Editorial: Culture of Entitlement has to stop

Entitlement seems to be the norm among many politicians

Most political fiascoes fade away. Proroguing parliament can hurry it along. Or, in the case of B.C. politics, simply announce you’re not sitting for, oh, most of the session seems to do the trick.

But there’s a different kind of storm brewing, one that governments can’t seem to spin off the table and out of public scrutiny.

It’s the Culture of Entitlement storm. It seems to go hand-in-hand with being one of the upper echelon these days.

It has an impressive list of honourary (not honourable) members, and includes the likes of Linda Reid, Jenny Kwan, Alison Redford, Mac Harb, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau, and Bev Oda (remember the orange juice?).  And … and … and ….

Oh boy that list sure gets long! So, what is a politician to do? Especially when your own party members (and in all likelihood yourself) are ensnared in the Culture of Entitlement.

If the voting public in B.C. is looking to the party of opposition for leadership by example, they won’t find it. One of their own got caught benefitting from the proceeds of the public purse. So Adrian Dix appears to be content with mumbling about Jenny Kwan’s “right decision” and ducking the issue. Probably in the hopes that this storm, too, will pass.

This tactic-of-old may have once been a good one. Any politician worth her salt knows that elephants never forget, but voters sure as heck do.

But, like I said earlier, this storm is one of epic proportions, and it’s being fed from multiple sources. Politicians. Crown corporations. Executive officers. Banks. Telecommunication companies. Multinationals. The list goes on. And because the reference base comes from almost anywhere amongst the membership of the one per cent club, and because there really is no singular supreme leader (that we know of), the spin is not really controllable.

But sometimes, clearly, answers don’t come from the top. Sometimes they come from those scraping the bottom of the existence-barrel. So let me give it a whirl. My recommendation would be: Begin again.

On behalf of the people, the opposition needs to rant and rave against entitlement. Adrian Dix, you’re on your way out, what do you have to lose? Maybe it’s time to learn from Marvin the Martian, who ever so famously said, “This makes me very angry, very angry indeed.” And at the same time as you are saying that, attend to the business of cleaning up your own house. And after doing that, for goodness sakes set a gold standard.

This standard would include an expense policy so clear and simple that even a Canadian senator can understand it. It would include transparency not just in name but also in fact, with a public record of spending published each month.

And then, hold your party to this standard. Next, when you have more or less cleaned up your act, challenge the party at the helm to follow your example.

It is time for those in position of power, in the name of democracy, to begin again. But this time, instead of focussing on entitlement, how about focussing on genuine integrity and honour? It’s really time to get back to the business of serving those you are meant to: your constituents. Not yourself.

 

Britt Santowski is a reporter for the Sooke News Mirror.

Just Posted

Watchdog group says Saanich council needs a ‘reality check’ about taxes

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria warns of eroding housing affordability in Saanich

Time-lapse video shows weekend work on McKenzie Interchange project

Construction crews place concrete underpass bridge beams

‘Best in the country’: Formerly homeless man praises Victoria’s outreach services

Jay W. was living on the streets of downtown Victoria in 2018

Years of ‘horrific, violent accidents’ at Thetis Lake prompt plea to public

View Royal fire chief asks for an end to alcohol consumption at busy park

City of Victoria plans workshop to determine fate of Sir John A. Macdonald statue

Conversations will happen as part of a reconciliation dialogue series in May 2020

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Most Read