By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
John Cummins is a veteran politician, so you think he would be wiser than this.
The name might be familiar to you as he was a B.C. MP for 18 years under the various small-c conservative parties. In 2011, he became the leader of the B.C. Conservative Party and you may remember the flap when he tried to apply his belief that homosexuality is a choice to his politics.
Cummins is getting some increased attention because of a recurring trend in B.C. politics. There is an idea that right of center votes may go to his party at the expense of the B.C. Liberals, which would result in the first Tory MLAs in over 30 years.
So, it’s understandable that on Friday August 31, the Vancouver Sun ran a story on its front page, explaining that a member of the B.C. Tory governing board has called for a leadership review.
Cummins argued in the Sun article that you can’t please everybody. But it is the way that he did it that I found a bit dismaying.
The Vancouver Sun, in the second half of the story, quotes Cummins this way. Emphasis mine:
“There’s always somebody that is going to disagree. He’s the one, I guess. I don’t perceive it as a huge threat by any stretch of the imagination,” said Cummins, adding it is unreasonable to believe that any leader could enjoy unanimous support.
“I hate to use a biblical reference but Christ had 12 apostles and one turned him in,” Cummins said.
“We share the same initials but I can’t rise from the dead and I can’t get unanimity on the board. I wouldn’t expect to be able to. He couldn’t. I can’t.”
The phrase “I hate to use a Biblical reference, but…” was Cummins’ brain warning him that the bridge was out and he needed to stop the car.
The Bible certainly does apply to politics, but it strikes me as a bit of hubris to compare oneself to Christ. Christ was perfect and I expect that any politician is not.
It’s also unwise in the sense that the critic calling for the leadership review is complaining that Cummins doesn’t listen and such. So, appearing lordly, if you will, is a bad idea. [I wonder if that's why the Sun reported used these direct quotes. I think so, as they may prove a point nicely.]
I don’t think that comparing yourself to Christ when you’re a politician can work. But I wanted to make a note of it to open this up for discussion.