Saturday, April 23, 2005

Election talk misses the real point

OK, I know that I should be commenting about our PM's special, six-minute TV address the other night. I'm sure that lots of people were interested. Heck, my wife thinks he put on a good show, but she's so dead-set against the Tories that she'll grab any excuse to keep them out of government. She even admitted she might consider voting Liberal, if that's what it takes (something she's never done before.)

I didn't see the PM's address live. I would have, but I had other things to do, something I suspect a great many people did as well. Although the whole point was to avoid the "media filter" that his remarks or comments are always shrouded by, I still didn't take advantage of the opportunity.

I'm waiting for some sanity to come to our federal politicians. I know I may wait in vain, but I am nothing if not optimistic. There is no way we should be heading to an election now. There are significant and serious issues facing Canadians right now, and choosing a new government is not one of them. Let's wait and see what Gomery has to say. If the Liberals are as corrupt and "done" as the Opposition parties say there are, then there is no way they will win another election, whenever it comes. If the charges are true, let's hear the process out, then elect a new majority government, not just another interim minority, of whatever stripe.

There. I don't want to say more. Well, maybe just another sentence or two...

I'm disappointed in what we're hearing about the morality of the Liberal party of Canada and the way that business has been done in Quebec, and I suspect elsewhere. There was (and perhaps still is) a group of morally suspect people running the Liberal party. The status quo is not acceptable. But I worry that the way politics is done is not just a "liberal" way. It's the way of politicians and it needs to be changed.

We need our politicians to rise above day-to-day opportunism and demand that accountability be installed at all levels. We need respect and honour to be re-established as virtues that are important, not something to be laughed at when someone shows some. If Paul Martin is to be believed, he called the Gomery inquiry because it was the right thing to do, not because it was politically opportunistic. In fact, the price he's paying now is perhaps the clearest indication that it was not a smart thing, politically, to have done.

Maybe, just maybe, he's right. Maybe we should wait and see what happens.

UPDATE - April 25 -- A couple of great items in the Globe today. One, by Jim Stanford, puts the cost of ADSCAM into perspective. The other, by John Gray, (his biographer) casts a harsh light on Paul Martin's leadership qualities.

No comments: