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‘Trivia is what attract the attention’


 

With his official portrait about to be hung, Jean Chretien is philosophical.

They work hard, these guys,” the self-described “little guy from Shawinigan” said in an interview shortly before the portrait ceremony. “And you know, they are an honest crowd and everybody pictures them as a bunch of crooks. It’s very unfair.”

Public cynicism has mounted recently amid outrage over controversies like the Guergis-Jaffer affair and MPs’ refusal to allow the auditor general to scrutinize their expenses. Chretien blamed “gotcha” journalism for the cynicism. “Trivia is what attract the attention. The debate is very rarely now on policies, it’s always on all sorts of gotcha politics because the media need gotcha politics. They need blood.”

But he conceded politicians share the blame for bringing themselves into disrepute. “Members too, they’re stupid because they play the game. You know, they attack each other for nothing.”


 

‘Trivia is what attract the attention’

  1. ”And you know, they are an honest crowd and everybody pictures them as a bunch of crooks. It's very unfair.”

    It may be unfair with regard to most politicians, but in my opinion it's pretty damn fair with regard to Chretien.

    • "”And you know, they are an honest crowd and everybody pictures them as a bunch of crooks. It's very unfair.”

      It may be unfair with regard ….. it's pretty damn fair with regard to Chretien."

      Spot on. I wonder where people got this idea pols are crooks?

      Chretien is shameless – I honestly don't know how people can be so oily as to say something like that while being responsible for introducing a gang of people to gov't that were little more than criminal syndicate who laundered tens of millions of $$$ and assaulted Canadians, amongst other things.

    • If you've got some substantive accusations against Chretien feel free to share them Gaunilon. Otherwise you're just another one of those trivia (better known as BS) generators that Chretien is talking about…

      • Even Gaunilon surely does not consider Harper to be honest in any real sense of the word.

        • If you've got some substantive accusations against Harper feel free to share them Holly Stick. Otherwise you're just another one of those trivia (better known as BS) generators that Chretien is talking about…

          • Refuses to produce documents about detainees, thus showing contempt for Parliament and raising the question of what he is covering up.

            Refuses to allow political staffer to go before a committee, agains showing contempt for Parliament and raising the question of what he is covering up.

            Lied about income trusts. Did you forget that.

            Promised a transparent and accountable government. Lied.

            He lied about what a coalition is. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/12/03/coaliti

            He lies about how government works. He lies and lies and lies…
            http://harperslies.blogspot.com/

            Easy peasy.

          • Plus, he promised us a book on hockey, and yet nada …

  2. I agree completely. The minute the votes are counted, people start acting like 'politicians' are some alien species that just landed here and took us over….instead of being the friends and neighbours we just elected.

    Suddenly it's okay to jeer and sneer at them, and snoop in their private lives and act like they're all crooks.

    I remember when it used to be called 'serving your country.'

    • The Harperites are not serving the country, they are destroying it.

  3. For me this is the money line when he call's out voters as "ungrateful and cynical". Cynical yes but ungrateful?
    I suppose that would be the typical sneer from Liberal politicians to Canadians who do not bow and worship their awesomeness.

  4. Let's see – my ungrateful and cynical friends.
    As I recall the facts (of course – youse guys like to invent other stuff) – I believe it was Mr. Chretien who said "we should call in the RCMP and let them deal with this…"
    Seems good enough for Mr. Harper – when Ms. Guergis had questions raised – why then would it be different for you.
    And when Mr. Chretien was called before the $50 million commission called by his successor and rival – he was caught out – with some stencilled golf balls…gifts from some other politicians it seems – a few bucks – I don't know.
    In contrast – the last number I heard was $150 million and counting for Mr. Harper to host a small shindig for a few politician friends next month – more a photo op before going into another election I suspect!
    I know who I trust!

    • Yes, that "small shindig…next month" will cost some money, not like Kananaskis which was essentially free and entirely worthwhile…unless you take into account the costs and look at how the New Economic Partnership for African Development has turned out.

    • It will cost nearly $1 billion for security – estimated, so will in the end be more.

