Wednesday, 07 June 2017 14:14

‘Extreme’ politicians make it easy to be cynical

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Some of the more flamboyant and high-profile elected politicians sometimes just don’t get it.

They seem incredulous and indignant when the electorate complains elected officials aren’t doing things right, they have lost all of their common sense and once they cross over to the government all they are worried about is public appearances and looking good for the cameras.
Sure, there’s the argument they are under a microscope and live in a fishbowl as every mistake is scrutinized. Every little thing one can complain about is dissected, whether it’s by professional media, amateur, self-professed journalists or peanut gallery commentators waiting to gun down our officials.
When they decide to change the political boundaries because of shifting populations — such as in Alberta where the borders are no longer about geography, but about ensuring the presiding government stacks constituencies which will give them future election success by dissecting pockets of support — one becomes cynical.
Politicians make it so easy for even the most apathetic, uninformed or even the most trusting of people to complain.
This may be low-hanging fruit, but come on.
The reality in some of the things they say and do is mind-boggling and sad if it wasn’t so laughable.
Canada’s flamboyant Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — the mouthpiece and figurehead for some faceless strategists and bureaucrats — showed up on the American syndicated talk show Kelly and Ryan who were in Niagara Falls doing some shows. They gushed over Trudeau.
There is a reason why there are handlers. There is a reason for speechwriters. There is a reason why everything is so controlled for politicians, because even when they are allowed to answer pre-scripted and known questions, they still mess it up.
Style over substance — the winning formula in Canadian politics. Common sense be damned.
Yes Justin, it would be cool if your daughter became prime minister like you did and your dad did, but to say Canada is long overdue for a woman prime minister? Really?
Hope you saw Kim Campbell waving from the sidelines. Note to self: never ask Trudeau to be on your Trivial Pursuit team if the occasion arises.
Even at best, apologists claim Trudeau never said there has been ‘no woman prime minister’ just that it was “long overdue.”
In this day and age, do you really want to be that open to interpretation and scrutiny, especially considering Trudeau’s handlers must know everything is scrutinized. Facts such as Canadian political history cannot be left open to interpretation when you’re the prime minister.
How about Sun Media’s June 2 column by Rick Bell about a review for councillors and a list of recommendations, one of which states uber-popular Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi should not run city council meetings because they tend to drag on and he apparently is not good at chairing meetings. The idea is to hire an outside person to do it at a cost of $170,000 a year ($400 per hour) not to mention all of the outside costs which go along with it. For the record Nenshi makes a shade over $200,000 a year. Nenshi is heading up this council group which is doing this particular report. Seems logical right?
Or how about the infamous case of Don McMorris, the Saskatchewan cabinet minister who pled guilty to driving two and half times over the legal limit after being stopped last August weaving through a construction zone.
That’s not good.
McMorris who was deputy premier at the time was the minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance which has been strong anti-drinking and driving advocators as well as being the minister in charge of Sask.’s liquor and gaming authority. He was also a former health minister and highways minister when the department of highways had been pushing for responsible driving through construction zones. Where was he stopped because of his his erratic driving? Really not good.
Unfortunately the last known statistics had Saskatchewan leading the country in drunk driving incidents with 575 impaired driving cases per 100,000 people in 2015.
To be fair Saskatchewan drastically strengthened its drunk driving, but to say the McMorris optics weren’t good is an understatement.
Yes, politicians are human, but with them in these kind  of situations and the about their high salaries and that only the top dollar will get top people into these positions, shouldn’t we expect more?
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact him with comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor