Friday, December 12, 2008

Interesting times...

Gov. Blagojevich of Illinois, since my last posting, has been indicted for, among other things trying to sell Barack Obama's senate seat. The president-elect has called for Blagojevich's resignation, and the attorney general of Illinois today sought the state Supreme Court to temporarily remove him from office, as he is unable to properly exercise his powers - I'm assuming while under indictment.

I am disappointed in this turn of events for several reasons:

  1. First and most simply, and admittedly from a completely partisan point of view, I'm always dismayed when I hear of these stories from Democrats in the US, or Liberals/NDPers in Canada. These are the parties I support, whether with my vote in the Great White North, or morally, from the sidelines, in the case of the US. It makes it hard to justify that support to those who are perhaps of not like mind when these scandals come to light. And yes, many on the Republican side, or the Conservative side up north here, have plenty to account for themselves. But somehow, I always find lefties need to justify these things more than the righties do. Maybe that's just a persecution complex, I'll admit that, but I just feel we have a harder time overcoming our nonsense in terms of public perception. Perhaps it's because we already have the more controversial policies to begin with - usually involving higher taxes and a greater openness to deficit spending in order to fund public programs - so that if we then look corrupt to boot, well ... if it's a given both sides of the political spectrum are corrupt, why not go with the side that simply put makes sure we have more $$$ in our own personal wallets at the end of the day (while charging us for that same in terms of social programs previously free ... doubt schools are under-funded? how many of your childrens' supplies do you need to buy, or field trips do you need to pay for now, which previously might have been covered?)
  2. Which explains point #2: this simply leads to that attitude of "they're all the same". Which pols aren't. That attitude leads to cynicism, which leads to voter apathy, which leads to low voter turnout, which is poor for democracy. While we the public should know better than to focus on these bad apples, while many of our lawmakers and other public servants are in fact very dedicated, principled, intelligent human beings who simply want to make a difference (and this on any side of the political spectrum - most pols I've met of any party quite clearly care, and believe in what they say; I might disagree, but I have very rarely questioned their intentions, or their sincerity), it's bad apples like Gov. Blagojevich who spoil the whole bunch. Both for democrats, and for public officials as a whole.
In short - for shame; especially since he won't even step down. Even Stephane Dion - a stubborn old cuss who *I* have met and who I like personally, has seemed quite unaware of what his party thinks of him, but ended up doing the right thing stepping down for Michael Ignatieff in order to preserve the potential success of the coalition the Lib/NDP parties are trying to form here in the GWN. You've been indicted; your next step upon receiving bail, imho, is to release a statement announcing your immediate resignation.

But that involves humility, something Gov. Blagojevich clearly does NOT have.

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