Who was the greatest Prime Minister Canada never had?

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And Arcade Fire are the best Cabinet Canada never had.

Sean in Ottawa

NS I am thinking of something more important than you-- I get that you don't want someone to disagree with you or ask you to back up what you say.

How about we agree to block each other's posts? There absolutely nothing you could say that I would want to read because if I don't agree with you, you have to go off in to name calling etc. I would prefer you did not read my posts either. If everyone on this place was like you I'd have been gone long ago. So let's use Fidel's technology. I'll never write about you again or respond to what you say and you agree to do the same for me. Since I have absolutely no respect for you and and clearly it is mutual that sounds like the next best step. It will take me just a short time to fiugure out how to do this but then we are done and I won't make the mistake of reading or replying to you again.

Policywonk

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Anonymouse

no problem. I thought you might have missed it. And I'm not into execution myself. But I can see how he might have been in a difficult position as the head of a provisional govenrment with the wolves at the door.

And the fact is that Scott did murder someone in a fairly gruesome fashion, so by the rules of the day he was asking for it.

Scott was convicted of and executed for rebellion against Riel's provisional government, not murder. He also seems to have been convicted earlier of assault (not sure where or by whom). Where is your information that he murdered someone?

Policywonk

Lou Arab wrote:

If you believe the 'best Prime Minister' is someone you personally find inspiring and would like to see in that position, than most of the names mentioned here are fine ones to suggest.

However, I like to think of the title of 'best PM we never had' should go to the person whom Canadians as a whole feel missed the brass ring for some (perhaps unfair) reason.  Being a great Prime Minister should mean inspiring millions, not just a few.  And I personally feel that for this title in particular, it should be someone whom Canadians feel some regret at not electing.  Many people felt that way about Stanfield, they thought him a fine man, but preferred Trudeau and therefore didn't vote for him.

With that criteria in mind, I think Jack is a great candidate for the title.  Given a few more years of life, he may well have made it to 24 Sussex, but fate played her hand and we were denied the chance to see if it could happen.

I don't know enough about Edward Blake (Premier of Ontario from 1871 to 1872, when he left for federal politics) to even determine whether he would have even been a good Prime Minister, let alone a great one, but he declined the brass ring that was offered to him after the Pacific Scandal, because of ill health apparently. I expect he might have had similar accomplishments to Alexander Mackenzie (still the only stone mason to have been elected Prime Minister I think), if only because it was timely for a secret ballot and the creation of the Supreme Court of Canada. Until Dion, he was the only Liberal Leader never to have become Prime Minister. Interestingly, he was also an Irish Nationalist MP in the British House of Commons from 1892 to 1907, as well as being Chancellor of the University of Toronto from 1876 to 1900.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The early B.C. politician Amor De Cosmos might also have been interesting as PM, especially since, to some degree, he seems to have been a bit of a hippie, but a century before people were like that.

6079_Smith_W

Policywonk wrote:

Where is your information that he murdered someone?

In fact he was executed because he yelled too much. He had been condemned because he was part of a 400- strong mob ("The Canadian Party") which was going to burn down French and  Metis homes and murder people, but that sentence was commutted, until he started yelling.

The plan was revealed by some of the Sioux people the Canadians had brought with them from Portage to take part in the attack.

As for the murder, he and several others assaulted Norbert Parisien after he was captured and escaped. Parisien had shot someone who came upon him from behind after his escape/

While several people beat him, Scott was particularly vicious, and struck him over the head repeatedly with an axe, and then wrapped Parisien's own sash around his neck and dragged him behind his horse to take him to be lynched. Several people managed to stop them, but Parisien died not long after, by coincidence on the same day Scott was executed.

Part of that, including the plans to attack Kildonan, is accounted on this page. I am linking a webcached version so you can find it.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Jh7l7zxJgaIJ:everla...

