A Personal Commentary
What a thing to say to those one don’t even know, never mind to those one does. But if idiots are what the powers that be deem us, then idiots we must be. Truly, one must be considered an idiot or a lap dog to be expected to joyfully celebrate Paul Martin’s vow to hold cabinet meetings in the west, or in Atlantic Canada, as if that might solve anything.
It would appear that feelings of alienation from Ottawa should disappear if only the new Prime Minister would scratch behind our ears, rub our bellies until our legs thump out a tune, and for us to then wander off with our tongues happily hanging out of our mouths for any attention our master bestows. In an era of e-mail, tomorrow’s new Yesterday’s Man figures regional offices will warm our hearts and ease our troubled minds of any notion that our present political setup leaves us western rubes out in the cold.
As for Senate reform, Martin is in favour of it, but thinks Canadians have no appetite for the political wrangling it would entail. In other words, he plans to do nothing, not even appoint elected Senators. After all, if it comes down to doing something piecemeal or doing nothing at all, well, for Paul Martin the status quo is the course to go. As we’ve heard somewhere before, Martin wants his government to be more democratic, with more free votes and the like. Didn’t Jean Chretien babble the same gobblygook a decade ago when he vied for the job?
John Manley and Sheila Copps, like Martin, also want to talk about what concerns us, yet none of demonstrated any proof that they have to date listened. They tout that this Liberal leadership campaign will be about ideas, which makes for a nice sound bite but is meaningless unless some coherent plans and strategies are actually presented. Then again, if empty words and promises is all that it takes to placate the peons that inhabit the hinterlands, then why go through the bother of even trying to provide real solutions?
If we baying Baskervillers want more than the odd pat on the head from our masters in response to our barking, then we need to consider nominating and electing federal and provincial politicians who are determined to put more bite into their representation of us. After all, if we remain content in being treated as lap dogs and idiots, then maybe that is just what we are.