Editor, The News:
Re: Winning lottery, robbing a bank (Commentary, May 2).
It is shocking the things public ‘servants’ get away with in our permissive society as they guzzle the public trough.
Perhaps it is because us overtaxed Canadians are far too busy trying to make the decision between eating or paying our bewildering cornucopia of taxes, to worry about what the pampered politicians are up to.
Yes, I know, this is nothing new. We don’t really have a democracy. What we really have is an elected (if temporary) dictatorship.
But every time I hear of a working stiff being hounded to the grave by Revenue Canada for a debt of a few hundred bucks or so, and I see politicians milking the system for thousands (and thousands) of dollars for their own comfort, I thank our lucky stars that we live in a country where public disgust doesn’t translate into violence.
It is a measure of our civilization and general civility, and I know that because I have lived in countries where things are quite different.
So we put up with the liars and scoundrels who worm their way into public office (a job which, by the way, has no requirements except for talented salesmanship and an ability to prevaricate), rip the public off for a few years and end up with a lifelong pension that many, many working Canadians can only dream of.
Sometimes, if they have worked the system well, they get a pension, and a posting to a lucrative diplomatic, or senatorial post.
Some of the more anointed ones may even get convicted of a crime, and still continue to hold an things like an Order of Canada, or retain a position as a Privy Counsellor to no less than Her Britannic Majesty in Westminster
At this point, I must say that I think most people who aspire to public office, probably begin by sincerely wishing to serve and only serve. It’s just that power corrupts. They begin to think that just because protocol requires that they be addressed as “honourable” that they are so. And, just because they can command cash flow, they should do so for their own ends.
Then, the rarefied air of government office further corrupts, and they begin to think that privilege is the same as a right.
Finally, lest I appear too righteous, I’m not immune.
In my past, I have been an executive, and enjoyed expense accounts that working folks paid for within the budgets of the organizations for which I worked, and whom afforded me much more comfort than that which was afforded to the grunts who were, let’s face it, paying my salary (and my perks), and didn’t enjoy any of those avenues.
Now retired, I am ashamed that I didn’t consider this at the time, but that was a long time ago.
Looking back, I would like to believe that I would have done things differently.
Truth is, the specific politician of whom Mr. Foulds speaks, is just an odious example of something that is endemic in political office, right across the country.