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

More than 300 teens take to the polls at Mount Douglas Secondary for mock federal election

‘This is a pretty engaged generation,’ says Mount Douglas Secondary social studies teacher

Access: A day in the life using a wheelchair in Victoria

Black Press Media teamed up with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre to learn about barriers

Popular food truck to open restaurant on Oak Bay Avenue

Dead Beetz Burgers adds brick-and-mortar restaurant

CRD aims to reduce solid waste going to Hartland Landfill by a third by 2030

District launches public engagement campaign for waste reduction strategies

Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin receives first poppy in Legion-led ceremony

The ceremony is one of the first steps to kick off the 2019 poppy campaign

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read