"I've spoken too long, I've said too much, I've been too frank, and I don't give a damn."—John Crosbie, former Progressive Conservative MP and minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, in 1987. John Crosbie, the unfiltered politician, who waded into a crowd of angry fisherpeople unhappy with the cod fishing moratorium on July 1, 1992, and told them he didn't take the fish out of the "goddam water," has left a legacy, and few contemporaries in Canadian politics. “John Crosbie remembered as patriot, ‘indomitable’ force at state funeral,” read the headline of Canadian Press story covering Mr. Crosbie’s funeral last week. Mr. Crosbie managed to leave a legacy in politics that was imperfect, but ultimately respected by many players in Canadian politics, as seen in the tributes that poured in after his death at age 88. "I would sooner have a foot in my mouth than a forked tongue" Mr. Crosbie once said. Too few modern political leaders seem to agree. Mr. Crosbie remained authentic, if imperfect, and many Canadians remember him fondly. The era of the unfiltered politician seems to be over, however. Many prime ministers, MPs, ministers, and leaders from all parties in recent years have become far too accustomed to using talking points and communications protocols to shield themselves from gaffes, and tough questions. The 24/7 news cycle shares some of the blame; a proliferation of political communications professionals, who must insulate their bosses from the media to justify their paycheque, does as well. The result is a new era of often low-risk, low-reward politicians: polished, but often transparently unauthentic—fake, even— in the way they address the media, and Canadian voters. A foot-in-the-mouth comment, or ill-considered opinion can seriously harm a politician’s reputation, there’s no doubt. So can speaking as if you are reciting words written by someone else. It’s hard to convince voters to appreciate you, let alone your ideas, if you are acting as a conduit for someone else behind the metaphorical (and sometimes literal) curtain. John Crosbie and his then-Progressive Conservative Party paid a price for his unfiltered approach to politics more than once, earning rebukes in the press and sometimes from voters. As they should have—his sexist remark that Liberal MP Sheila Copps should "quiet down, baby," being one of the more egregious examples. His authenticity, and his contributions to the progression of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador—including free trade, the Hibernia oil project, and more—have been remembered as well, however. Decades later, Mr. Crosbie's death has been followed by headlines telling a new generation of politicos about a ‘giant’ in Canadian politics, a true defender of his province, Newfoundland and Labrador. Three prime ministers attended his funeral. That is the legacy of an honest approach to politics. Canada’s current crop of political leaders should take note. They should try to be more real.