Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Bedrooms of the nation, no. Locker rooms of the nation, yes.

Given that the late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau believed in economic interventionism, it's probably not a surprise that he responded to public pressure and tried to browbeat Hockey Canada into including Bobby Hull on the Canadian team that played the Russians in 1972, according to recently released cabinet documents. Hockey Canada didn't put Hull on the team on the grounds that they didn't want to reward Hull for jumping from the NHL to play in the WHA.

Aside from the question of whether Hull should have played in the series, why should a Canadian P.M. be persuaded to spend his valuable time to get involved in such matters? The cabinet, the story notes, even took time to discuss the issue. Granted, Trudeau foes would say that any time that Trudeau spent on such side issues was ultimately good for Canada given how he performed while on the job. However, I would reply that anything that gets politicians away from the mindset of "I am a mighty politician. I can provide or fix anything." would be much healthier for Canadian politics.

Mr. Trudeau's lobbying on Bobby Hull's behalf, then, would be an example of politicians being distracted from their work by something unimportant.