t agree on the proposal.

The Western world, which can’t figure out how to solve the Bosnia mess, has now lost interest. The European powers, who through their colonial past left Africa in a mess, have given up on the atrocities in Rwanda and Burundi. Nobody knows how to run anything.

what to do with, who set out to buy up Hollywood and now are fleeing, having lost their millions in a business they never understood. A young, star-struck Bronfman is now to take their place. Who’s running the store?

Nelson Mandela, who astounded all by appointing his troublemaking estranged wife to his South Africa cabi-

Spring does not bring us hope. Oklahoma City proves that. Jean Chrétien, who promised to tear up the NAFTA agreement in opposition and then embraced “the three amigos” once he was elected, is now surprisingly silent now the Mexican corruption and assassinations and drug cartels are revealed and the country heads for collapse.

The Ottawa masters who let the Newfoundland fishery die are now hailed as heroes for arresting the new Spanish Armada which is fishing outside Canada’s 200-mile limit. Does this make sense? Is this international law? Of course not.

It doesn’t have to make sense. Because no one knows how to run anything anymore.

net, fired her for her troublemaking and then, finding he hadn’t done it by the proper protocol, reappointed her and then fired her again—properly. If martyr Mandela can’t do something right, there is no hope.