O'Connor Death Watch - 291645Z Jun 07
When it comes to selecting a new Minister of National Defence, (since the current one is presently on a Death Watch), we have to remember that Steve Harper, man of action, said this on 31 May 2007:
“When the leader of the Opposition is able to stand in uniform and serve his country, then I will care about his opinion of the performance of the minister of National Defence.”
Which sort of, you know, provides the type of experience and qualifications Steve expects from his Minister of National Defence.
From comments on this post:
People are talking a lot about who will replace O'Connor. But what about Harper saying that unless you've served in the military you are incompetent to comment, advise or critique the military? That statement certainly limits the pool Harper has to work with. Prentice, Day, Strahl, Bernier, and the rest are out based on Harper's qualifications.In fact, that eliminates Harper himself, but that's pretty much beside the point.
Given Harper's standard the only people who would actually meet that requirements are:
John Cummins - Served 3 years in the Lorne Scots of the Reserve Militia;
Peter Goldring - Served 3 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force;
Laurie Hawn - Served 30 years in the RCAF and CF as a pilot;
Pierre Lemieux - Served 20 years in the Canadian Forces;
Myron Thompson - Served 2 years in the US Army.*
O'Connor, of course, is excluded from the list since he presently holds the position and is hanging on by his fingernails.
Of the others, only Laurie Hawn and Pierre Lemieux have any extensive experience. The others were "short-termers" and did not advance into senior non-commissioned or commissioned ranks. *Myron Thompson really doesn't qualify at all since his service was with the US Army, as a US citizen and was presumably as a result of being drafted.
This all depends on Harper actually living by his own words. And we all know that Harper good at words; not so good at sticking by them.