Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen - Meet the REAL Paul Hellyer

For all the UFO folks who went gaga over Paul Hellyer's foray into the UFO field, I can't help but laugh.

You deserved what you got - and didn't get - largely because you didn't do a background check on the man to see if he was credible. You just heard "I think ET is here" and assumed that he was legit, dazzled as you were by his political credentials. Well, the joke is on you.

The man began his career as a Liberal. He served in the cabinet of Lester Pearson for several years, and then ran for the Liberal leadership in 1968 when Pearson retired, ultimately losing to Pierre Trudeau.

Eventually, he bolted from both cabinet and then the Liberal Party and its caucus (Hellyer could never stomach being a #2), and formed his own vanity party, the Action Canada Party. Quickly discovering that Canadians were less enthralled with Paul Hellyer than Paul Hellyer was, he decided to head back to a mainstream party.

The Liberals?


Hellyer joined the Progressive Conservative party.

And then, in 1976, he ran for the Tory leadership.

Here's the hilarious part (he's had such a long career, with so many mistakes and outright goofiness, that there's so much to mock - but this is my favourite) - in his convention speech, he chastised the Tories for not being right-wing enough! He said they were not true conservatives!!

This from a former Liberal cabinet minister!!


[Pause for further laughter]

The Tories, perhaps not unexpectedly, were less than amused, and Hellyer did not win the leadership (Joe Clark, a "Red" Tory, took it, and went on to serve briefly as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1980).

[Still laughing about Hellyer]

Hellyer then REJOINED the Liberal Party, despite the fact that it was still led by his nemesis, Pierre Trudeau (this was 1982), the most left-wing Prime Minister in Canada's history. Remember (you almost need a scorecard for Hellyer's career), Hellyer had accused the Tories of not being right-wing enough in 1976, after being a Liberal cabinet minister for most of the 1960s, and...


[Further pause for laughter]

In 1988 he contested and lost the Liberal nomination in the Toronto riding of St.Paul's to former Liberal cabinet minister and his successor in the adjacent riding of Trinity, Aideen Nicholson.

So much for being a Liberal, because a few years later Hellyer bolted - again - to form - again - another vanity party, the Canadian Action Party (CAP). This party, like the Action Canada Party, failed to ignite "Hellyer-mania" across the land, and Hellyer lost bids for a seat in the in 1997 and 2000 federal elections.

Hmm... I can't resist listing the results of those two elections. I'll skip all the parties at the top, and head straight to the bottom, where you'll find Hellyer and the Canadian Action Party.


7th place - Natural Law Party, 37,085 votes (the NLP is the political branch of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation movement, and, among other things, advocates "yogic flying")

8th place - Christian Heritage Party, 29,085 votes (the name about says it all, folks)

9th place - Canadian Action Party, 17,502 votes

10th place - Marxist-Leninist Party, 11,468 votes

Well, at least the CAP didn't come dead last!


The 2000 election was a good news / bad news proposition for the CAP (the phrase "good news" being entirely relative to the 1997 election results).
First, they surged ahead of the Natural Law Party! Second, they increased their vote total!
Er... Let's just go to the results, shall we.
7th place - Marijuana Party, 66,258 votes (again, the name pretty much says it all)
8th place - Canadian Action Party, 27,103 votes
9th place - Natural Law Party, 16,577 votes
10th place - Marxist-Leninist Party, 12,068 votes
11th place - Communist Party, 8,776
Now, the vote figures that the CAP tallied would be great if you were running for Halifax city council (although they still wouldn't get you elected Mayor). For a federal political party in Canada, alas, not so great.
At this point, Hellyer (more or less pictured, at left) approached the left-wing New Democratic Party (a real party which does elect MPs), to discuss the possibility of merging the two parties into 'One Big Party'. Remember, this was a man who had twice been a Liberal, and once a Tory who accused other Tories of not being conservative enough, and had run for the leadership of both parties.

[Pause for Laughter]

No doubt many in the NDP were honoured by this (yes, that's sarcasm, folks), what with the CAP having NO MPs, and having garnered less than 0.3% of the popular vote in 1997 and 2000, but for some reason known only to him, leader Jack Layton entertained the idea, at least in theory - until Hellyer (er, sorry - the Canadian Action Party) demanded as a condition of merger that the NDP - one of Canada's big three parties, remember - change its name.

The NDP's answer?



Needless to say, Canadian leftists were not amused by Hellyer.

Check out the following discussion boards for a sampling of their thoughts on Ufology's latest Big Fish:

So, let's recap...
In the course of his political career, Paul Hellyer has been a centrist, a right-winger, and a left-winger... and managed to burn his bridges with all of them, because, ultimately, the only political philosophy that matters to him is "Hellyer-ism," i.e. "ME ME ME-ism," wrapped in whatever mantle he deemed expedient at the time.
In the wake of this final debacle, Hellyer resigned the Canadian Action Party leadership, and went off to do...

Well, I think ufologists now know the answer to that one.

Given his history, I predict that ufologists can expect, within the next year sometime, for Hellyer to ditch exopolitics and ufology, and join CSICOP. Instead of Corso and Webre, he'll be citing Klass and Menzel. On the other hand, maybe he has finally found a home - a place where people will hang on his every word and treat him like the Messiah that he has always longed to be.
At last, exopolitics is good for something!

It says a lot about how ufologists seem to think these days, and their very palpable desperation to make something, anything, happen, that this man was actually seen as important.
As a Big Fish.

[Final pause for laughter]

As I've said before, it amazes me that ufologists wonder why no-one takes them seriously. If they had just done a little research into Hellyer, they would have known with whom they were dealing, and this mess (and it IS a mess, folks) could have been avoided.
To paraphrase Paul McCartney and John Lennon, "they should have known better than an egomaniacal kook like him."

Paul Kimball
P.S. Perhaps not so funny after all, considering some of the people Hellyer has been associating with:


fatrobot said...

no wonder he fits in with some ufologists

Anonymous said...

he's a complete and utter jackass! GREAT POST!