Thursday, September 29, 2005

Never say never again

Those who remember Gary Collins, who was British Columbia's Finance Minister until last December, may be interested to know that he hasn't lost his skill at answering questions as a politician does.

Mr. Collins, who is now the CEO of Harmony Airways, was recently interviewed by Business Edge, a Vancouver business affairs newspaper. Mr. Collins gave a standard answer when asked why he had decided to leave politics.


"Why did you resign as B.C. Finance Minister last December?"

[Mr. Collins] "Because I'd been doing it for 14 years and I have a very young family. I had sort of completed what I think I went there to do. I looked at all the indicators, all the work we had done and sort of said, "Well, where do I go for the next four years?" I thought it was probably an opportune time to get out of elected office and let someone else have a go at it. I never viewed it as a lifetime career. I viewed it as something I would do for a while, as long as I could continue, and then move on."


Okay, we can conclude that Mr. Collins has had his fill of politics, right? Yes. No, I mean no! Well, you can imagine that I was a little confused by his answer to a qustion later on in the interview.


"What would it take for you to be lured back into politics?"

[Mr. Collins] "People have asked me if I would ever go back and the answer is 'Yeah, I would go back.' I'm not planning on going back. It's not something that I am waiting for to happen. If the right issues come along and I felt I could contribute and I would add value to improving things or solving a problem, then you know, I might consider it. But its certainly not something I have written down in an agenda pad. I'm doing what I am doing now. I'm very interested in it. I have lots of challenges to keep me busy for the next number of years and we'll see what happens."

Let's parse this. The answers seem to me to be, in order:

1) Yes

2) Yes, but don't hold me to that.

3)Yes, if the generic conditions that led me to politics in the first place happen again. [Politicians are only unable to "make a positive contribution" or "solve problems" in places like Stalin's Russia or Castro's Cuba]

4. No, on second thought don't assume that I will go back to politics because I don't have plans to do so...

5. ...because I have lots of challenges to keep me busy...

6. ...for the next few years which may mean "until I become Premier of B.C.," or "retire".

Spin worthy of a Maytag washer. :) Within a single paragraph, no less.