Political Scandals, A Hot Bath and Celine Dion
I don’t mind admitting that there are times when I despair for our future. Unlike my environmentalist friends, I don’t worry too much about the planet being destroyed; it’s been around a much longer time than we have and it will shake off whatever damage we do without much effort. It may deal with us in the same way it dealt with dinosaurs and that didn’t end too well for them.
It’s us, people and our long-term viability as a species which rises to the surface from time to time. I am forced to admit at times that if we don’t eradicate our species through war, junk food, prolonged exposure to Justin Beiber; we might just destroy ourselves out of sheer stupidity.
I see increasing examples of it virtually every day. It’s not that I’m brilliant but Christ in Heaven; you don’t even have to have an IQ to detect it anymore. I thought we had pretty much succeeded in keeping it contained on social media but I was wrong. It’s spreading faster than the attitude of entitlement in a Canadian Senator’s expense claim.
I was reading the National Post earlier and after reading an article on the Senate expense scandal started to, read the comments posted below it. I don’t know why I started reading the comments. I don’t usually read the comments below newspaper articles anymore because the level of inane, self-impressed, uninformed and outright stupid rhetoric is not only discouraging, it’s embarrassing. I keep hoping nobody from another country reads them lest they start to think it is representative of the intellectual capacity of the average Canadian.
Let me give you a small taste of what is considered political discourse by some of the more vocal in this country.
Try and remember that these comments appeared in a national newspaper following an article about the Canadian Senate and the current investigation into expenses.
“Harper says Duffy was given a personal cheque from Wright yet earlier said he never saw a cheque.”
“I presume you’ve never seen the cheque, yet you seem to know there was a personal cheque. Same way Harper does — somebody told you.”
So far so good. At least they’re discussing specifics related to the issue at hand. Unfortunately, the train was about to jump the tracks.
“Harper was a god under the heat of questioning. Weak politicians like JT need to watch and learn. JT [Justin Trudeau] has quite the lisp…is he actually gay?”
“I couldn’t care less whether Harper looks strong in the contrived environment of Question Period, or whether Justin looks weak there. And I care even less if according to somebody’s random prejudices, Justin sounds a little like the stereotype of how gay people supposedly sound. . . for heaven’s sake, let’s form our preferences based on policy, not based on how people sound in the theatre of Question Period.”
“Is it the sell us out to China policy that you think is solid? They can’t account for 3.1 Billion dollar policy? They run a huge deficit policy?”
“Harper’s deal with China, should be enough to scare the hell out of everybody. However, people just don’t seem to get the ramification, of what that deal means? In fact, I am in disbelief that people don’t understand, Harper’s FIPPA deal with China means? China will take Canada over for 31 years.”
In fewer than half a dozen comments, the discussion had strayed from the Senate expense issue to wondering if Justin Trudeau is gay to the missing (or more accurately, improperly accounted) $3.1 billion to Canada’s FIPPA deal with China. It changes so fast you pretty much have to take notes just to keep up.
Then out of left field came:
“They ran a huge deficit to please the left in a spirit of co-operation during the world wide recession. Damned if you do, damned if ya don’t, huh?”
That prompted this attempt to be non-partisan:
“Left this.. right that… no one cares about the middle guy!”
In an attempt to bring everyone back on topic came this:
“why are you looking for a date? You just referred to another man as a god.. I don’t think anyone needs to hear your voice to question your sexuality”
Oops, wrong topic. Let’s try again.
“Yep. They just announced Duffy did claim expenses, he had no right to. Duffy didn’t show for the questioning. Duffy also claimed expenses when, he was actually at his cottage in PEI. Harper did know about Duffy. Harper chose not to say or do anything about it. Harper had let it slide. There was an order from Harper for, no-one to say anything.”
A valiant attempt but doomed to fail because that gay thing continued to be very intriguing for some.
“You have something against people that are gay?”
“No, I find JT’s feminine voice soothing. Makes me want to put on a dress and heels.”
“I bet a dress and heels would look good on you. Sounds like they would anyway.”
“…Celine Dion CD’s and a hot bath for me.”
And you wonder why we’re not getting anywhere in this country. Between the people who govern and the people who think they have a clue about what’s going on, we’re in some serious trouble. I can’t decide which troubles me more, the lack of integrity in government, the media and the world in general or just the sheer scope of the mediocrity.
Consider these recent examples from the bright lights who run the show for us.
The former Finance Minister for Ontario, Dwight Duncan, who resigned and retired a few months ago has just come out publicly in favour of privatizing some of the province’s Liquor Control Boards. This would be the same guy who as Finance Minister was vehemently opposed to privatization of any kind. How does he reconcile his statement with his decade-long refusal to even consider privatization? How does he make the statement without recognizing the hypocrisy behind it?
Politicians live in a world of their own with standards that are almost impossible to decipher or understand.
