GATINEAU, QUE.—Politics is a cruel and unusual business. It squanders too much attention on colourful clowns. It prefers charm, or novelty, to depth and experience. It rewards slogan-spouting bullies and undervalues kindness, intelligence and quiet competence. Most politicians, no matter how impressive their resumes, emerge from years in office with their reputations diminished—in tatters, even—until history recasts them in a more flattering light. Unlike other professions, the longer you’ve been around, the less welcome you may be. (Ask
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