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Truth Twisters, Radical Reformers and My Civic Duty

March 2nd, 2019 by Michael Dyet

monopoly

Hmmm, faced with the lesser of two evils, had do we choose?

The red hot news story right now is the SNC-Lavalin controversy and its impact on the political career of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Truthfully, I have not followed the details of the story. For the sake of my sanity, I try to tune out babble of this kind. But it has inspired me to wade into the political quagmire and offer a new solution.

Government scandals have become as common as weeds in the last decade or two. My steadfast belief is that all governments engage in unethical and sometimes borderline illegal activities. They will do so until the end of times.

The sad reality is that most politicians are Truth Twisters who learn to bend and stretch the truth to suit their purposes and justify their actions. They are not necessarily born that way. But power corrupts. The desire to hold onto it persuades people to compromise their principles.

But we are living in a time of disenchantment. The electorate is weary of Truth Twisters which has opened the door for a new breed of politicians which I call Radical Reformers. They make their run for office on a grass roots platform: I’m all about the common man. I will clean up the mess, cut the waste, lower taxes and return the province/state/country to the glory it once knew.

Radical Reformers provoke an equivocal reaction. Their back-to-basics pitch is attractive while the radical changes they promise raise red flags. But the prevailing opinion is: Better the devil you know. Let’s take the chance that he/she will not go too far down the radical road.

The risk with Radical Reformers is they often have a messiah complex. They come to believe that their vision entitles to them special privileges and powers. If guidelines or laws get in their way, they bypass them, or if need be, rewrite the laws to suit their own end. Anyone who stands in their way is an enemy to the public who must be dispatched.

So, faced with the lesser of two evils, how do we choose? In my opinion, we should steer clear of the Radical Reformers. Yes, Truth Twisters are a compromise. But they cause less damage than the mad bull Radical Reformers who simply cannot stop once they start their engine.

The change I propose calls on the Monopoly metaphor.

We pass a Three Strikes Law to beadministered by an independent Commissioner. Newly elected governments receive three Get out of Jail Free cards to be used during their term in office. When a scandal erupts, the Commissioner steps in and holds up the Strike card – much like a referee’s yellow card in the world of soccer.

The party leader responds quite simply – Mea Culpa: Redeem – and cashes in one Get Out of Jail Free card. No gnashing of teeth in parliament or He said, She said, No I did not say that merry-go-round. We all agree to put it behind us and move on.

If the party in power gets through their full term redeeming three or less Get Out of Jail Free cards, the leader is free to run again. But if the government runs out of cards and messes up again, their leader is unceremoniously booted out. No RCMP investigation. No million dollar public inquiry. They are out on their ass the next day with no severance pay or MP pension.

Of course, this system only works if the Three Strikes Commissioner is truly impartial. It cannot be an elected position as a Truth Twister or Radical Reformer will grab it. And it cannot be an appointed position as the party in power will appoint a yes-man.

Quite a conundrum. It seems the only solution is for me to take on the role since I invented it. A salary of $250,000 a year seems fair, don’t you think? The position does not require me to be physically present, so I will spend half the year in the sunny south in a winter residence paid for with public funds. No cover-up, you understand, it is understood from the outset.

Yes, it is a tough job, but someone has got to do it. It is my civic duty and I am up to the task.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

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