I feel privileged to live in a country whose representatives are chosen by the people and whose government acts for the best interests of the people. Unless of course you disagree with those actions. In that case, according to a recently released letter penned by Conservative MLA Hector Goudreau, it’s best you keep your mouth shut.
On Jan. 26, Betty Turpin, superintendent for the Holy Family Catholic School Division, was quoted in the Edmonton Journal expressing frustration with her lack of success in lobbying the Alberta government to replace the dilapidated Holy Family School in Grimshaw. And then on Feb. 9, Dunvegan-Central Peace MLA Hector Goudreau had sent her letter stating that her “comments could be upsetting to some individuals (within government). This could delay the decision on a new school.”
That letter became public earlier this month, and regardless of whatever backtracking Goudreau has done since, this is still blatant evidence of a former cabinet minister and current MLA insinuating that criticism of the Alberta government will be met with some degree of hostility. It should be ludicrous to hear a story like this — one where the government deliberately taunts its power and the electorate’s lack thereof — but, disappointedly, it’s becoming the trend.
Goudreau’s acknowledgement of the government’s willingness to act like petty children when confronted seems somehow mundane when compared to more overt power plays by federal politicians. It hardly even measures up when compared to the case of Conservative government house leader Peter Van Loan openly admitting to his party hiring a polling firm to call constituents in the Montreal riding of Liberal MP Irwin Cotler last December. The calls spread the rumour that Cotler was stepping down, asking for voters’ support for the Conservative Party in the by-election. A by-election that wasn’t going to take place, as Cotler had never spoken about stepping down.
This took place after an earlier 2009 incident where the Conservative Party used taxpayer money to publish and distribute flyers indirectly accusing Cotler — who is Jewish — of participating in an anti-Semitic conference.
It’s become commonplace for people to ridicule the events currently unfolding in the U.S. Republican primaries. And that’s probably because it’s really easy. Hell, when viewed in context, the set-ups become the punch lines themselves. Did you hear the one about the pizza joint owner who became the front-runner of the Republican Party?
But we fail to be able to find the same humour — or really any humour — within our own country’s politics, whether local, provincial or federal. That’s because our political process stopped being funny and just became ridiculously sad. And that’s much worse.
This trend of bullying voters and the electorate by the Conservativesshows a blatant disregard for the democratic process of this country. It needs to stop.
The remnants of chivalry still linger today, especially in the dating world.
Talk on “commitment,” “excellence” and “unity” dominated Friday’s Board of Governors meeting, as members continue to address financial pressures and determine their next steps in the wake of the budget cut.