An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
POLITICIANS ARE so used to acting like politicians they can’t stop doing it no matter what.
In the wake of the B.C. Legislature spending scandal, Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has called for a political ceasefire while new standards are developed to guard against misspending by politicians and bureaucrats.
He wants more transparency, better accounting procedures and restrictions on foreign travel. Arguably, Wilkinson’s call for the politics to be taken out of the issue is, in itself, political.
At the same time, Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver pledges to do “whatever it takes” to restore public confidence. A politically astute position to take, sure.
But what does Premier John Horgan do? He blames the problem on the Liberals and accuses Wilkinson of “gamesmanship.”
There is a crisis of public confidence in the leadership of the province right now that calls for a better approach than our politicians have been giving us.
Truth and reconciliation is needed. The first rule of reconciliation is that while experience forms the basis of correcting mistakes, using the past as a cudgel isn’t productive or even acceptable. The solution lies in a focus on moving forward, not backward.
As premier, Horgan has a duty to work with the other two parties on this one, not to dwell on motives and blame. Instead, he chooses to continue the sniping, playing the same old political games he accuses the Liberals of.
Is it not possible, just for awhile, to set that stuff aside until this gets sorted out?
As the greatest conciliator of them all, Nelson Mandela, said, it’s about correcting the defects of the past, not about retribution.
Or, as Wilkinson put it, “We’re going to look like a pack of idiots.”
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.