You know Mr. Premier, I’ve been a political junkie for as long as I can remember.
I’m usually intrigued and fascinated by the machinations and the twists and turns of political parties and their politicians, having personally diddled in politics at a local/municipal and school board level in the past.
However, in the past few days, the juvenile, bullying and arrogant positioning that what passes for politics in Ottawa has become about as close as ever to turning me from politics to some other hobby, like maybe raising hamsters for profit.
The four main political parties have once again demonstrated their apparent incapacity to relate to the “average Canadian.” As much as I would have preferred a coalition of the left, the immature tooting and barking of the various incompetent players in that direction left me desperately pondering the thought that perhaps it’s time for parties and other political anachronisms to go the way of the dinosaur. (Although this may strike fear into the heart of Stockwell Day who still apparently holds firm to the belief that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time – about seven thousand years, twelve days and six hours ago.) I must admit though, having watched and listened to Ottawa’s version of the Nutcracker Suite over the past few days, there seems to be ample evidence to support Mr. Day’s theory about dinosaurs – political ones at any rate! And the “my way or the highway” pugilistic attitude of the Leader of the Oppressive Conservatives, hasn’t exactly warmed the cockles of my heart – or any of my other cockles for that matter.
Stephen Harper’s arrogance and naked determination to wipe out the opposition just to solidify his hold on the throat of power was at the very least, embarrassing, and at the most, profoundly disconcerting and extraordinarily revealing. Mr. Harper, with his schoolyard bully strategies, negative attacks and demonizing of others has prodded this country towards a fractured, disjointed and regionalized view of itself.
Interesting how, despite crashing stock markets, deep job losses and pervasive fear about the economic health of the entire country, Mr. Harper’s first move as the newly minted minority Prime Minister was to cut funds to political parties to make sure they won’t be able to challenge his eminent self; remove the right to strike for the public service; and generally ignore and avoid anything to do with the stresses in the economy. It’s kind of like bringing in a hit man to help out with the poor! What a warm, caring and sensitive image he doth project. And when the opposition joins, in fine parliamentary form, to challenge the Honourable gentleman and his band of minions, he snarls and accuses them of being in bed with the devil. What a statesmanlike response!
And Mr. Premier, you’re not far behind in my “bah (political) humbug” attitude toward this festive season. In the midst of all this “good will” you continue to do nothing about the pathetic minimum wage in this province. You continue to praise the potential of the over-budget Vancouver Conference Centre rather than address the fact that BC is once again the leader in child poverty in this country. The 2010 orgy continues on unabated while homelessness remains a deep seated and ongoing challenge. Food banks are feeding more and more British Columbians, especially kids, while your government refuses to consider increases in basic welfare rates.
And Gord, it was nice of you to recall the Legislative Assembly for a day or two to pass your ten point economic package. I understand you even showed up for some of it. I’m thinking if you want to stimulate the economy of this province, you might consider the following ten point economic package:
• dump the MSP (no other province levies this nasty, regressive tax)
• raise the minimum wage (most other provinces have and it seems to be working)
• attach all government initiatives to the 2010 Olympics and everything will have your attention
• pour some funds into research for alternative energy (like solar, tidal and wind)
• build a bridge from Victoria to reality
• fund a sewage treatment centre for Victoria (literally and figuratively)
• raise the minimum welfare rate
• lobby for an increase for those citizens who are disabled
• quit pretending BC Ferries is an independent company (smile) and number ten…..(drum roll)
• go for honesty in advertising and quit calling your party Liberal!
I wonder, have you ever thought of following in the footsteps of BC’s second Premier, William Alexander Smith, who changed his name to Amor de Cosmos? He resigned after fourteen months in power, but he’s remembered because of his cool name. I have some moniker suggestions if you’re interested.
Merry Christmas Mr. Premier. Looking forward to May.
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