4/1/2015 0 Comments
When Alison Redford was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in 2011 and then won the provincial election in 2012, I, like many other people, thought that this would usher in a new climate of openness and transparency in politics. The truth of the matter is that no matter who is elected or appointed as leader or member of what party, province, city, riding, post, office or seat in this country, they will soon trip into and eventually wallow in the trough of entitlement – wasting and burning through the tax dollars of the people who elected them in the first place.
I am now convinced more than ever that things will never, ever change… and it’s our own fault. When I think of the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted in this country by every political party who has ever taken office in my lifetime, I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or throw up my hands and shake my head is disbelief. It’s our fault. We’d be the richest country on earth. We wouldn’t have deficits or debt. We’d have state-of-the-art infrastructure. We wouldn’t have a low-income housing or homeless problem. We have created this monster known as entitlement. As the generations pass, the next one just emulates what the previous one has done and adds to the problem. It’s our fault. People in government think that since they think they are acting in the public’s interest, buying a $16 glass of orange juice with public money is okay. Flying your friends business class on vacation using public money is okay. Lying about your principle residence to avoid having to reimburse public money is okay. It’s our fault.
The exit of Alison Redford as premier of Alberta (and even more importantly as leader of the PC Party) shows that the problem was not with her, but with the party and the political culture of entitlement. I am (as I am with every other politician) disappointed in her. I thought she was different, but she too played with the public’s money as if it was Monopoly money with no remorse. That’s the big thing: no remorse. ‘I’m entitled to use taxpayers money however I want because I’M a politician.’ The audacity. The nerve. The entitlement.
I don’t think that’s why she resigned. I think the party used it as an excuse to get rid of her – her and her liberal thinking. The old crows running the PC party wouldn’t know the word progressive if it came up and started talking to them about inclusion and equality. They still want to be known as the party of conservatism in Alberta, so look for the new leader to be a man and a champion of conservative values. The P in PC is just window dressing now. It used to mean something under Peter Lougheed. It doesn’t anymore.
I am no fan of the Wildrose Tea Party in Alberta. They simply have no social conscious. If their members were to leave their backward, regressive social thinking in their local churches and instead focus on fiscal prudency and restoring trust in government, I’d take them a lot more seriously.
But this is politics in Canada, where election campaigning means nothing. Whoever replaces old governments in Canada will fall into the same entitlement trough that every politician falls into. Politicians are OUR employees. They seem to have forgotten that. They seem to believe that they can get away with anything while they are working for us and if we don’t like it, we can fire them in four years. Four years? They flush billions of our money down the toilet in a day and we have to wait four years to get rid of them? We want to fire you now. If it was any other company on earth, they would be fired. Ah, life as an entitled politician, there’s no life like it.
There’s nothing we can do about entitled politicians. We can complain, write letters, protest. That is all window dressing. The only way that true change and a reversal of all the waste, boondoggles, cheating and entitlement will come about is if it is done on the inside by someone with the political will to do it. Who is that person who is going to excise all the bad habits, gross waste and the culture of entitlement that infects all politicians? Do they even exist? If they have, they got lost in a sea of entitlement on their first day on the job.
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