Saturday, May 16, 2009

Politics is a dirty game

If you have been near a radio or television this week in central Canada it would have been impossible to avoid hearing/seeing stories about alleged shady politicians both here and abroad. The Canadian stories seem very tame compared to the blatant misuse of government money and privilege that has been reported in Britain . Here at home we have the continuing saga of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and his relationship with German Businessman (or in the press: sleaze-ball and influence peddler) Karlheinz Schreiber. Its pretty clear that Mulroney received cash payments from Schreiber for jobs undertaken where Mulroney would use his contacts and influence after leaving office. The money was not declared as income initially to avoid the CRA possibly, not really a bad thing, but for a former PM maybe not appropriate. The upshot will be that presiding Judge Oliphant will chastise Mulroney, whose legacy is already dirtied, maybe suggest some new rules for politicians and that will be that. While this was going on the current Conservative government (Mulroney's cronies) seems to have created a diversion that accuses a prominent Liberal, Ruby Dhallah, of mistreating some employees. Not really something that is any bodies business but those involved. This appears to be a smear tactic (by the Conservatives) to divert public attention from Mulroney. Mostly I don't think the large majority of Canadians care about either story, but this is what passes for news here in Canada. Politics is dirty and power corrupts. The Mulroney incident is a lesson to those that think government should be involved in economic matters, any economic matters. Politicians in or out of office can always be trusted to use their power and influence to lie, cheat, steal and do whatever they can get away with just because they can. Its human nature to take advantage of a situation. For that reason alone, government has no business meddling in a free economy. The Dhallah incident is just ridiculous, and no bodies business.

While all this is going on citizens of Toronto have been held hostage by the effects of a civil war half a world away. The large Tamil population (mostly civil war refugees) of Greater Toronto (GTA) has been trying to raise awareness to their cause claiming genocide in the 26 year old civil war. The Tamils want the Canadian government to sanction the Sri Lankan government, trouble is the Canadian government has declared the Tamil Tigers (organizers of this protest) a terrorist organization. So official sanctions are unlikely. This hasn't stopped the local Tamils from illegally disrupting other inhabitants of the GTA, blocking highways, disrupting business and generally depleting the police budget. The police and the city have been gentle, too gentle with the Tamils. After all what is the function of police if not to protect the rights of citizens? People blocking highways and roadways makes it difficult or impossible for ordinary commerce and infringes on individual freedoms. Certainly the Tamils should be free to protest whatever they choose, but when their protests disturb others peoples rights then Tamil leaders should be arrested and fined.

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