“Members of the legislature or Parliament are not elected to become trained parrots”
To the Expositor:
I could not agree more with your premise stated in this editorial ‘Gamesmanship is no substitute for real policy planks,’ October 11, Page 4. Unfortunately, “gamesmanship” or “spin” has become the order of the day from politicians at every level of our government system, from the municipal level, through provincial, to federal. The senior levels are overzealous in protecting the “party” at all costs, and become devoid of independent thought or opinion by the individual members we, the people elect to represent us, and not the party who’s banner they ran under.
The letter directly beneath this editorial is a fine illustration of this (‘A rebuttal to Conservative and Liberal characterization of North’), as was the previous letter to which it was aimed at. Unfortunately, neither one accomplished anything but to present further partisan “my party is better than theirs” rhetoric. Oh yes, lots of complaints about what the Conservatives did before the Liberals came along, but little substance as to what “they” (the NDP) were proposing. Likewise, the letter they are rebutting accused the Liberals of disrespecting the North, which of course, they were, and then, just had to take a shot at the NDP too, because they did not immediately object to such characterizations. May have made for good theater and more heckling in the legislature, but in the end, would it have forced that apology demanded and denied to the Conservatives to suddenly bring the Liberals to their knees? And, indeed, what would the apology do to make things better for us in the North?
It appears that any opposition party has one goal; embarrass the Liberals and make lots of noise and press doing it. They don’t seem to understand that the provincial Liberals are most adept at doing this all by themselves, and we, the voters, know it. What we don’t know is, what are these two (and soon maybe three if the Northern Ontario Party gets a seat or two) will do to make things better for the North, and indeed, all of Ontario. Members of the legislature or Parliament are not elected to become trained parrots, endlessly repeating party lines, spin and rhetoric, just to play follow the leader. They are elected to represent the constituents they made promises to and, eventually must be accountable to.
Unfortunately, this spin and gamesmanship is catching, and has infected even municipal politicians in many towns and cities, all playing for a press clipping or sound bite, while seeming to forget why they are there in the first place. Worse still, almost all are very bad actors and fool nobody after the initial bloom is off the rose.
Keith H. Moyer