Waters: Kevin O’Leary is no Donald Trump

Canadian businessman says he's mulling a bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

It has been said—mainly by Americans—that the U.S. leads and the rest of the world follows. And judging by some of the changes Canada has experienced over the last 20 years, there may be some truth to that.

There’s no denying—despite popular, pro-Canada rants such as those delivered by Rick Mercer, Maple Leaf-waving, chest-thumping patriotic beer commercials and the current international round of “cool Canada” Trudeaumania II, Canada is much more American than it used to be.

Like the U.S., we have a Supreme Court that makes or breaks laws put in place by our elected officials, we are becoming a more litigious society, our last prime minister acted more like a president at odds with Congress in his relationship with the House of Commons than the mere leader of the party with a majority in Parliament. And don’t get me started with the level of control U.S. companies have over our economy.

Sure, we still have many key differences—like a medical insurance system that works, a social safety net, a federal law allowing you to marry who you love regardless of gender, sane gun laws, beer with real alcohol levels, and, of course, Coffee Crisp.

But as Justin Trudeau’s daddy once said, living next door to the U.S. is like being in bed with an elephant. We have to be careful when it rolls over.

So, it’s not surprising we now have our own version of a self-absorbed businessman-turned-television celebrity who wants to run the country.

But to say former Dragon’s Den TV investor Kevin O’Leary is Donald Trump light, is rather insulting—to the word light.

While Trump wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the U.S.—people he described as rapists—and ban Muslims from entering the country—not to mention insulting anyone who questions him, including more than half the U.S. population i.e. women, O’Leary has so far only targeted Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley for his version of headline-grabbing quips. And he did it with a shockingly polite, albeit insulting and self-serving gesture.

In a nutshell, he’ll invest $1 million in the Alberta oil sands if Notley quits.

To paraphrase former U.S. vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Benson when he famously responded to his Republican counterpart Dan Quayle in an election debate when Quayle invoked the memory of former president John F. Kennedy: Sir, I heard Donald Trump and Kevin O’Leary is no Donald Trump.

O’Leary may be muling a run for the Conservative Party leadership but if he carries through I can’t see the Canadian electorate investing their votes in his political venture.

Talk about “just not ready.” O’Leary would make political lightweights seem like veteran Ottawa heavyweights.

O’Leary’s consideration of a run for leader of Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition seems more like a ratings bid for whatever show he’s currently hosting than it does a serious bid to emulate “The Donald.”

While Trump is a billionaire who figures he knows better, O’Leary, as he himself pointed out recently, is not. He just played a billionaire on Dragon’s Den.

It seems he’s not a politician either, he’s just playing one to keep his name in lights.

Alistair Waters is the assistant editor of the Capital News.

 

Just Posted

Re-election of Kelowna incumbents seen by winners as endorsement of status quo

Returning Mayor Colin Basran says social issues, housing and transportation are his top priorities

JoeAnna’s House construction breaks ground in Kelowna

Moving forward on temporary housing facility for KGH out of town patient family members

Kelowna man named as one of Canada’s top 10 insurance brokers

Garrett Jones, with Valley First, was named in Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

Gold, silver, and bronze earned by Lake Country skating club in latest competition

The Central Okanagan skaters competed in the ISU International Adult Figure Skating Competition

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Red Sox beat Dodgers 8-4 in Game 1 of World Series

Benintendi has 4 hits as Boston cruises at Fenway

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Shuswap offers one-stop wellness for seniors

Salmon Arm centre for seniors with chronic conditions offers collaborate approach to health

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

Most Read