The Jacques Demers ink blot test

Dan Gardner considers the hockey coach’s Senate appointment.

Anywhere else, if you couldn’t read for most of your adult life, if you had no education to speak of, if you knew little about public policy, and if you didn’t follow politics, if your only demonstrated skill is coaching a game, you’d probably be considered unfit for high legislative office. But not in this great nation.

The National Post leaps to Demers’ defense, confesses some envy (?) at his hockey success and condemns the education system in Quebec.

Some may be tempted to make snide remarks about Mr. Demers, who was functionally illiterate for most of his adulthood. Probably all that needs to be said about him is that he was an outstanding success in the one area of Canadian life that most of us fantasize about taking part in, and would trade our own careers for in a heartbeat. The disclosure of his terrible personal secret was a more impressive act of courage than any of us will ever witness or contemplate in our lifetimes, let alone perform. He has worked, belatedly, to overcome a disability that was, by definition, the fault of other people who failed in their sacred professional responsibilities. If such a person cannot participate in representative government, then it probably isn’t worth having.