Monday, 30 December 2013

Political thoughts while chipping away at the Ice Storm...

Politicians and the New Year. Depressing thoughts as I chip away five centimetres storm ice from my driveway.

by Tom Thorne

We are one day away from the New Year and the start of 2014. I would like to begin this new year on a positive note but despite my desire to remain positive I sadly drift into negativity. Each time I think of our politicians and their lack of leadership in this country I begin to despair for our future.

They feed us pap, and they utilize Facebook and Twitter snippets so they don’t have say very much. Their newsletters for their ridings are bland and one sided and there is a ruse that they want your opinions for matters that ordinary members of parliament have no control over without a Prime Minister’s Office nod. 

They live in a world of soundbites and try to ruin each other’s reputations with attack advertisements. They talk about action plans, balancing budgets, but only answer questions and concerns in vague and evasive ways. Harper government ministers are noted for their lack of response to media questions and public concerns.

They wrap the parliamentary legislation into omnibus bills that are so opaque that they defy analysis even by their own caucus and need hoards of overpaid bureaucrats to unravel whether new funding or some pile of unspent dollars is now finally being applied.  

The Harper government uses unelected staff to interfere with Parliament and the Senate. Members of Parliament are expected to vote on issues like trained seals although there is a flickering of hope on this front with some reforms in a private members’s bill.

In all of this there is little evidence of responsibility or accountability and leadership is no where to be seen unless it is implementing Star Chamber methods that smack of tyranny to get rid of or suspend without pay allegedly miscreant senators who fall foul of the Prime Minister. They deny of due process and political expediency is their modus operandi.

The upcoming year portends a bleak prospect of preparing us for the 2015 federal election. Every effort will be made to balance the budget by 2015 for the first time in years by cutting back everywhere. This debacle masquerades as sound fiscal management in the eyes of the Harper right wing ideologues who must now play to their “base” of right wing supporters to get re-elected.

My despair may of course may be brought on by our recent Eastern Canadian ice storm that has left us in a state of frozen greyness when there is no sun for many days. The prospect of a hard winter combined with the usual political ineptitude in Ottawa is enough to drag one into a state of despondency.

Usually at this time we think of our upcoming winter visit to Cuba but this year we are stuck here because of other commitments to the travel budgets later in the Spring. So I despair as I read the Globe and Mail each morning and then watch people trying to forget the greyness by attending the Boxing Day sales in an attempt to remove bleakness from their lives with an Xbox 4 purchase.

The last thing on the public’s mind at this time of year is further information and revelations about the Ottawa crowd. On TV news shows their political debacles are incessantly reviewed as the big stories of 2013. It’s depressing how what purports to be news has sunk so low. No wonder people retreat into games where armed avatars in Call of Duty can unleash violence and mayhem and destroy bad guys. 

Perhaps a new game could be devised and named Recall Ottawa. In this game if politicians fail to lead us or answer questions directly and honestly, the Kraken from Fall of the Titans is released to deal with them. If they bad mouth a political opponent they are subjected to a fiery hell where attack ads about their lies and ineptitudes are played to them for eternity.

Sadly such justice fleetingly passes through my mind as I chip away at five centimetres of ice on my sidewalk.

© Copyright 2013, Tom Thorne, All Rights Reserved

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