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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria council recommends prioritizing housing for people in the area for at least a year

The motion passed unanimously during committee of the whole meeting

Sooke Bluffs staircase closed due to rot

District to consider replacement for ‘high risk’ staircase in fall

VicPD uses ‘less-lethal’ rounds to remove woman barricaded in stranger’s basement

The woman is believed to have broken into a dealership, attempting to steal a vehicle earlier in the evening

Vancouver Island MLA says too much on shoulders of RCMP

Reformed Police Act could look at spreading responsibility to other responders

Greater Victoria non-profit advocates for the use of psilocybin for terminal patients

North Saanich psychotherapist pushes for alternative treatment

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

Missed rent payments because of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Bamfield residents, visitors pressure province as anniversary of fatal crash approaches

Letter-writing campaign makes ‘heartfelt, emotional pleas’ to improve road conditions

Most Read