#1. The British Are Coming
The cry is not from Paul Revere this time, who – in any event – apparently did not utter this warning on his famous ride. Rather, we refer to the news that Prince Harry, Meghan, and baby Archie may be residing in Canada (probably in Victoria) for part of each year. This is the result of their decision to relinquish royal duties, pursue financial independence, and try to live a “normal” life. The response has been wide-ranging, largely ill-informed, and mean-spirited.
The gutter press in Britain, whose nasty coverage of Meghan doubtless helped to drive them out, deplore their dereliction of duty and want them barred from taxpayer funding, some in Canada have been quick to insist that we shouldn’t pay any support for their time here, and there have even been some commentaries about the potential complications for the role of the monarchy in the Canadian system of government. Since Prince Harry is far back on the list of successors to the throne, he is not needed in that regard, and I would have thought people might admire him for planning to reduce his financial demands on the British taxpayer and understand his desire to lead a more private life.
#2. Poor Little Dears Just Can’t Help Themselves
Another study from the Samara Centre for Democracy and yet another finding that MPs regret the partisanship that they exhibit during exchanges in the House of Commons. They claim to find such behaviour inappropriate yet somehow get caught up in the partisan dynamics and succumb. Sadly, it appears that a “take no prisoners” approach to politics is becoming the dominant culture surrounding the operations of government. As discussed in an earlier blog, politics was once a noble calling. If it is ever to be so again, elected members need to do their part and stop acting like school children.
#3. Hyper Partisan and Toxic
Discouraging as it is, the bad behaviour of Canadian politicians pales in comparison to the pathetic situation in the U.S. The fierce partisanship intensified with the election of Obama in 2008, whereupon the Republicans in Congress vowed to oppose every measure initiated or supported by the President – and did so for the eight years he held office (regardless of the merits of his initiatives).
If possible, things have become even worse since Trump became President, given that he tries to increase divisiveness and fan the flames of anger whenever possible. The Senate is now conducting a trial to determine whether Trump should be impeached. Before the process began, the Senate Republican leader (Mitch McConnell) emphasized that he was not neutral on this subject and would be coordinating his activities with the President. To understand this outrageous and entirely inappropriate behaviour, imagine a trial in which the foreman/foreperson of the jury announces in advance – “I don’t care what evidence or arguments are presented, I am going to find the accused innocent and I am coordinating my activities closely with the accused.”
#4. Much Adough About Nothing
And finally, we come to the shocking Canadian scandal that may become known as Donutgate. When the federal Liberals held a Cabinet retreat in Winnipeg recently, the Prime Minister was photographed carrying out several boxes of donuts from a local shop. Inevitably, some folks complained about Trudeau’s failure to shop at Tim Horton’s, that iconic Canadian symbol – now owned by a Brazilian Billionaire, the one with many unhappy franchisees. There were also complaints about the extravagance of $47 for a dozen donuts, which were, (according to the owner of the donut shop) the price for speciality donuts which the Prime Minister did NOT purchase.
Get a grip people! The fact that Cabinet members were fed with fresh donuts from a local shop rather than pre-made frozen donuts at a Horton’s outlet is not a matter worthy of discussion. Nor is the negligible cost of a few boxes of these donuts. We have lots of serious issues that merit our attention. This isn’t one of them!