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Don’t lump political dynasties like the Trudeaus and Clintons in with on-reserve nepotism: Wyatt Mann Speaks

EDITOR’S NOTE: In the interest of fairness (that is, reducing viewpoints down to just two possible sides), we at Walking Eagle News have decided to share our once-exclusively Indigenous territory with a non-Indigenous visitor. What’s the worst that could happen, right? Sounds like Reconcili-ACTION to us! Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our new irregular column, “Wyatt Mann Speaks,” penned by none other than Mr. Wyatt Mann!

Keep it in the family: it’s a saying you could argue applies to North American politics.

Kennedys, Clintons, Bushes, Trudeaus—hell, even the Fords—it seems running for and winning political office is made a little, maybe a lot, easier if a parent or sibling has already paved the way.

The latest family to explore this so-called dynastic tradition in Canada: the Mulroneys, more specifically, Caroline Mulroney, whose name has recently been floated as a potential contender for the leadership of the Ontario PC party. Her father, former PM Brian Mulroney, led the federal Conservatives from 1984-93.

Now, I know some of you out there might think this reeks of some kind of pseudo-monarchy. That there’s some kind of privilege at play here.

Friends, I just don’t see it.

And, if you go even further with your cockamamie logic and go thinking that any of this equates to what happens on reserve—where media reports and op-eds routinely call out what they imagine to be the rampant nepotism, favoritism and cronyism of band chiefs and councils—think again.

No, sir: when these people do it, it is far, far worse.

In fact, if it were up to me, I’d do away with the whole damn reserve system. One country, one law, I say.

But don’t take my word for it: just listen to what political scientist Andy Anderson has to say on the subject.

“Oh, lord, they’re totally different,” he told me by phone. “Apples and oranges.”

“Look: the truth of the matter is, Canada’s a big place, alright?”, said Anderson. “Reserves, meanwhile, they’re quite a bit smaller, okay?”

“Oh, sure, on the face of it, these situations might bear a superficial resemblance,” he added, “what with their both featuring players who run on their family name and inherit privileged access to circles of influence and power through that family, but that’s where the similarities end, quite frankly.”

“Let me put it this way,” Anderson clarified further, “for these two sets of behaviours to be even remotely comparable, when their scales of operation are so disproportionate… I mean, really, the only way you could do that would be to just isolate the behaviour itself.”

Dear readers, I think I rest my case: don’t let the difference in scale fool you.

And that’s your Wyatt Mann perspective.