The account of the beating is also in Riel: A Life of Revolution by Maggie Siggins

Actually there is a good, short account of the attack and the killing of Parisien (including the fact that the man he shot pleaded for them not to hurt Parisien) in JK Howard's book "Strange Empire" starting on page 177. Scott is not mentioned, though:

http://books.google.ca/books?id=6pae2d_28GYC&pg=PA178&lpg=PA178&dq=boult...

(edit)

And the previous assault was against a boss who did not pay him. 

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

Thanks to Jack it is very likely that the next NDP leader of stature-- likely will become PM.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

The early B.C. politician Amor De Cosmos might also have been interesting as PM, especially since, to some degree, he seems to have been a bit of a hippie, but a century before people were like that.

You need to read about the Texada Silver Scandal.  He was cleared of any criminality but it is a good view into the kind of corrupt government he ran. He was flamboyant but more in a yellow journalist style.  He got into politics on the basis of his less than objective journalism.  At least that is what the various histories about him and that era seem to conclude.  A modern day equivalent IMO would be Rafe Mair.  A type of populist semi-journalist.  Except Rafe appears to have more scruples. 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

On thinking of influential songwriters and activists Buffy Sainte-Marie comes to mind.  

Policywonk

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

Where is your information that he murdered someone?

As for the murder, he and several others assaulted Norbert Parisien after he was captured and escaped. Parisien had shot someone who came upon him from behind after his escape/

While several people beat him, Scott was particularly vicious, and struck him over the head repeatedly with an axe, and then wrapped Parisien's own sash around his neck and dragged him behind his horse to take him to be lynched. Several people managed to stop them, but Parisien died not long after, by coincidence on the same day Scott was executed.

(edit)

Although he seems to have been there and taken part, the account says nothing about Scott hitting Parisien over the head with an axe.

"They rode the wounded boy down in the woods but he fought like a hero and even managed to take McBaine's gun from him before one of the Pochains clubbed him down from behind. Then Thomas Scott took Parisien's own assumption sash from around his waist and tied it around the wounded boy's neck. Then Scott tied the other end of the sash to the tail of the horse he had been riding. The Orangeman then got up behind Bartlett and they dragged the unconscious youth back to the crowd to be lynched."

I agree that Scott was a thoroughly disreputable character and seems to have taken a leading role in this account, that doesn't negate the fact that his execution was a catastrophe for Riel and the Metis.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Northern Shoveler wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

The early B.C. politician Amor De Cosmos might also have been interesting as PM, especially since, to some degree, he seems to have been a bit of a hippie, but a century before people were like that.

You need to read about the Texada Silver Scandal.  He was cleared of any criminality but it is a good view into the kind of corrupt government he ran. He was flamboyant but more in a yellow journalist style.  He got into politics on the basis of his less than objective journalism.  At least that is what the various histories about him and that era seem to conclude.  A modern day equivalent IMO would be Rafe Mair.  A type of populist semi-journalist.  Except Rafe appears to have more scruples. 

OK, I stand corrected.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Northern Shoveler wrote:

On thinking of influential songwriters and activists Buffy Sainte-Marie comes to mind.  

Buffy would be great...but as a practicing Bahai, she'd refuse to take part in partisan electoral politics.

6079_Smith_W

Sorry, Policywonk. 

The book which stated that Scott broke Parisien's skull open with an axe is the one by SIggins, and I got it from the library. Let me get it out again, and i will find the page for you. 

Until then, we can only accuse Scott of being someone who dragged a mortally wounded man behind his horse by the neck with the intent to lynch him, of taking a major role in causing the wounds which killed him, and of being one of the ringleaders in a mob of 400 people who intended to burn people out of their houses in the middle of winter and kill them.

And as well, of threatening to kill the heads of the provisional government, daring his captors to execute him, and refusing to shut the fuck up when he was one step from the gallows.

And I think I said off the top that it was a tragic mistake that Riel decided to execute a white orangeman, whether he deserved it or not.

We're already off-topic. Do we need to go further off on this tangent?

