Gladhanding politicians all hat and no cattle

There used to be a saying about good guys always wearing white hats

All hat and no cattle. That wonderful Texas expression, often applied to politicians who are all show and no substance, came to mind as I glimpsed television images on Friday. Ottawa politicians were kicking off a long hot summer of fund-raising and rubber chicken barbecues, with the obligatory stop in Alberta for the opening of the Calgary Stampede.

Justin Trudeau was decked out in the customary bright checkered cowboy shirt, with flowing mane neatly tucked beneath a white Stetson. Along came Tom Mulcair, also wearing a white Stetson and his white shirt accented by a coloured neckerchief, carefully wrangling his delighted grandkids.

There used to be a saying about good guys always wearing white hats; as if to prove it correct, the camera then panned to Stephen Harper wearing a dark blue and black check-shirt with an ominous black hat pulled low over his eyes.

Gilles Duceppe was nowhere in the picture, I just hope his chosen headwear this year is not the hair-net that he wore so resplendently last time he was on the campaign trail.

There was also no sign of Elizabeth May at the Stampede opening, but expect she’ll be in attendance wearing a white Stetson before it’s all over; after that recent performance at the Ottawa Press Gallery Dinner, chances are she’ll be made most welcome at the beer tents. All hat and no cattle, indeed!

Bernie Smith

Parksville