Roy Scott

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Our Political System Lacks Accountability

Posted by royscott0514 on October 25, 2016 at 11:55 AM

Politicians Need to Be Accountable

Many think democracy is the best system there is and, although it’s not perfect, no one has come up with a better alternative; having said that, voters are becoming disenchanted with the first-past-the-post method of electing people to office. When a candidate, or a government, gets elected with less than a majority, citizens feel cheated. Consequently, the topic of electoral reform has garnered much attention in recent years.


Perhaps Canadians should be more concerned with the "Who", and less about the "How". Shouldn’t we all, as taxpayers, give more consideration to the qualifications of our elected officials than the method by which they got there? To vie for public office what qualifications do you need to throw your hat in the ring? Simply put, if you are eligible to vote, then you can run for office.


When Canada first became a nation and people felt they needed representatives to look after the affairs of their towns and villages, qualifications probably were not as important. After all, major decisions might have had to do with having some sort of law enforcement, and whether it was legal to park your horse in front of the saloon.


A century and a half later we have municipal, regional, provincial, and federal governments, all with large budgets and major responsibilities. Canadians recently elected a new prime minister and gave him the purse strings to a budget in the $300 billion range. What are Prime Minister Trudeau’s qualifications?


His education includes a BA in English Literature, and a Bachelor of Education. He taught school for a while, before resuming his studies in engineering and environmental geography. A stint as an actor followed—that’s good training for a prime minister. His political career has been seven years as an opposition member with responsibilities as the critic for youth and multiculturalism. He has no business background and hasn’t even held a cabinet portfolio.


The conservatives ran a campaign that repeatedly commented on Trudeau’s nice hair. Unfortunately, his nice hair, his handsome looks, and his famous father, got him elected; along with the age old tradition of Time for a Change. He certainly offered no qualifications for the job.


In the private sector, it’s unlikely that there would be any corporation with a budget of even a fraction of the federal government’s, which would hire a CEO without an MBA and a proven record of success in managing a business. Yet we elect inexperienced people, give them an open ended budget, and carte blanch to run the show.


These comments are not partisan, nor are they intended to highlight Trudeau as the only mistake voters have ever made. We can look right here in Ontario for another inept leader playing with our money as if it were her own monopoly game. There is no end to the list of other examples of people, from all political parties, getting elected with improper qualifications and for the wrong reasons.


With the federal debt at about $600 billion, and annual deficits adding to that, it’s taking approximately $25 billion annually to pay the interest. Imagine what that money could buy. Similar situations exist in most provinces as well, albeit in somewhat smaller amounts, while no one seems concerned about the mounting debt. Imagine a company that ran deficits every year. They wouldn’t be in business for long.


Canadians work hard and it’s estimated that about fifty per cent of incomes eventually find a way into government coffers. We need to be more responsible with the people we choose to mange that money, and our affairs. It’s critical that, collectively, we start making better choices and demanding accountability.


 

 

 

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