Evil of three lessors

More and more Canadian politicians at all levels are missing in action these days.

  • Oct. 10, 2013 12:00 p.m.

More and more Canadian politicians at all levels are missing in action these days.

Ottawa has yet another prorogation, as the Conservative government apparently avoids confrontation on several fronts. Victoria has no fall sitting of the legislature, as Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals supposedly have no agenda, other than to win last May’s election.

B.C.’s municipal governments followed suit by shutting down for a week in mid-September, allowing most mayors, councillors and top bureaucrats to head for the bright lights of downtown Vancouver. It was the annual bun-fest known as the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention, where elected officials and their highly-paid satraps get to mingle and schmooze with each other; staying in hotel rooms that could be costing taxpayers anywhere up to $380 a night.

During this love-thy-neighbours-hoedown, many resolutions are brought forward, hoping for the approval of provincial government ministers who may attend. Readers of The NEWS readers know that the B.C. Liberals seldom take any advice from its farm teams, if truth be told.

Amazingly, this huge waste of tax dollars goes under-reported every year, with most media turning a blind eye; thankfully, one media outlet rightfully ridiculed the never-ending senseless mumbo-jumbo psychobabble, and highlighted a resolution from the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), which was typical of the futility of the entire exercise. Titled “Evaluation of resolution effectiveness,” it read : Whereas UBCM, as the conduit between its members and other levels of government, endorses resolutions of significance to all local governments; and whereas it is perceived that provincial responses to UBCM resolutions are frequently unresponsive or unsatisfactory; therefore be it resolved that UBCM evaluate and provide its membership with a measure of the effectiveness of resolutions and detail on the significant positive action taken.”

You couldn’t make this stuff up, and those 18th century words of Thomas Paine ring so true today : “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil.” Likewise, French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville was right on the money when he first noted that “in democracy we get the government we deserve.” With federal, provincial and municipal governments all grabbing at one taxpayer, it’s difficult for us to say who is the lesser of three evils, as we struggle with the evil of three lessors.

Bernie Smith


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