Friday, October 19, 2007



After 50 years in Toronto newspapers, with occasional adventures in radio, TV, magazines and books, people think that I must miss it.
Of course!
But not the politics.The politics of today is stale even the first time round in the 24-hour news cycle.
We just had a provincial election where few cared and fewer voted. And so we will be punished by a rerun of a government that wasn't much good in the first place.
The federal romper room regurgitates Jean Chretien's views as if anyone gave a damn. And the media ignore a promise of a drop of 1% in the GST, showing how out-of-touch they are from a real world where a tax decrease is a delicious dream.
At Toronto City Hall, they're preoccupied with raising taxes and protecting their own goodies. This was boring when I was a daily columnist in 1975 and noticed that my own family didn't read my column when I wrote about the need for the city halls of Canada to get more money from the provinces and Ottawa. We have too many politicians and too many bueaucrats and life would be sweeter in T.O. if we fired 10% a year for several years. They have turned amalgamation into a cruel charade. The city hasn't grown that much in four decades, say from 2.15 million to 2.5 million, but the bureaucracy has exploded. Quantity up,quality way down.
What we need is term limits, and maybe one term is too long.
What the politicians of 2007 don't seem to realize, or they don't care when they figure it out, is that most ordinary Joes and Janes don't really have much respect for them and gloomily contemplate a future where politicians aren't going to get better.
The pollsters tell us what we supposedly think about all sorts of things. Except most of us hang up on pollsters and if we are trapped into actually talking to them, tell them what we think makes us look good.
If only politics was as witty as The West Wing. If only the politicians were as bright as those actors.
If only we could turn them off like our TV.

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