Stronach’s short attention span or keeping her face in the media.

Belinda Stronach, the MP for Newmarket-Aurora who recently changed party allegiances from the Conservatives to the Liberals, has either a short attention span or is merely in it to keep her face in the media.

It all came to light when she was trying to become the federal Conservatives’ first leader after the merger of the Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties. However, she realized, after the failed bid, that her leadership aspirations would have to be put on hold and her interests would have go some where else.

But lets back ourselves up a bit before Belinda’s political career got of the ground. Lets start with her role at Magna International. Her daddy, Frank Stronach, barely gave her control over Aurora’s Magna Autoparts. She bragged that she had risen Magna’s profile and earnings. She became one of Canada’s most infleuntial bussinesswomen. She Then she moved towards raising money for the new expansion of Newmarket’s Southlake Regional Health Centre‘s expansion honourary fundraising chairperson. Her time at the top of Magna? About 5 years. Southlake Honourary Chairperson fundraising? 2-3 years maximum.

The hospital’s fundraising campaign was barely rapped up when she got the political bite and got the Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties to merge under her mediation. Then the rest is history, she tries and places second to Stephen Harper for the new Conservative Party’s leadership. Next,she gets elected by the constituents of the Newmarket-Aurora riding. After being elected, Belinda receives the International Trade critic’s portfolio and then, just before the budget vote last thursday, hops to a new challenge as Human Resources Minister and becomes a Liberal.

She, however, was happy when Harper gave her the “International Trade” critic’s portfolio in Harper’s “shadow cabinet”. But she obviously realized that the idea of a “shadow cabinet” really didn’t mean much except to guarentee her speaking time. Thus, around a year later she snuck into 24 Sussex Drive to have dinner with Paul Martin over a deal to help her join the Liberals and gain some power in the cabinet. Martin, who’s goverment was hanging by a thread, tripped over himself in order to get Stronach’s vote onside in order to maintain power as well.

So there we are, all up to date. It seems Belinda Stronach’s attention span has shortened or her need to be in the media spolight has taken hold. How is this so? Consider that Stronach was at Magna for maybe 5 years, got the political bug then time between jobs shortened even more as her interests seem to have changed more quickly. Of course with every new job change (e.g. political party mediator, Conservative leadership candidate, MP, International trade critic, Human Resources Minister, etc.) there is a press conference where Belinda’s smiling face shows up.

The question is, how long will Stronach be in this new job before she seeks even more press coverage and/or seeks something more interesting?

Watch out Paul Martin, Stronach might be gunning for the leadership of the Liberals over the next six months as her attention continues to shift from one thing to another. Or then again, maybe she might have had her fill of politics and go ask father, Frank Stronach, to let her have a chance in the horse racing industry. In wich case the voters, after being screwed by Belinda not once (switching from Conservatives to Liberals) as well as a by-election in order to replace her, but twice after a by-election is held. This will only tarnish the once trustworthy Stronach name.

Bright Stronach name? Frank Stronach brought huge economic investment to Aurora in the late nineties when he decided the Town of Aurora should be home to the new Magna World headquarters and associated Research and Development, executive housing, golf course and much more. This development, on top of Stronach’s existing horse farm, has been a kickstart to commercial and industrial development in the already burgeoning Aurora area. Magna and the Stronachs have been major supporters of quite a few local amateur sports teams by sponsoring both events and teams. Also, Magna provides soccer fields for free to the Aurora Youth Soccer Club and also uses this space to host the annual Magna Hoedown which supports local charitable organizations. Add to this the Southlake Regional Health Centre’s fundraising campaign, the Stronach name has been pretty shined up in the Newmarket-Aurora area.

However, all this may change if Belinda decides to quit politics because of her seemingly changing interests. Then the Newmarket-Aurora area may become distrustful towards the Stronach name. Only time and Belinda will tell what the state of the Stronach name will be in the future. It all depends on Belinda’s need for more press coverage or her attention span on looking for something new and interesting to do.


5 thoughts on “Stronach’s short attention span or keeping her face in the media.

  1. Stronach switched parties merely to keep her face in the media?

    She “obviously” realized that being in a shadow cabinet didn’t mean much?

    It’s an interpretation. But how do you know what Stronach’s motivation was?

    How does anyone ever know what is in the heart of another human being?

  2. Take a look at how many changes she has gone through over the past year.

    If she wanted to be a Liberal in the first place, why didn’t she run? Because she saw an opportunity to lead a party and possibly be Prime Minister.

