We need and rely upon our leaders, but let’s face it, they’re all daft aren’t they?
We, as individuals can’t do everything ourselves: that’s why we hire or elect others to do things for us. Let’s agree, it’s better to have our garbage picked up by dedicated teams than each of us take the time to drive to the dump ourselves. It’s better to let specialists work on our teeth, teach our children and fix our cars. Usually, this works out reasonably well. Yet, we continually vote for a broad cross-section of people who appear to be quite sensible but who act like drivelling idiots once they get elected. OK, not every single one, but enough to create a pattern.
Take the federal House of Commons, for example. Where is the civility of discourse in the forum that is supposed to be there for the benefit of all citizens? Isn’t that what they were elected to do — act on behalf of everyone? As a reluctant observer, all I see is a fractious bunch of elderly delinquents trying to one-up each other and score points for the media.
If I hear another politician declare that his or her party has a ‘mandate’ to do whatever it feels like I may start screaming. The Harper Conservatives keep telling us they have a mandate to build prisons, buy fantasy warplanes and make laws that demand mandatory sentences. Competence and experience of judges be damned, let them all go to jail. Since when does a government that did not get votes from over 3/4 of the electorate have the gall to claim they have a mandate.
Isn’t it obvious that the first-past-the-post electoral system is a total cock-up? Until we have proportional representation we will never even get close to ‘rep by pop’.
Harper and his gang of incompetent leeches have shown us that every group of people in power have the capacity to succumb to corrupt behaviour — sometimes for financial gain, sometimes for phoney prestige. Think of the behaviour of Defence Minister McKay, who became leader of the PC party with the promise not to sell out to the Reform Alliance Conservatives, promptly did so and scuttled the distinguished party of Sir John A. He then went on to tout the necessity of committing to the purchase of the stealth fighter bomber, the F-35. A ‘stealth bomber’ — are we planning to become a ‘first strike’ nation in sycophantic imitation of the great war beast to the south? Do we really need to continue to be the unpaid mercenaries of the US and the other follow-along NATO nations?
Maybe McKay is just another naive wannabe who thinks he needs to suck up to the US war machine to be considered effective. In fact, he has demonstrated convincingly that the military-industrial complex has more clout than any parliament anywhere. In Canada’s case we have no discernible, defined role for the entire Canadian Armed Forces, much less the RCAF itself.
Any intelligent, successful business person will tell you that there is no point in proposing a solution until you have properly defined the problem. In my experience as a communication specialist, I was often confronted by marketing managers who routinely asked for specific solutions before they had determined what the real nature of their sales and marketing problems were.
All I’m asking for is a rationale for any defence equipment that will meet the needs of our nation. In other words, what is our national defence role? Is it all McKay’s fault? No, the blame equally lies with the lack of role definition by the guys at DND on the Rideau Canal. Let’s stop pretending we are something we are not and shouldn’t be.
Maybe they are not all daft, but when they get into power they sure act like it.