From a msg to Nicole.
You’re going to love this, Jean Chrétien is the first guest on The Hour tonight, and George spoke about this one prank Chrétien pulled as a child – he faked appendicitis to get out of boarding school, and was so convincing that his father took him to the hospital… and he underwent the surgery!
I don’t know if you much followed Jean Chrétien’s career, you weren’t old enough to vote when he was in office. But I was always impressed by him. I remember being 16 and 17 years old, and having this one history teacher, a Mr. Wilfrid Neidhart (whom I got to see again at that reunion last year), who really encouraged all of us to follow politics… he even gave us an assignment to follow the news and political events during this two-week school shut-down around Christmas of 1998.
Anyway, I remember paying close attention leading up to the first time I was old enough to vote, for what would have been his third term… I was really excited to do my part and cast my vote, and really paid close attention to the issues. I watched the debates and weighed everything carefully.
And in the end, the factor that made up my mind was this really short piece of b-roll, filler film shown on some news broadcast about a month before it came time to vote. Chrétien was making his way through a crowd to Parliament, and someone called out to him, asked him what business of his was something something, some issue now lost to my memory.
And Chrétien turned and looked at the man, with a look on his face that can only be described as a cross between irritated offense and surprised hurt, and said forcefully, “Canada is my business, sir.”
I’m very happy to tell anyone who’ll listen that I voted for Jean Chrétien then, and insightfully so – he went on over the next couple of years to keep Canada from going to Iraq and attempt to establish the Kyoto Protocol. I very much enjoyed his interview tonight, and wish we had a leader like that today.