Canada saw an example of two former Prime Ministers in action.

This week, Canada saw an example of two former Prime Ministers in action.

It helps to explain why one governed Canada for the better part of a decade, while the other was booted from office in less than six months since her selection.

Here's the tale of two former Prime Ministers.

Unlike some other countries, Canada doesn't define a specific role for former Prime Ministers - they establish their own roles once they've left the office.

This week, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper embarked on a visit to India and met with sitting Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi to discuss the emerging role India is playing on the global stage and the significant trade opportunities that exist between Canada and India - two English-speaking democracies who value closer bilateral ties.

At the same time, former Prime Minister Kim Campbell - who governed Canada for about four months before reducing her party to two seats in the 1993 election - referred to United States President Donald Trump as a "motherf*cker."

It went over as well as would be expected with Canada's most important trading partner and security ally.

Since being resoundingly defeated in 1993, Kim Campbell has struggled to find a role for herself in public life.

She's taken on various government appointments which were gifts from those who felt a former Prime Minister deserved better than lasting unemployment - mostly as a form of charity to someone who performed so poorly in the office she assumed and then let down.

However, she also appears to have discovered Twitter and has spent a ridiculous amount of time sharing her unwanted opinions on issues which are no longer her purview, including an absolute obsession with US President Donald Trump.

Former Prime Ministers have generally recognized that the electorate has sent them out of office, and have then tread lightly in their affairs since they've lost the mandate to speak for the nation.

Not so ex-PM Campbell.

Perhaps because she has scarce else to do, she's tweeted incessantly about US President Donald Trump.

She's been personally insulting and denigrating - perhaps forgetting that, unlike her, President Trump actually won an election.

Let's be clear, it is entirely legitimate for folks to be opposed to the US President's policies and demeanour.

It's an entirely different matter when the critic is a former Canadian Prime Minister who is widely regarded as a failure, and entirely inconsequential to the affairs of our country, and is now harming Canada's relationship with another country.

After being called out for her inappropriate and insulting language, Ms. Campbell doubled-down on her insult and reveled in being back in the political limelight for another 15 minutes.

Then there's former Prime Minister Harper.

As noted above, Mr. Harper visited India as part of their government's annual conference with foreign dignitaries.

He wore a black suit (PM Trudeau take note), met with many officials (PM Trudeau take note again), and was greeted warmly by Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi (which never happened when PM Trudeau vacationed there last year).

Could the contrast with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit be any clearer?

Mr. Harper didn't feel the need to play dress-up or invite a known terrorist to an official function. Twice.

He represented Canada with dignity and gravitas - exactly what we would hope for and expect from a former Canadian Prime Minister.

I guess it's no surprise why he led Canada for nearly ten years while Kim Campbell only managed a few scant weeks as PM before locking herself out of 24 Sussex Drive and tanking her party in the 1993 federal election.

Shouldn't we expect our former Prime Ministers to comport themselves with appropriate behaviour befitting their former lofty offices?

Or should they beak-off on Twitter like a junior high school student who's upset that their crush didn't ask them to the winter dance.

We have two clear examples from which to choose this week - we think that Prime Minister Harper demonstrated the right choice for a former leader.

Meanwhile, we hope that Ms. Campbell decides to stop making Canada-US relations any worse than they already are.

Sincerely,

 

Alberta Can't Wait