“Dear Peter Mansbridge…you will have to do…”

Status: Submitted to local press @6 weeks post-election – reason for not printing (ed. felt readers who didn’t see the show might not relate…I’ll let you be the judge.) *Photos added later of course. 

March 10, 2011…pre-election 2011

Dear Peter Mansbridge…or should I write to my MP the honorable member John Weston, or my MLA, or the Whistler Mayor and town council, or George @strombo…or maybe Clare Ogilvie the editor of the local paper?  I don’t know really, but tonight you will have to do because I watched your show with my wife and there was one common thread; Canadians are disenfranchised by the state of politics whether or not we suffer another election.

We sat tonight and watched your visibly uncomfortable regulars try to make some sense of who is going to join the Tories on the budget vote.  Uncomfortable, frankly, because Canadians don’t really care (aka differentiate) between the alternatives we if we are sent back to the polls.  For the sake of argument I’ll pick the PQ’s to step in to ease the pain of the Liberals and the NDP who have passed all of the other Conservative bills to date.  Canadians in the west who have yet to decidedly determine the outcome of an election (as far as I can recall) particularly don’t care.  I have to tell you though Peter, I was most uncomfortable watching you grasp at some immeasurable loft, some holy grail of political democratic fiber, that we as a public should be so outraged and offended that our very democracy is threatened because some MP’s overspent on their election campaigns and a few others are facing fraud and contempt charges.  What’s new?  I see the same crimes being repeated only with richer titles.  That’s not it Peter.  That’s not it at all.

Canadians living every day, every pay-cheque to our next uncertain pay-cheque, aren’t outraged that a terminated council was paid out half a million dollars, or perplexed that Mr Ignatieff keeps saying, “Canadians are…should be…”, etc, like he isn’t one of us.  Canadians aren’t worried about these things because your worries and debates are so far from our ‘every day’ they are effectively meaningless to us.  It’s not that we don’t understand, Peter, it’s that our priorities are so much more grounded at this point and time.

We’re not home debating the government breaches of trust and the downfall of democracy in the Queen’s Parliament…we are home with our kids surviving a two-year global recession that is knocking on Canada’s door.  We are looking at the media and the MP’s and MLA’s and our fiscally failing mayor and council for a sign that any of you see how hard it is out here.  Every penny counts.  There is a time for intellectual debate Peter and there is a time to roll up our sleeves and get to work, and for what it’s worth, we are waiting for someone to get to work.  That is Canada Peter.  That is Canada today.

Oil prices dropped today, do you think the prices at the pumps will follow suit and bring more tourists to the mountains this week? Or will pay parking in our day lots scare them away before they doll out 12% HST in BC on every purchase? (Not to mention the fact that business owners have lost all sales tax exemption at point of invoice and the meager commission that was formerly paid to be the provincial sales tax collectors.)   Will the big banks honor the CMHC mortgage terms if we can afford a home with another bedroom?  Will Tax Canada continue to defer all possible tax benefit to the lower-income earner in families even when women are on maternity leave?  Will Revenue Services BC send families to collection when MSP changes account numbers and they conveniently bill them twice?  And why do people need to wait a month for a heart monitor in the next town after two trips to emergency in two weeks?  That is Canada Peter.  You want a story?  You want a debate that Canadians will continue when the National is off the air and we’re waiting for @Strombo to come on at 11:05pm?  Debate that.

Ps.  I’ve had some time to think about it now and I am going to send you all this letter…and maybe Rex Murphy too.  Time to get to work.

 

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