Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Pat Martin...Before and After Christmas Season Pat Martin courts controversy. As an Opposition MP, he has come to realize that theatrics are sometimes the only way to get noticed in the world. The problem is that the theatrics displayed by Martin are laced with violent anger and menace. While this might play well in an alcohol filled night at the union hall, it doesn't sit well with grandma around the Christmas table. She would have pulled Martin by the ear and washed his mouth out with soap.
Anger has marked many of the outbursts we have seen from Pat Martin. I don't know that Jack Layton ever dressed him down but Tom Mulcair, who has gone through a makeover to soften his how fiery persona, probably has told Martin to cool it.
The latest late night Twitter blast from Martin resulted in a half hearted apology and a deletion of his account. If only it were that easy to correct his regular outbursts. He does no credit to the NDP and certainly shows he is not a future cabinet minister in waiting or representing a government in waiting.
There are only two NDP members from Manitoba. Care to guess which one has the inside track on a cabinet position if the party ever forms government? It is Nikki Ashton up in Churchill. I can imagine that make Martin very mad. Or he is content to knock about like a bull in a china shop?
Every time Pat Martin explodes, it draws focus to his actual duty as a MP for Winnipeg Centre. This isn't always a good thing. The attention is often drawn that he doesn't live in the riding according to one radio station? Where does he live? By all accounts...out west on the coast. Is this true? I have idea but it draws comparisons to a certain mayor who resides as much as possible under the tax laws in Arizona.
And what of his achievements as MP? Well, Martin would probably point to getting Gordon Bell High School the sports field on the old Midway Chrysler lot or getting the government to drop the penny. Well, let us look at those particular things. In terms of Gordon Bell, Martin was asleep at the wheel when the much better suited Murray Chevrolet lot across was available. And it was students at Gordon Bell who advocated for a sports field when people like Martin let them down. As for the penny, it will end up costing way more than anyone thought possible when eliminating it. Like a lot of NDP ideas, expect to pay more for them in the end.
So what can we expect of Pat Martin in the future? Well, so far...it looks like more of the same. He is likely to blame others for his violent outbursts and anger. He will still take his riding for granted and think they don't really care where he he lives. And he will continue to miss critical issues in his riding or propose policy ideas that cost lots of money.
To the NDP, I ask: Is this the best you can do? If Winnipeg Centre is one of the safer ridings in the country for your party, why put an inferior product out front? Perhaps nothing can be learned from the NDP defeat in Transcona. True, robocalls might have played a part but did anyone in the NDP think that Jim Maloway was the best you had to run there? And now he is back to provincial politics and likely to sit on the back bench forever as no one thinks to ever put him in cabinet. The NDP lost one of the safest ridings in Canada because they took it for granted. Could this be true for Winnipeg Centre in the future as well?
Pat Martin cannot help but be Pat Martin. It is up to the NDP to decide if this is good enough for them because it is the party that this reflects very badly on.
If the NDP can't pull their heads out of their backsides, they find themselves shut out of Manitoba in the same way they are shut out of Saskatchewan. They need better MPs if they ever hope to form and keep in government.