Predictably and right in the wake of the Drummond Report, the nay-Sayers, the finger-pointers, the professional cryers are out and they’re in full attack mode. My goodness, some people claim surprise, others, in tremulous voice predict that the sky will be falling. There are even rumours of people in Chicken Little costume running around.
Many claim it’s the Liberals`fault. Others, in trained seal response to the heedless provocation, point the finger to the Conservatives` propensity for overspending and book-fudging. Some of the right wing bent folk whisper that, wouldn`t you know it, it is the belated fault of the “Rae-Day NDP`ers.
Time for each one of us to fess up. Back in the last century when I was in school, I learned that the first rule of democracy is that we only get the governments that we elect and, consequently, deserve. We are the ones who put the politicians in office. Their job is to run the municipal, regional, provincial and federal governments. When they get in trouble, the rule contends that it’s because we allowed them to do so on our behalf.
When it comes to assigning fault, I have to admit that I have a certain empathy for the blame game. It’s certainly understandable, perhaps even necessary for the human psyche, but in the end, it accomplishes nothing of substance. Zilch, Nada, Rien. Pointing the finger is easy. Fixing, well that’s another challenge entirely. I suppose that I would be inappropriately fanciful in suggesting that we all hold and participate in a provincial – followed by a national – cry fest. Let it all hang out, as it were. Then, perhaps, we can get to pulling ourselves up by our provincial bootstraps and move deliberately to dedicate ourselves as a province and as a country to working to resolve this stupid and self-inflicted economic mess our public finances are in. Let’s learn from the lesson of what Greece is currently going through. They are not out of the woods because from all appearances, they haven’t owned up to the job, or of their obligation, of turning things around,
I don’t want to hear blame. What I do want to hear, however, are thought-out proposals, practical, equitable and efficient measures that do away in a realistic time-frame with a debt that we – and our children – and our grandchildren – are hogged-tied to, liable for, and have to pay back. We, and no one else, put into office people who borrowed in our good name. And when they did it again, we stood by, silently. And when they did it again, we re-elected them. I know because I was there, silent and thoughtlessly complacent. Well, the party’s over and the banks want to be paid.
An older lady who at 103 years of age, was asked to appear not too long ago on the Tonight Show. When asked by Jay Leno what in her 103 years of history she considered to be the most dangerous thing that she had ever seen, she thought a bit, and then said: credit cards, along with the attendant desire to buy stuff you can’t afford. I suppose that her words pretty well summarize what we have done to ourselves, to our children, and to our grandchildren. Time to mobilize our resources. Or do we cry first?
As for the Drummond Report, it just a sad starting point, but there we are.
We can do it. We have in the past and once we’ve shaken ourselves out of our listlessness, we’ll do it again.
Long Sault, Ontario
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