Even if you hold to the view that politicians – like snake oil salesmen – should be mistrusted on sight, it is an inescapable fact that some of them possess an affable charisma which prompts the public to respond favourably. Forget the policies, it’s all to do with how they come across.
For the average male, it boils down to a case of the old ‘would you wish to go down the local pub with this man/woman for a drink?’ test.
Which is why, amidst the stereotypical lobby-and-Andrew-Neil-BBC-‘Politics-Show’ appearance fodder, colourful individuals such as Boris Johnson, Ken Clarke and even Nigel Farage stand out.
As a people, Canadians have much to commend them. Apart from a Mount Rushmore-sized chip on their shoulder about their American neighbours, they tend to be self-effacing, courteous and fun. I have a Canadian relative who hails from Toronto (or ‘T’ronto’, as the Canadians pronounce it) and, every time I enquire about how his local mayor is getting on, he just shakes his head with a resigned air of ‘you just wouldn’t want to know’.
See what he might be getting at here – it’s an article posted today on the website of THE INDEPENDENT