COLUMN: Three levels of government; Three ringed circus

SOUTH DUNDAS — Politics at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels, has been devolving into a three-ringed circus. The monkeys are running the show, and if it wasn’t such a discouraging view of our democracy, it would be amusing to watch.

At the federal level, the Senate is a discredited mess. The Auditor General’s report released Tuesday (but reported on CTV the last few days) showed 30 senators past and present, split down party lines, bent the spending rules and now have to pay back improperly claimed expenses. Or that senator can appeal and try to justify the expenses. I for one would love to see retired senator Rod Zimmer explain his wife claiming cab fares for herself to the senator’s office. All of the expense issues have shown that parliamentary rules for expense accounts need to be reformed. The one point not made is, whether the senate was elected, or appointed, with the rules as they are now in place, this mess would have happened. Expense account abuse is not caused by how senators are selected. Perhaps reform of the finance rules can help reform the selection rules, but don’t hold your breath.

Provincially, education issues keep dogging the Kathleen Wynne government. The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) filed notice on Friday to proceed with the next step that will lead to a province-wide education strike in the public boards this fall. Great. As if summer vacation wasn’t long enough. I feel for the teachers unions, I really do. They believed in Kathleen Wynne, and supported Kathleen Wynne. Tim Hudak and the PC’s were the boogie-men, they were after your jobs. Now Kathleen Wynne is after your jobs. No matter who’s in charge, the kids are being used as pawns. Given the curriculum issues in the province, maybe it is good for the teachers to go out on strike for a few weeks or months. The one benefit for the work-to-rule campaign is that it caused the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) testing to be cancelled for this year. Keep it up teachers and get the Wynne government to get rid of their Sex Ed curriculum that was developed by a convicted sex-offender. Please!

Seven months into their mandate in Cornwall, and city council has destined to become its own three-ringed circus. Between Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy having to state that he is not going to resign, due to rumours on a local blog; to the sideshow that is the resignation of councillor Brock Frost. And then the saga of who’s going to replace him once he does leave. How is the council going to actually govern the people, when they seem to be distracted by this circus, or rather, train wreck?

Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying, “the government you elect is government you deserve.” Enjoy the show, and remember you are the one who gets to pay for the ticket.

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