  5. "They work hard, these guys,” the self-described “little guy from Shawinigan” said in an…"

    He's six foot freaking two, a multi-millionaire, and a lawyer. The only people who call him the little guy are Liberal journalists, the same clowns who exclusively propagated the "Natural Governing Party" meme.

    • Good grief. By little man he's not talking height – duh

      He comes from a poor family of 19 kids – the little guy.

      He didn't grow up a lawyer – he studied to be one.

      I can't believe you don't understand that one – LOL

      • He comes from a well to do family and he has heart surgeons among his siblings. He attended private school. So you got that wrong.

        He comes from a family of 9 kids, not 19. You guys don't consider babies to be human, remember, and ten of his potential siblings died early in infancy. So you got that wrong.

        You are correct he was not born a lawyer, but that's not terribly enlightening.

        A six foot two multimillionaire who assaults poverty protesters and thinks pepper spraying democratic protesters is funny and who was an MP for over 40 years. In the same way Stephane Dion was not a leader, Chretien was not a little guy, that's just a ridiculous meme his handlers spread. Oh, and he doesn't wear denim shirts in real life either, hate to break that one to you.

        • You are slimy as they go. I lost 2 siblings – one was 2 months and the other 6 years old and my family sure did consider them human and it was very painful.

          Chrétien was born on January 11, 1934, in Shawinigan, Quebec, as the 18th of 19 children (10 of whom did not survive infancy to Wellie Chrétien and Marie (née Boisvert).As a young boy his father made him read off the dictionary. Chrétien attended Séminaire Saint-Joseph de Trois-Rivières and studied law at Université Laval. He later made light of his humble origins, calling himself "le petit gars de Shawinigan] or the "little guy from Shawinigan". In his youth, he suffered an attack of Bell's palsy, permanently leaving the left side of his face partially paralyzed.

          Keep in mind private Catholic schools weren't exactly like the private schools of the wealthy in those days.

  6. I don't like the bright yellow background on the portrait. Lacks imagination.

    • And in a post that laments the attention-attraction of trivia, too. Well done!

    • That was actually the first thing I thought also. What the heck was the artist thinking?

  7. "…The debate is very rarely now on policies, it's always on all sorts of gotcha politics because the media need gotcha politics. They need blood.”
    But he conceded politicians share the blame for bringing themselves into disrepute. ”Members too, they're stupid because they play the game. You know, they attack each other for nothing.”

    Does Chretien seriously expect the media to back down? Maybe the pols could, dunno, show some leadership and refuse to play the game? Maybe the pols could, dunno, actually debate policy (and hey, maybe stick to a campaign promise or two) instead?

    Yeah, I thought not.

  8. Chretien also said (I'll try to find the link ) that the gotcha stuff is even worse when 'we' are doing well,
    because there isn't policy to criticize.

    It was amusing that Chretien complained that Harper doesn't give him credit for his decision to block bank mergers,
    but when did Chretien give Mulroney credit for the GST and Free Trade, or Preston Manning credit for deficit and debt reduction and balancing the books Reform policy…?

    • Funny, I don't remember Preston Manning being the PM.

  9. Without the support and urging of Preston Manning, the Liberals would never have been able to describe themselves as the great budget deficit slayers. It's ironic isn't it?

    • Everything about Canadian politics is wrapped in several layers of irony. It's the nature of the beast.

      • Coming to theatres in the next election: The talking points against Stephen Harper, straight from the Reform Party platform.

  10. I'm not just cynical in regards to politicians. My cynicism extends to journalists and the electorate as well.

    What is the point of discussing policy, anyway? Whether it is Trudeau campaigning against wage and price controls or Harper campaigning against taxation of Income Trusts, one thing is certain. Policy and promises mean nothing after an election is over.

    The only thing that seems to work if you want to change the government is anger against the current Prime Minister. Whether it be Turner, Mulroney, Chretien, Martin, and at some point Harper, government does not change until the electorate is angry about something the current regime is doing.

    It is hardly surprising that politicians and journalists like to play 'gotcha'. The game is to make the voter angry. It is not about informing the public or making policy.

    We 'electors' are not doing our jobs, and we allow ourselves to be exploited.

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