Don't you wish that it mattered that some of the most prominent political people in this country-senators and even a prime minister and his closest staff-are exposing each other as thieves and liars?
Don't you wish senators in this country cared about the realization that they absconded with hundreds of thousands of illicit dollars?
Don't you wish that this country's prime minister cared that he was caught with his integrity hanging out of his pants? Don't you wish Stephen Harper cared a bit more about maintaining his integrity than caring about how he might be able to bury the questions about his integrity?
Indeed, don't you wish that Harper could be more concerned about the perception that he has no integrity than that he has none?
How about Senators Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy, and Patrick Brazeau? Don't you wish they were just a tad more concerned that they are perceived as thieves, instead of being so darned perturbed that they got caught?
And the rest of the Senate. .. wouldn't it be nice if they could try putting the same amount of effort into fixing the problem as the amount they have been putting into burying it, along with the three senators who got caught -instead of turning it into just one more of those mind-numbing political disagreements?
Wouldn't the whole situation feel a little bit more comfortable if the prime minister were more concerned that he has been branded a liar-he doesn't even seem terribly concerned if we believe he's a liar-instead of being concerned that the people who owe him favours might have proof?
So we are now witnessing the spectacle of the mightiest of our political masters and mistresses in a war of opinion attrition, each side hoping the other will disgust us more and consequently allow the less disgusting among them to slither free of the stupid-chains that bind them, so they can get on with quietly continuing with what they've been doing all along.
Canadians have been duped into believing that our political system only works when our political leaders are steeped in honesty, integrity and a sense of what is right for Canada as a whole.
Meanwhile, our political leaders have duped themselves into believing that none of that matters, just so long as the rest of us don't realize that those things don't exist-haven't done so for decades.
Or maybe they're not scamming themselves at all, just us. Maybe they just figured out the formula.
Pierre Trudeau was our last successful honest politician, managing to extend his term with a western finger and a smirking "fuddle duddle."
Short-termer Joe Clark tried honesty, as did Kim Campbell, and it earned both a quick boot. (John Turner was just a doofus, and Paul Martin's scorched-earth campaign against Jean Chretien was so devastating that his party has since ambled through two wannabe has-beens to the door of Kid Trudeau, Caped Crusader for the Liberal Cause.)
Those who have been successful in the past three decades have owed that success to putting politics on the moon-and keeping the dark side away from those of us who live on planet Earth.
Unfortunately for the likes of Harper, Duffy, et al, the moon goes through phases, and every once in a while, we get a glimpse of the parts where the sun don't shine.
I'm reminded of a colleague's comment that has stuck in my brain since she uttered it more than 30 years ago: "Once you can fake sincerity, you've got it made."
. Bob Groeneveld is editor of the Langley Advance.
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