A Life of Dabbling

Belinda Stronach.

Business news today includes mention of Ms. Stronach stepping down from her various positions at Magna International at year’s end. This relative non-event strikes me as another step in what now seems a rather predictable sequence in the unfolding of a life with one constant theme; never actually finishing anything she starts. Belinda is not interesting enough for any dedicated study, save perhaps for this one thing: How many doors can be opened to the privileged, without any qualification except for privilege itself?

It’s reported Ms. Stronach “joined” Magna in 1986 after dropping out of York University. Needless to say, it was not into the mail room that her lofty educational achievements vaulted her. She quickly ascended the corporate ladder into the boardroom.¬†Everyone knows the political “journey” as aspiring (but failed) Conservative leader, a desultory MP, floor-crosser and political tilt-a-whirl, temporary cabinet minister and eventual lackluster (and reluctant) backbench MP. Of course, once politics “at the top” became an impossibility, she made a beeline back to the house that daddy built.

It’s baffling what the heck this woman had to offer her political constituency (beyond, of course, a good word from Brian Mulroney, a pile of corporate political contributions and really nice clothes). Let’s face it, in dealing with the issues, she made Sarah Palin sound like Henry Kissinger. If someone wanted to do a real-life version of Legally Blonde on Parliament Hill, she could play the lead without actually “acting”.

One can be reasonably sure that her departure from Magna signals hard times ahead for that company; not because of her departure, mind you; rather as a canary in the coal mine’s departure signals the presence of noxious gas. Some one’s getting out because there’s going to be some serious work to do when the next economic aftershock hits; best be somewhere it’s not required to do anything about it. I see that as some useful insider information.

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