It’s remarkable how our political leaders think so little of us. But; what is even more remarkable, is how we encourage them to think the way they do.
In the USA, President George W Bush made a monumental speech, July 9, 2002, condemning US corporate leaders for the way many are misusing and abusing their positions. This coming from a President who himself has acted with debatable impropriety as a business executive.
It is no secret that President Bush was elected with a “full court press” by the business establishment he was speaking about. If he doesn’t owe them EVERYTHING, then he owes them nothing.
As the President of the USA, George W Bush has appointed members of America’s most powerful business lobby to positions of highest office. Including the office of the Vice President. Therefore; it is easy to see where his loyalty lies.
To assume that George W Bush is really going to go out and stick it to his benefactors, friends and peers is wishful thinking. He is where he is today, only because of the men who have been stealing the public blind. Men like Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron, and close and personal friend to the Bush clan.
These corporate sharks, bandits and public parasites could just as easily take from George Bush what they gave him, and in the process, take him down hard. Will Bush, the former CEO and friend to the sharks sell them out? Don’t bet on it.
However; the rot in the US government and business sector might be so virile, that it can, in itself, bring down the White House. The American system, although imperfect as it is, is such, that when necessary, it enables the people to reach deep inside to get leaders and politicians who are guilty, above and beyond the excess of major improprieties.
As for Canada and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Here is a guy who has been caught buying off his friends and supporters with public money, and the public trust, so many times, that it is nearly impossible to keep count. Yet; when confronted, he simply laughs in the face of the electorate as he merrily goes about his business. In Canada, the electorate has no mechanism to remove (impeach) the Prime Minister.
In addition to screwing the Canadian people in terms of his selected grants to friends, mostly within Quebec, Chrétien also squanders enormous amounts of public money on pet projects. Also run by friends. And mostly within Quebec.
And what do the Canadian people do about it? NOTHING. And the reason we do nothing, is that the politicians are in control of everything. And to make any significant change to how the system works, means getting inside the system, and once that happens, it‘s too late; the corruption process has already begun.
It is only when the system becomes so corrupt, incompetent and arrogant, that real changes in leadership are effected through the polls. Brian Mulroney’s Conservative government and party as a case in point. However; even though voter rage gets rid of one opportunist; inevitably, we replace one unwanted politician with another of a similar stripe. The names and faces change. But not the system.
Virtually all politicians have friends who need to be taken care of. They all carry the baggage it took to get them to the top. They all have secret deals and unstated agendas. And just about all of them will invariably screw the people one way or the other. Not necessarily because the want to, but because the system makes it unavoidable.
I truly believe that Canada has never had to carry a financial debt of any kind, neither short nor long term. But; how else could the politicians possibly pay off their numerous friends with bogus contracts and projects without borrowing to do so? And how could a Prime Minister possibly feel powerful and important, if he doesn’t spend money like a drunken sailor? Especially on the international scene, where being a big-shot is everything. So instead of raising taxes to feed their avarice, they just borrow.
Having said all of this, the system must somehow work. Just look at the lifestyle virtually all Canadians enjoy. As much as I detest the underlying corruption, I wouldn’t want so many checks, balances and controls placed upon our system, that all we would receive would be gridlock.
Perhaps the best system to have, is the one we’ve got, which elects relatively competent people, who take undue advantage of their position while they more or less keep the wheel turning, until such time as the people get fed up and elect a replacement.
Canada and the USA are two of the greatest countries in which to live. Therefore; the current system(s) can’t be all that bad. We just have to be ever so vigilant to make certain that whatever happens, the systems don’t get worse, and we keep rotating the “bad actors”.