John Ivison: Dragon’s Den star could swap reality TV for the Conservative leadership race



No political profession may be thought of full lately except a actuality present star is operating. Thankfully for the Conservative Occasion, Dragon’s Den investor Vincenzo Guzzo is critically contemplating changing into a candidate.

The Montreal-based businessman, also called Mr. Sunshine due to his propensity to put on yellow, says he’s in "reflexive mode." The organizational dysfunction of the occasion has given him a pause to mirror: "It's a bit like", that's how Guzzo frames it, and for the curiosity of former Quebec Prime Minister Jean Charest, whom Cinéma Guzzo's boss considers that He has the political expertise. to make a distinction within the subsequent elections.

However frustration over the present state of politics and a positive perception in their very own skills implies that they don’t seem to be giving themselves as much as mirror idly. "I'm not in search of a job or positioned myself as an excellent quantity two in a future authorities … I'm not in search of fame. I’m as nicely generally known as I’ve to be," stated the 50-year-old extravagant, who accomplished his second season as a dragon.

Guzzo is self-aware sufficient to acknowledge the inevitable comparisons that folks will make, however he insists that there are two issues he isn’t: "I’m not Kevin O'Leary." And I'm not Donald Trump. I don't need to tweet silly issues … The closest connection Kevin O’Leary and I’ve is that we appeared on the identical program. "

The final alternative, unhappy to say, was between a theater trainer with 12 years of political expertise and an insurance coverage salesman with 20 years of political expertise.

Nevertheless, like O'Leary, he has a weak imaginative and prescient of most profession politicians. “The large turning level for me is that we can’t proceed like this: being ruled by folks with zero managerial abilities. Whether or not the left likes the analogy or not, operating a authorities is like operating a big company, ”he stated.

"It’s unhappy to say that the final alternative was between a theater trainer with 12 years of political expertise and an insurance coverage salesman with 20 years of political expertise."

He mocked claims made by the Trudeau authorities that it’s essential to accumulate deficits of $ 26 billion to "make investments" in the way forward for Canadians, noting that the buildup of federal, provincial and municipal debt makes Canada " leveraged. "

Vincenzo Guzzo, who’s contemplating throwing his hat into the Tory management ring.

Christinne Muschi / The Nationwide Put up

Guzzo's participation in conservative politics dates again to his college days as president of a chapter of Younger Conservatives. He subsequently earned a bachelor's diploma in economics from the Western College of London, Ontario, and a legislation diploma from the College of Montreal, earlier than becoming a member of his father's movie enterprise. Cinéma Guzzo is now the biggest film operator in Quebec, additionally operates a building and restaurant enterprise.

Guzzo's most up-to-date contact with frontline coverage got here when Mélanie Joly, the then minister of heritage, criticized him on Twitter for screening the anti-abortion movie, Unplanned, in its theaters. "This isn’t a matter of freedom of expression, however a political choice that’s harmful for girls's rights," he stated.

Guzzo, who says he believes in the best of girls to decide on, sees issues in another way. "I didn't like being intimidated by the intense left," he stated. "There’s a feeling that the left will intimidate everybody and say & # 39; shut up & # 39; for those who're not politically right. However typically it may be an concept to let folks speak, you would possibly be taught one thing."

Guzzo's attraction to the producers of the Dragon's Lair is its openness, which can be much less useful if it plunges into politics. He confesses that the opposition of many Westerners to a weapons registry "confuses me." “I’ve 12 weapons, all registered, to shoot skeet. I’ve no downside registering these firearms, ”he stated.

Guzzo provides a much less coherent set of insurance policies than the assumption that its enterprise expertise must be made obtainable to the nation. “In a way, that is very unselfish. I’ve 5 youngsters to whom I can expose the insults within the media and undue scrutiny. However I requested them: ‘Do you suppose Dad can carry one thing that may make Canada a greater nation? Can we make it larger than it’s? "The youngsters supported me 100%, besides my nine-year-old daughter who doesn't wish to stay in Ottawa," he stated.

As unlikely as a bid for Guzzo at first look, it has sure benefits over a number of of its rivals: it speaks each official languages ​​fluently (it additionally speaks Italian). "Nevertheless it's greater than that. You have got to have the ability to converse French and suppose in French. Within the debate, Andrew (Scheer) needed to suppose in English after which translate into French. He was two seconds behind the sport all evening," he stated.

Guzzo admits that whereas many of the calls he receives are encouraging, there are additionally phrases of warning that he must be a king-maker, as an alternative of making an attempt to be the king.

Though he rejected the comparability with O'Leary, it’s applicable as a result of each males have been fascinated with the concept of ​​making use of administration strategies that work in enterprise to the world of politics. However the lengthy historical past of profitable executives who fail as candidates means that abilities will not be straightforward to switch.

The subsequent conservative chief has in all probability been immersed in occasion politics, traditions and geography. Members will elect a parliamentary chief, not a president, in a Westminster system the place occasion manufacturers are extra essential than occasion leaders in terms of successful elections.

The labeled voting system that conservatives will use to elect the following chief implies that candidates should play nicely with others to win second poll assist.

None of those components helps Guzzo, who delights in his impudence and his "brutal honesty." However your enter must be inspired, and never solely as a result of it has a colourful assortment of socks that would rival that of the prime minister. Conservative politics on this nation might do with an inflow of enterprise pondering.

• E-mail: jivison@postmedia.com The | Twitter:



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