Politics or People

Politics or People                                   Clinton Halladay       October 23, 2020

Well, the children are misbehaving again! They just seem to be unable, or at least unwilling, to play nicely. Yes, I am referring to last week’s spectacle in the House of Commons: our elected Parliamentarians acting like spoiled, privileged children on the playground.  You could not be faulted for thinking that perhaps Mr. Singh’s NDP party, along with the representatives of the Greens and Independents, might just have been the only adults in the room.  Is incivility on our streets and in our House the new norm? Surely our parliamentarians, those men and women we elected and with whom we entrusted our government, are answerable to a higher standard.

The COVID-19 pandemic has eradicated any semblance of normalcy in Canada and around the world. The unknown aspects of the virus, especially in the early stages, coupled with conspiracy theories and the disregard by large segments of the population has contributed greatly to containment difficulties. The health and economic impacts have been, and continue to be, devastating.  Our government, with the measured support of most parties, has responded well under difficult, unprecedented circumstances.  Has the response been perfect, No!  Have there been mistakes, Yes! 

Now enter Mr. O’Toole, the newly elected leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.  Mr. O’Toole’s sole raison d’être appears to be to derail the stimulus support, the current lifeline of many individuals and businesses.  A quick review of Hansard reveals he appears to be more concerned with the process than the support.  His rhetoric infers his disfavour, not only with health and financial support going forward, but by extension that any should have occurred in the first place.  Perhaps this is not his intention, but his actions say otherwise. Mr. O’Toole was off base in presenting his motion jeopardizing the current well-being of Canadians for the sole purpose of political posturing.  He has the support of Mr. Blanchet, leader of the Bloc Québécois, who frankly does not care about Canada, only Québec. There is a time for reckoning, and there should be, but it is not now.

Mr. Trudeau took a huge gamble, a potentially devastating one, using Canadians as currency, in labelling the vote on the motion as a confidence vote. A bet that was both risky and questionably unwise. The government did survive, thanks to the adults previously mentioned, and brace yourselves, more challenges will come. Partisanship will overshadow common sense. That’s how these children play.  However, one clear and present fact did emerge.  The tactic did expose the opposition’s main concern, embarrass and topple the government, not help Canadians.  Should the government’s actions be subject to review, scrutiny and audit? Yes!  Should the government be held accountable?  Yes!  But, remember that we have a minority government, so very little, if any, stimulus or other action can be enacted unilaterally. I cannot, in all conscience, support your proposal on one hand, then criticize you for doing it on the other.

Canada is in peril, our very democracy is in jeopardy, unless our elected officials grow up and work for Canada and Canadians.  They must forgo governance for power and ego and embrace governance for the people. Time is short.

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