About this time of the year I get grouchy and cantankerous even. I’ve had enough politics, both American and Canadian. I don’t want to hear groaning about who should have been gifted with an Oscar–does anyone really care anyway? A bunch of rich folks complaining about who should have more. News folks seem to begin to run out of things to say about anything that means anything so I’d like to suggest that they report on what the criteria should be for Canadians to be able to impeach their politicians for breach of promise. Apparently there is no process for this happen-I think there should be.
In A/A there is a very profound truism that goes: ‘If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got’.
Every four years or so we get to hear a bunch of folks travel around the country on our dime and tell us what they think we want to hear so that we will vote for them and thereby grant them the best flippin’ pension anyone could receive. That’s another discussion though. The point is that there seems to be no boundaries regarding what they can promise us and what they actually have to deliver. The problem is they all do it so who do you believe? Is it the smoothest one–the funniest one–the most serious one–the most sarcastic one? None of the promises have to be based in anything that comes close to resembling the truth about anything. Politicians can say what they want about who they want any time they want and nothing can happen to them. If you or I did that we could be sued for defamation and libel. They can make wild claims about balancing budgets and how they will spend the surplus. They can out and out lie to us about not cutting programs and not raising taxes or promising to cut taxes and then the old favourite line comes out–wait for it–“Oh I’m sorry but we just didn’t know how bad the situation was so we have to put off a couple of our promises for another year but we will get there-we promise. What I can’t believe is that we still haven’t demanded a method of holding our elected officials accountable for their promises. Impeachment seems about right for me. If you can’t do it–you can’t say it. That’s pretty simple to me. If you say you will you had better or you are gone. That’s pretty simple for me too. If you can’t show me, as a voter, how and what you will do and the ramifications we can expect then you can’t talk about it. When debating if you can’t prove or substantiate or back up what you are going to do then don’t mention it until you can. Make the debates about policies and solutions and not the freak show it is now about who is a liar, who is not worthy and so on.
I always thought that the first hundred days was supposed to be the barometer of what and how a new leader is doing. If a leader has promised to reduce taxes he has the first hundred days to begin to make that happen. It doesn’t have to be done, necessarily, but the process by which it will get done does have to begin by that time. It needs to be seen as being in the act of taking place with a definite time line. If it is not and it is a major piece of legislation, as opposed to signs going in the park about cleaning up after your animals or some other thing of much less consequence, then the leaders need to be held accountable for why that isn’t happening as he/she had promised when stumping for votes. Impeachment needs to be seen as one of those possible outcomes. My other point would be this: There is a great teachable moment at hand here. If we want our children to grow up to be responsible and caring adults then we need to demonstrate to them that adults and adolescents alike need to be responsible for what they say to one another. If ‘adult politicians’ can say and promise what they like with no ramifications then why should our kids be treated any differently? We cannot expect our kids to be anything but confused by such a double standard and there is no rational excuse.
This move would really cut down on the idle and empty promises made by those who haven’t had an original thought for years if ever. It would separate out the serious politicians who genuinely want to be of service to the public from those who are looking for the free ride. But more than anything, from my point of view, it would begin to restore some sense of control and stability in politics and maybe even take the tarnish off of what was once an honourable career choice.
Anyways, that’s how I see it–all the best, Jim
I’d appreciate any comments or thoughts you have about this article. If the spirit moves you please send it along to family and friends. To contact me please go to my web site-contact page: jimcloughley.com OR email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org