Not my finest hour. Not my finest hour and half, actually. Everyone was talking and making nice. Our MLA was there looking earnest. I just seethed.
She has been looking earnest and pleasant for twelve years now and counting. Content, too. Maybe even a bit smug. And, in my opinion, she has accomplished little to nothing that whole time. In fact, in those twelve years she has been to our community meetings only twice. This was the second time.
Why did she come? Well……………..there is an election coming up…….
The meeting went on for awhile as the various and often magnificent volunteers told of their numerous accomplishments in the community in a style not unlike students do for the teacher in an elementary class. It was good. It was nice. Some mentioned needs and plans for the future. It was all typical community meeting stuff.
I hate that stuff.
Could be me, I suppose.
It was also noticeable to me that none of the work done was attributed – even in part -to funds given by our MLA or Provincial government. Although the Regional district was acknowledged for their continuing good efforts. They are good. We have a good rep there.
The Feds, of course, have been absent in so many ways and our loss of Comox Radio is turning out to be a problem. But no one counts on the Feds for anything. And none of the plans or projects suggested were addressed to the MLA even tho a few of them were entirely within provincial jurisdiction.
Clearly we do not ‘see’ the senior governments as doing much for us. We never said anything to her, asked her for anything or put our MLA on the spot. She diligently took notes which looked like work. It wasn’t. And we were nice
But I wasn’t.
I had had quite a few conversations over the years with our MLA (mostly written) and they were always overwhelmingly unsatisfying and limp. Often not responded to. She was like cold custard, like Congee. They leaked off into ether and time and forgotten-ness. Not even left firmly in memory….somewhere else…almost dream-like. Talking/writing to her was like talking to a smiling automaton while being slowly but heavily sedated. Her hand shake is a dead-fish. She said or wrote blah, blah, blah and I would respond and so on but nothing was ever done. It was horrible. It is also typical. Smile-pasted-on, deflecting, looking sincere and concerned, saying nice things………..I have had enough of that.
Mind you, I have had enough with all politicians lately.
I hate that, too. I WANT some hope. I NEED some hope. Sadly, I GOT NO hope! Not from them, that’s for sure. (I actually DO HAVE hope – in the almost invisible, definitely subtle, quirky underground local economies working at the neighbourhood and village level all over the world. People are quietly revolting to established politics. But just at a nano-level.)
I even asked her once if she had any power and she assured me that she was influential in the party (NDP). “Good. Then make them do something. Fix ’em. You are the one our hopes are riding on because the Liberals are crooks. Prove that you are better. Get ‘er done!” That conversation was eight years ago. Nada.
Yes. Of course, I offered to help. If you are gonna make demands, you have to do your part. She didn’t want or need my assistance. Offered free of charge.
In my last missive to her I asked if John Horgan even existed…… the party is a specter, a shadow, a mist of nothing and getting less and less all the time. “If you are so influential, why have the NDP seemingly de-materialized?”
Anyway…………bottom line: I am NOT happy with any government (even those in other countries) and you can imagine how I felt about this impotent and enabling group of limp nincompoops of which she is an influential member. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Being influential and having power in a limp dish-rag of a group?
When I am NOT happy I say what I think.
I told her out loud and addressing all in the room that in 12 years she had collected over $1.5M in salary and benefits (I know it is more but that is her take-home). She would likely collect another million if she quit today and just kept collecting her pension. Did she think she had done a good job? She replied ‘Yes, I have!’.
By any measure, she has not. Bear in mind that the Provincial government gives us absolutely nothing but the one-room school which they threaten to close most years. Bear in mind, any monies they do or should give us are OUR taxes in the first place. They are just there to collect, distribute and take their cut.
They ALWAYS do that. They never miss a paycheque. The government takes theirs and more. The opposition party takes theirs. She takes hers. They don’t give us ours.
Much to my surprise, she was defended by some. Only two or three meekly replied in kind with my sentiments but, by and large, she remained unmoved, unchallenged and unscathed by the citizens so poorly served by her and the rest of the ‘entitled elite’ in government. They like her!
I am guessing my own polling numbers tanked.
Well, that’s ‘community’. That’s the way it is. We have some great people out here. We don’t always agree but we get along. We don’t think alike and many don’t seem to think at all but we all tolerate everyone and even enjoy each other’s existence now and then.
I am, it seems, the politically odd man out of a group of completely odd men and women. I have expectations of our reps. They are just happy to see ’em.
I hope never to get that accepting of politics-as-usual.
But I guess I need to stay away. Being nice and polite to politicians could be contagious. Community meetings………………..