The Sex and Power Principle, starring Belinda Stronach
Today, Canada's sexiest and most controversial politician announced she's going back to work at her father's company, Magna--where she was once named the most powerful businesswoman in Canada by the National Post)--and is leaving politics behind.
Stronach's an interesting figure. Her lovelife (which I'll get into in a sec) gets a lot of attention, and her ability to govern well has been called into question. These things, of course, draw the ire of those who say, "if she were a man, you wouldn't scrutinize her so much!" To which I say, uh, does anyone remember Bill Clinton (funny story, I'll get into that in a sec, too)? Other folks say that it's not about gender or personal life, that it would be easier to get behind Stronach if she were less flaky and demonstrated a desire to stick to things for longer than a few months. In other words, if it seemed like politics were a job for her, and not a hobby.
This announcement is the latest in a long line of headline grabbing moves Stronach has made...in the last two years. Ready? First, on May 17, 2005, she crossed the floor of the House of Commons (old British-Canadian Parliamentary talk for "switched parties") from the Conservatives to the Liberals, who were then in power. At the time, she was dating deputy Conservative leader Peter McKay (who Americans know because of an implied flirtation between him and Condi Rice). When she jumped ship on the party, she also left their relationship.
Then she dated Toronto Maple Leafs star Tie Domi, whose wife was not impressed (they were separated). Then she dyed her hair brown--gasp!--shortly after a comment was made comparing her to Paris Hilton (the nepotism/heiress angle). Then she was linked to Bill Clinton after attending a dinner with him in Manhattan. And now...
On April 11, 2007, she announced that she will accept a position as Executive Vice-Chairwoman of Magna International Inc. immediately and won't seek re-election in the next federal election. It is interesting to note that she did not announce that she was stepping down from her seat in Parliament. Whether this was an ommission in her news release or whether she intends to hold her seat until the next federal election is unclear. It is problematic for a sitting member of Parliment to simultaneously serve as an executive of a company. Even more problematic is that there is no pending federal election in Canada and there is no legal requirement to have one for a few years.