Don Martin: Is a fourth term a term too many?
Published Friday, September 7, 2012 6:00PM EDT
Only severely deluded political leaders realistically expect voters to bestow them with a fourth mandate or more than a dozen years in office.
Nothing drives voters into a throw-the-bum-out frenzy faster than the perception or the reality that a leader harbors a lingering sense of power entitlement.
Two prime examples of greed being rejected at the ballot box surfaced this week.
Voter backlash trashed Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's sneaky bid to engineer a majority government last night. He induced a Conservative MPP to quit with a juicy patronage appointment so he could win one more seat to hand his Liberals a bare majority.
Sorry, nope. The electorate delivered a mighty smackdown at this cynical ploy, punishing his candidate with a distant third-place finish.
An even more graphic display of electoral greed saw the closest thing this country had to a political institution set out to engineer his own train wreck.
Quebec Premier Jean Charest had no right to expect re-election given his scandal-plagued third term, yet he coveted a fourth for no pressing mandate-renewal reason.
The result? He lost government. He lost his own seat. And by quitting under duress, he lost the right to end an impressive 28-year career with his head held high.
Might I suggest Stephen Harper's office take note. His staff gleefully mark the days when their guy eclipses the longevity of other prime ministers.
Before he commits to seeking a fourth term, when he'll outlast Jean Chretien, Harper might ponder the career-killing Charest example.
Politicians don't have nine lives. They rarely have four.
And it's always best to leave with the sound of voters cheering for more over the jeers of those waving pink slips in the air.
That's the last word….