Opinion: As always, it’s politics as usual

I know there are probably journalists everywhere in Canada secretly chortling with glee at the state of politics in our country right now. Nothing brings out the cynicism in my fellow scribes as quickly as the opportunity to cover a scandal or two. 

However, to give credit where credit is due, I think the same is true for Canadians in general. While we like to think we’re the kinder, gentler nation ordained by God to show the rest of the world just how pure we are, as letters to the editor attest, we also love it when we fall well short of that magic mark. 

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Lest you think I’m holding myself above the general fray, I hasten to assure you that is not the case. 

Along with many other Canadians, I had hoped when our neophyte prime minister, with not much more than a surname that smacked of political currency, became our leader, things really would be different in our country. I hoped a new guard anxious to be responsible to all of us was replacing the answer-no-questions government of the Conservatives. 

However, it’s become readily apparent over the past few years that such is not the case. While the government may be new, it’s politics as usual. We have MPs lobbying for all of their constituents. And before we get on our high horse in B.C. and say we’re innocent, let’s reflect on how angry many of us are over the pipeline we don’t want built. Can you even imagine there’s been no arm-twisting behind the scenes on that issue? I suspect every Liberal representative in B.C. cringed mightily when we, the citizens of Canada, suddenly owned Trans Mountain. While it may have mollified some in Alberta, many on the West Coast were outraged. 

Now we have an instance where political interference is out in the open. It’s interesting to see what previous politicians have to say about MP Jody Wilson-Raybould. On the one hand Sheila Copps, Liberal of old, is citing Wilson-Raybould’s political inexperience as reason for the MP quitting cabinet; on the other, former Conservative MP and senator Pat Carney is lauding the rookie MP’s courage and integrity in resigning her post. 

Maybe it’s time for all of us to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what it is we really expect from our politicians. Are we really the honest, above-board, all-for-our-country Canadians we think we are, or are we hypocrites? I know I need to decide before the next election.

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