David Suzuki For Prime Minister – No Thanks!

The photo to the left is making its way around Facebook and it’s really starting to piss me off. First off, the plural of “party” isn’t “partys”, it’s “parties”. But more importantly I’m both annoyed and stunned that anybody could possibly think that David Suzuki would make a good Prime Minister. Have our standards really gotten that low? What’s next, Don Cherry for Minister of Defense?

Let’s forget about the fact that Suzuki’s apparently been breaking Canadian tax law for more than a few years by involving his charity in partisan politics. The tax rules for non-profit charities say that a charity “cannot be involved in partisan political activities” and that “political activity is considered partisan if it involves direct or indirect support of, or opposition to, a political party or candidate for public office.” Charities can promote the policies of parties and candidates they agree with, but “must not directly or indirectly support the political party or candidate for public office.” Yet Suzuki regularly endorses politicians he favours at his charity events and when he is out fundraising on behalf of his charity. That is illegal, and Suzuki knows it. But as I said, let’s forget about that little bit of inappropriate behaviour. Instead let’s look at what qualifies him to lead a nation.

First let’s look at his political experience; he has none. He’s never held public office. He’s never been a city councilor, MPP, or MP. He’s spent his entire life on the outside yelling at the people on the inside to do things. He’s never actually been the one on the inside trying to get things done. Now I’m not a big fan of politicians, but even I realize that some experience at the art of politics, not to mention experience actually governing is kind of important when you’re talking about electing a national leader. If people want to convince Suzuki to run for election as an MP to represent his home riding, I’ve got no problems with that. But he has to learn to crawl before he can walk, let alone run.

And then there’s his experience as a leader; he has none. His charitable foundation is actually run by a very experienced group of professionals lead by the Foundation’s CEO who has boatloads of leadership and executive experience in both the private and public sectors. But even if Suzuki does play some sort of leadership role at his charitable foundation, that’s nothing even remotely similar to being the chief executive of a massive organization with hundreds of thousands of employees and an annual budget of approximately $280 billion. Not to mention a debt of over $500 billion.

There is no denying that Dr. David Suzuki is an expert when it comes to his field of study – zoology. But what foreign policy experience does he have? What economic policy experience does he have? When was the last time he was directly involved in the creation of criminal law, or copyright law, or banking regulations? I have no doubt he could provide all sorts of useful policy direction to the Ministry of the Environment, but how about the Ministry of Defense, or the Justice Department? What’s his plan for reducing the government debt, or making sure that the Canadian Pension Plan doesn’t go bust?

I’m sure David Suzuki is a nice guy, and I’m sure he can speak quite eloquently on a wide range of subjects; and there’s certainly no doubt that he’s popular. But none of those traits come even close to qualifying him to lead a political party, let alone a nation.

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