Opinions & Letters

Politics: What happens to people when they get into government?

 | July 27, 2012

“Still crazy after all these years.” — Paul Simon
The recent announcement by Bev Oda that she’s retiring from federal politics comes as no surprise given the public’s outrage over her hiring a $1,000 a day limo, rather than using the free shuttle, to travel to and from her seven star hotel (she upgraded from the lesser five star option) and her nerve in ordering a $16 glass of orange juice, all charged to the Canadian taxpayer.
Let’s disregard her cabinet post for the moment, Minister for International Co-Operation (do we need one of those in the first place?), and ask: “What happens to people when they get into government?”
Do they sign up for free lobotomies and electroconvulsive treatments or is it something in the water in the nations’ capitals that makes seemingly normal people lose all common sense regarding entitlement spending once they get into positions of power? How could Defence Minister Mackay possibly justify getting a Canadian Forces chopper to fly him from a fishing holiday to a conservative fundraiser? Ah yes, it was only $25,000 of the people’s money. What else would it be good for?
Actually these out-
rages, and many others, are only symptoms of a much wider malaise. The U.S. Government needs to borrow $3.5 billion per day to fund its operations. The formerly untouchable debt ceiling was $14.2 trillion. Now well on its way to $16 trillion it’s so large that paying it down is impossible because just the interest on that amount will, in 20 years, exceed government revenues. Once the epitome of free enterprise, pioneering spirit and a can-do attitude, America has sadly become encumbered with the nanny state mentality that says, “Big government knows best. Just pay your taxes and we’ll care for you through regulation, a 2,400 page health care bill and we’ll borrow from foreigners to make up the difference.”
Looking at the two candidates in the presidential election should give any intelligent voter cause for concern. One of them wrote several books about dreams and hopes; purportedly an autobiography in which he made up characters, or as he calls them “composites,” about why he’s seeking social justice and a new way of thinking to help the country. I guess fantasy would best describe his books, and therefore his policies, because autobiographies tend to have real people and events in them.
The other candidate belongs to a fringe cult believing some of the biblical saints came to America to get things right and is having trouble convincing the electorate he won’t tip further off course from reality. Romney’s record as a mostly successful manager is beyond reproach but people who wear their faith on their sleeve would alarm rational thinkers who generally have trouble believing in the tooth fairy and other mythological characters.
Although our PM Harper is boringly normal and unsurprisingly competent, except for a complete lack of fashion sense, he would make a better candidate than the two make-believe believers running. Wouldn’t that make Thomas Mulcair’s day?