 

MegB

This is an amazing thread for the simple reason that it names great Canadians.  There are so many great Canadian people mentioned in this thread, and I would be pleased to have any one of them at the head of our government.  But I suspect that very few of them would want to seek political office because of the compromises needed to achieve leadership.

There are few who can move up the ranks and withstand the corrupting influences of political power ... Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Tommy Douglas, and more locally and recently,  Roger Hollingsworth, Nanci Malek, Olivia Chow,  Jack Layton and Libby Davies.

boomerbsg

Me Tongue out

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Maybe you've still got a shot.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Trust me songwriters don't make good politicians. I am a songwriter. We are wrong all the time so we can be right for 3 minutes. Besides, isn't Bruce Cockburn a gun freak? That's why he lives in the US!

Aristotleded24

Jim Woodsworth

M. J. Coldwell

Woodrow Lloyd

Allan Blakeny

Grant Notley

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Ginger Goodwin.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

Ginger Goodwin.

Kiss

If you listen you can hear me in the "crowd" chorus. "It was a black day for Cumberland and a black day for miners."  Yes some of us hold a grudge and we are proud of it.  Otherwise you forget the real history of our country.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXBcSsQJ4uE

johnpauljones

ellen fairclough is one of the greatest prime ministers we never had

 

 

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

knownothing wrote:

Trust me songwriters don't make good politicians. I am a songwriter. We are wrong all the time so we can be right for 3 minutes. Besides, isn't Bruce Cockburn a gun freak? That's why he lives in the US!

I'm not sure if he is a songwriter, but Charlie Angus is a musician, and I think he is one of the finest MPs we have.

jerrym

The name I most object to is John Manley. His proposal to use taxpayer's money to subsidize NHL franchises while a government minister symbolized his commitment to use every possible source of government funding to subsidize corporations while offering nothing to the middle or lower class. When confronted with overwhelming evidence of boiler room phone fraud of aging and senile seniors by the Fifth Estate, his comment was that the government does not have a duty to protect people's investments. It belies an attitude of blatant support of corporate fraud even when the evidence is overwhelming, thereby sending a signal that the government would do nothing about it since it would not even pursue blatantly criminal organizations.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Manley is extremely right wing. I think his name was mentioned here as a joke.

adma

Lou Arab wrote:
I'm not sure if he is a songwriter, but Charlie Angus is a musician, and I think he is one of the finest MPs we have.

And don't forget his former bandmate Andrew Cash; though, with his being newly elected, the jury's still technically out on him)

takeitslowly

charlie angus is really handsome, thats all i have to say about that because I really dont know any of them.

 

although i do like libby, and her pro glbt, pro palestinians stance, but i am sure she wont be a PM or anything, unfortuantely.

 

the ndp without jack layton is like ladygaga without the fashion, nobody can replace him. it took years for people to identify with JACK because he was distnictively different from the Liberal, i worry for the NDP..i do.

Freedom 55

Being a proponent of kakistocracies, I'd go with Chris Hannah, runner-up in The Beaver's 'Worst Canadian' poll. (The first place winner, Pierre Trudeau, is obviously disqualified from this discussion, having actually been Prime Minister.)

Chris Hannah wrote:

I don't stand during Oh Canada, I don't support Canadian troops, I cheer for Sweden in international hockey tournaments, I hate Wayne Gretzky, I side with First Nations against the Canadian state, I fantasize out loud of the decimation of the Canadian animal exploitation industry and I wish Great Big Sea would die horrible, languishing deaths in a capsized ferry incident. The proof is in my pudding my fellow shitizens. I am THE worst Canadian and you know it.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

He issued a fatwa against Great Big Sea?

NicycleBicycle NicycleBicycle's picture

Farley Mowat or Gabor Mate. 

adma

Back to songwriters-as-politicians: don't forget that we already have one as a national party leader *harrumph* We're In The Same Boat Now *harrumph*

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Do the Liberals still count as a national party?

edmundoconnor

And which nation would that be? A country peopled by smug, arrogant know-it-alls with an enormous entitlement complex? I wouldn't want to visit, let alone live there.

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