Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rahim served well, say what?

Another follow-up to Canada's Oct. 14 election and the winning of Edmonton-Strathcona by the NDP's Linda Duncan.

The Edmonton Journal editorial of Sat. Oct. 18 was headlined Jaffer served city well and paid tribute to Rahim Jaffer's time as an MP. After acknowledging that "No one should be taking anything away from Linda Duncan and her team of committed volunteers, who made a bit of history Tuesday," the editorial outlined Rahim's life story, focussing on what a friendly guy he is, a "likable sort and decent human being."

No doubt about it, Rahim is a good looking young man with a ready smile. He clearly enjoyed his time in Ottawa and was often written about as an eligible bachelor-around-town, appearing on lists of Parliament's laziest, sexiest, and hippest MPs. As the Journal editorial notes, "he was Old Strathcona, as a familiar fixture plying the streets, auberges, shops and theatres of the city's most vibrant neighbourhood. It was a natural fit, done with a broad grin."

I suspect that the Journal had a hard time coming up with any real accomplishments during Rahim's 10 years in Ottawa. All they could come up with was, "As to local achievements of late, Rahim's hand in securing federal support for Edmonton's Universiade bid played a major role." Pretty weak, no?

Frankly, the editorial ignored examining the whys of how this likeable young man could lose. As a resident in his constituency, one reason is his party's policies. Another is that he got elected at age 25 with few accomplishments, largely only possible in a province where you can run a corpse as a Conservative and get elected. Caught up in his invincibility, Rahim did not show up at an all candidates forum. Another reason is the fact that he had no substantive accomplishments as an MP other than being a great poster boy.

Contrary to what the Journal would have you believe, walking around, smiling, and looking good does not equate with serving well. Nor does being a nice guy.

Oh, and did I mention that his NDP opponent Linda Duncan has a lifetime of amazing accomplishments and public service?

See more comments on Linda Duncan's win....

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