Eric, Holder, Attorney General for the United States is under fire over the Department of Justice’s secret accessing of the telephone records of AP and Fox News Media Journalists. It’s a serious charge and one that the President recognized needs a full and thorough investigation. Who did he appoint to conduct that investigation of Mr. Holder? Give yourself a gold star for correctly guessing he appointed the Attorney General to investigate himself.
Of course, we’re not much smarter up her in the Great Northern Asylum. Marjorie Lebreton, the Senate Majority Leader asked the Committee of Internal Economy to conduct a second review of the expense claims for the Senators at the heart of the expense scandal. This would be the same committee that whitewashed their first report.
It’s kind of like asking the guy who was arrested for a crime to conduct his own trial and get back to us.
When Lois Lerner, the Director of the department of the IRS at the heart of that scandal was hauled before a Congressional Committee to answer questions – she refused to answer those questions. When she was asked to submit her resignation – she refused. It’s unbelievable that an employee accused of very serious, possibly criminal acts, simply refuses to acknowledge them when her employer demands answers. Because they didn’t know what else to do, her bosses put her on paid administrative leave so basically she’s on vacation at full salary until further notice.
After months of condemning the corruption and unethical practices of the Liberal Government of Ontario, NDP Leader Andrea Horvath, or as I call her Ontario Horvath, has decided to prop up that same government because they gave her a bunch of budget trinkets including a reduction in auto insurance premiums – a promise they made but finagled and didn’t keep. The government, however, is considering a possible $3 billion revenue tax grab to finance transit infrastructure in Toronto which would make the average savings on car insurance seem pretty insignificant and even pointless. If implemented, it would be a tax that would be applied to taxpayers across the province which gives a whole new meaning to the concept of wealth redistribution.
Ontario Horvath said that she negotiated to avoid an election but elicited a promise from the government to bring any new tax increases before the legislature for a vote which would, if defeated, trigger an election. That would mean the very real prospect of a fall election later this year which makes all of Ms Horvath’s efforts a bit redundant and that is the best case scenario. If the Liberals live up to their past performance, they won’t keep that promise in order to avoid being defeated. Either way, the oh so smart leader of the NDP had not only made herself look foolish and naive but further undermined the rights of the people of the province to decide things for themselves.
Gawker, an American website and The Star, Toronto’s major newspaper teamed up last week attack Toronto Mayor Rob Ford with a serious allegation about the use of crack cocaine. To support their claim, they referred to ‘Somali drug dealers’ and a smart phone video that two Star reporters claim to have seen but which, along with the dealers, seems to have gone missing.
Not to be outdone, The Globe and Mail the older of two national newspapers, jumped on the bandwagon with all the enthusiasm of the National Enquirer chasing another abduction by aliens. The published a story, citing unnamed sources, accusing the Mayor’s brother of having been a drug dealer in his younger years.
No real corroboration was offered by either newspaper for either story which begs the question that if you can’t trust the media to be open, transparent and adhere to a high set of standards, how can you possibly expect politician to even consider it?
Last week a court ruled that there was serious and egregious election fraud in six ridings during the last federal election but because it didn’t know who conducted the fraud, the court declined to overturn the election result. It seems to me that it would have made more sense to order heavily monitored by-elections and let the people decide if the right person had or had not been elected.
The list is almost endless and along with the savage and gratuitous violence happening somewhere virtually every day, it’s enough to make you want to sign up as a test pilot for cryogenics machines.
The current scandals facing Government are not going away and that applies to both Canada and the United States. What’s different this time is that it’s the people, not simply opposition politicians and the media, who are demanding answers.
With the exception merry band of commenters I referred to earlier and others like them, there are a lot of reasonable and thoughtful people who usually remain silent now speaking up. . . and they’re angry; very angry. It is no longer about partisanship in many cases. Now it’s about integrity in government.
Good! It’s time for decent, hard-working taxpayers to demand answers from their politicians and to demand a higher level of transparent accountability from all levels of government.
Billions are being squandered, mismanaged and outright stolen through privileges awarded to politicians by politicians. Policies are based on achieving or maintaining power rather than on the long-term prosperity of the nation. Think I’m wrong? Take a walk through the downtown core of any major city in Canada and the United States and see how it is before you stumble over poverty beside those gleaming glass and steel towers where the power people work and play.
The real scandal facing us all is not the Senate or the IRS or – well – take you pick; it’s the number of them. They’re growing faster than politicians can squander tax dollars. There is something desperately wrong with our societies; a lack of morality based on principled values and integrity. Government is out of control to the point that, to quote Ronald Regan, “Government isn’t the solution to the problem – it is the problem.
Perhaps this new level of anger that is driving the demand for answers regarding the current scandals in Canada and the United States coupled with demands for real reform and accountability will be the first step in the people taking back their governments.
I suspect it will depend on who speaks louder; those who demand accountability or those who wonder if Justin Trudeau is gay because they think they detect a lisp when he speaks.
But if all else fails, perhaps a hot bath and a Celine Dion CD will make the world seem a better place. . . a least for a little while.
© 2013 Maggie’s Bear
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