    I am just presenting the possibilities she is either a) needs to change things because her attention span is short or b) she craves media attention. Take your pick.

  3. If I’m going to make a pick, those are not my only two options. They aren’t even two options, just subsets of Option (2) — see below.

    As I see it, there are three possible interpretations of Stronach’s decision.

    (1) She acted on principle. This is Stronach’s own explanation, of course, since it puts her in a good light. It may be true; you cannot possibly know it is untrue.

    (2) She acted out of ambition. This is Stephen Harper’s interpretation, of course, since it puts Stronach in a bad light. It also may be true, as I conceded in an earlier dialogue with ALW — I cannot prove it is untrue.

    (3) She acted on pragmatic grounds. Bill didn’t express himself in these terms, exactly, but his earlier comments point us in this direction.

    To expand on the third point — Bill mentioned that Harper had yelled at Stronach and she had learned that she would be frozen out of the Conservatives’ election ads. Later, I read that Stronach had been publicly humiliated at a Conservative policy conference. They used a Stronach photo op to illustrate how not to do a photo op. How do you suppose this made her feel in front of her fellow MPs?

    As it happened, the photo op humiliation was the very same weekend Stronach was talking to the Liberals about crossing the floor. (This information came from John Ibbitson in the Globe and Mail.) Do you suppose the humiliation might have been a factor in her ultimate decision?

    I am summing this up as acting on pragmatic grounds. Stronach moved from a party where she was no longer welcome to a party where she was eagerly courted.

    The third interpretation may have the most merit of the three. Then Stronach’s explanation is mere window dressing to put her decision in a good light, and Harper’s interpretation is mere window dressing to put her decision in a bad light.

    That said, it is impossible to know what motivates people to do what they do. Half the time we aren’t even clear on our own motives.

    So go ahead, defend your interpretation. But don’t claim to know that Option (2) is the only valid possibility.

  4. Never knew she was painted in a bad light in terms of “how not to do a photo op”.

    I still believe Stronach’s “ambition” may be from her short attention span, which I pointed out. How else to explain Stronach’s need to change employment responsibilities so many times in such few years?

    However, lets also look at her need to be in the limelight. As head of Magna, she was in the news off and on for quite a few years even being declared by a magazine to be “Canadian Businesswoman of the Year” (I have to check which magazine it was, but she or her handlers brag about it a bit).

    Her rise to political stardom might also be needed to keep her face in the media. Why? Because the media had moved on from covering her accomplishements as head of Magna.

    Painted in a bad light, that might also be another theory that would work as well.

    On principle? I wonder if she considered the fact that her constituency voted for the Conservatives in protest against the Sponsorship Scandal. I believe she did considering she is now in charge of implementing the commission’s recommendations. This seems a little fuzzy considering she was just recently elected as a Conservative. So if she agreed more with the Liberals, why didn’t she run for the Liberals? The Conservatives in the Newmarket-Aurora riding did have another Conservative nomination candidate to choose from, Lois Brown.

    But how does a brand new person with very little political experience get this portfolio? That raises some questions about Paul Martin’s expertise as a politican. Wouldn’t a more seasoned politician be better at this job because they might know how the federal government in terms of the roles of both the politicians and the civil service operates more than Stronach would. But I think Martin was trying to “purchase” Stronach’s vote for the budget. Hence the lack of thought of shuffling another cabinet minister into this portfolio. Off the top of my head, if Don Boudria was still around, he would have been perfect or someone who knows parliamentary operation back to front would work.

    Thanks for the contributions of theories on why Stronach might have “jumped ship”.

    Only Stronach knows for sure which of our theories is true.

  5. With respect to Paul Martin, I am inclined to agree with you. He has been on quite a spending spree: buying support from the NDP (changes to the budget), from MPs in Atlantic Canada (the agreement on resource revenues), from Ms. Stronach (the Cabinet post), and from Canadians in general (spending announcements in every region of the country).

    Then there are the failed attempts to buy the support of David Kilgour (the assistance package for Darfur) and perhaps of Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal (the alleged bribery attempt by Tim Murphy).

    The pattern is clear. Of course, it’s just politics as usual — governments have been buying votes from the beginning of democracy. And the Liberals are understandably desperate, given the balance of power in the House of Commons coupled with the sponsorship scandal.

    Still, the spending spree is a bit hard to take from Paul Martin, Canada’s champion of fiscal responsibility.

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