I can’t help but wonder just how foolish, stunned or gullible (you pick your choice, or all three if you wish) we, the electorate are.
Why do I say this? For many reasons, perhaps, but here is one.
According to the polls, Premier Tom Marshall’s popularity has almost skyrocketed — shot way up.
Why are we putting him on this pedestal? What’s he done? I ask again, what has the premier done for us to pour such adulation on him? What positive measures have been undertaken? Come on … what? What? And on and on.
The silence is deafening!
Oh, yes, one lone soul cries back “just a minute, now, he’s listening. He thinks many voters don’t like Bill 29, and he’s listening, and, yes, he might take some action about changing it. He’s listening.”
Since he became premier, Marshall has (to be conservative about it) told us a million times that his government is listening.
He has reiterated this idea so often that even he is beginning to believe it and, sadly, I think, voters are beginning to believe it as well. Maybe he will do something.
Finally we think the government is going to act. Great! Since it was this government that introduced this odious piece of legislation, they will now change it or scrap it altogether. Right?
Wrong! No siree.
Our popular premier is too smart to admit their awful intentions in creating the cloud of secrecy which Bill 29 is all about.
Admit they were wrong?
Come, now, Mr. Marshall is popular, remember?
So, here’s what we will do, taxpayers. We’re going to appoint a committee of three well-known public figures — a former premier and two others — to carry out a study of Bill 29 and make a report to government on their findings.
Sounds great, eh? However, there’s one vital element in this scenario that you cleverly avoid mentioning at all, Mr. Marshall. How much, in the name of the Lord, is this action going to cost us? Thousands of dollars? Hundreds of thousands of dollars? More?
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In a very real sense this whole mess has all the signs of politics at its worst — spending wads of taxpayers’ dollars just to bolster one’s own popularity (they hope) to fix a problem they made themselves and could solve quite easily and at little or no cost.
It’s nothing more or less than an exercise in procrastination — pure and simple.
The government doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with Bill 29 yet doesn’t want to admit this so it gives the matter over to a committee to study the issue.
This action, the premier figures, will make government look great, and by the time the committee comes to some decision, the whole matter will be a thing of the past.
There’s more ways than one to skin a cat isn’t there, premier? Your popularity will jump even higher, and in the confines of your office walls you must be laughing hysterically at those “stunned” taxpayers.
Mr. Premier, you can do better than that. You’re popular, yes, but at what price?
We may be foolish. We may be stunned. We may be gullible. With all those failings, we still have high expectations of our politicians and, it seems, in instances like the situation outlined above, our Government has fallen far short of the mark.
We not only expect better government. We deserve better government. Are you listening?