Thursday, May 23, 2013

Past Deadline: Some Pretty Bad Choices

Here is Past Deadline from the May 23/13 issue of The Perth Courier.

Some pretty bad choices
 Y’all know I’m a political and news junkie, so last week was lots of fun in my silly world.
I think I can sum up my glee by telling you about an editorial cartoon I saw online, which shows Prime Minister Stephen Harper walking with Senator Mike Duffy and saying, “We need something really big to take the focus off you….” At the top of the frame the very large form of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is falling from the sky, about to crush them both.
For those of you who had better things to do with your spare time than watch the news or monitor The Twitter obsessively, I commend you. Nevertheless, here’s the short version:
The Senate Expense Scandal switched to Warp 9 last week when it was revealed Harper’s chief of staff, Nigel Wright, wrote a $90,000 personal cheque to Duffy to help him pay back living expenses associated with the primary residence in PEI that, it turns out, isn’t so primary. We’re told it was because Wright and Duffy are “friends.” Others suggest Wright wanted to fix things to protect Harper. Whatever the reason, it was a bad choice.
It was so dumb, in fact, I have learned as I write this that Wright has resigned.
Other senators involved in the expenses audit are dropping from caucuses like flies. Who will be next? It’s a gripping tale.
Meanwhile, in municipal government, Toronto’s ever-colourful mayor has been involved in yet another scandal. This time a video has apparently surfaced that shows him allegedly smoking crack and hanging out with drug dealers. The video is for sale and there is a scramble to buy it from the drug dealers. Real role model behaviour all round.
The good thing is this has led to a real upsurge in all manner of amusing crack jokes.
All of this exciting political news, as fascinating as it is, has left me with several questions, which I will outline here:
1. What the heck does the senate do, anyway? I’m really finding it difficult to remember. Does an Ontario senator out there care about me and my part of the province? (Sorry, that was two questions, but they were related.)
2. Do Rob Ford’s public relations people have daily nervous breakdowns or just weekly? Or maybe it’s every 13 days. Actually, does he even have public relations people?
3. If I ask nicely, do you think Nigel Wright would spot me a few thousand dollars? I mean, I’m sure we must be connected somehow way back to make us “friends.” Besides, I have to pay for my kid’s braces and it’s in the public interest for him to not have crowded teeth because we, er, wouldn’t want to upset the prime minister and etc.
4. Do we really think it is a good idea to raise many thousands of dollars to buy a video of a politician smoking drugs – from drug dealers? I doubt the money will be used to save endangered species or build a library. (I would call this a “bad choice.”)
5. Why does the weather keep changing from hot to cold? Oops…wrong topic. Perhaps the icy chill is emanating from Parliament Hill?
6. Here’s one. What does it take for some of these yahoos to get fired? Is it even possible to fire them or do we just shame them into quitting?
7. Can anyone be a senator? Where do I apply? Actually, never mind. I don’t want the reputation that comes with the job.
Stay tuned for future installments of “As the Stomach Turns.” Who knows what will have happened  between the time of me writing and you reading!

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