DON DENTON: Politicians, pay attention now
Yeah you, up there on your self-elevated, self-important platform. We’re talking to you.
All of you.
I’m, of course, talking about politicians, elected and appointed.
Pay attention. We’re down here. Remember us? The voters. The real people.
You’re all up there prancing around, squabbling with each other while forgetting about us.
Don’t deny it. Take a moment and look at yourselves in the mirror.
Why is it that any party politician who stands up for her or his constituents ends up not with a promotion, but a new name and address? That name and address? Independent, at the back of the room.
We don’t really care if you can sing Jumping Jack Flash or how many dinner speeches you make telling us how great your government is. That’s all window dressing at best.
We want to see and live with the results of what you have done to make life better for your constituents, your community and country instead of your cronies or campaign contributors.
Are you listening to the people who vote in your riding or are you listening to lobbyists?
When you run for office we don’t want to hear you slagging other parties. You have to remember, especially here in B.C., that today’s Liberal is tomorrow’s NDPer and vice-versa.
We want to remind you, it’s not about you, it’s about us. It’s not about politics, it’s about governing. You seem to forget that and we’re getting angry about it.
You make promises before elections, then break them immediately afterwards. You make certain that the Canadian Pension Plan for us isn’t improved, while taking full advantage of your own protected gold-plated government pensions.
You cut social programs for us while taking advantage of meal and travel allowances for yourself, increasing the size of your cabinets and your public relations departments.
You complain about other politicians stacking the Senate. You complain about the Senate blocking the government from doing it’s job, then you turn around and do the same thing on an even greater scale.
We’re getting so tired of it all. We just want our country, provinces and cities to be run wisely.
We want fair taxes, not ongoing downloading of taxes onto the middle class. We want our valued programs, including medical care, pensions and education to be funded and funded fairly.
We also want to you to think about something. Something you don’t have to think about all that often, maybe every four years or so. Something a fair number of you will have to think about this year.
We’re the voters and we’re thinking about you. We’re talking about you. We’re remembering all you did and didn’t do. Your promises, kept and broken. Your successes and your failures.
So what will it be, more promises you know you won’t keep? More attack ads that distract from the issues instead of dealing with them? Larger salaries for you and more cuts for us?
Will you step up and represent your constituents rather than your leader and party? Will you act rather than talk? Will you acknowledge when you are wrong and the other side is right? Will you promise not to take away from the the average Joe and Jane the services you’re keeping for yourself?
You might want to think about all of that. At least this year, because we’re the voters, we’re coming to a polling station near you very soon and we’ve got a lot to think about.
Don Denton is photo supervisor for Black Press South Island.