Monday, 4 November 2013

The Political "Gravy Train"

Ah...The Gravy Train!

Most of us, if not all, can imagine a table with our family and friends sitting together enjoying a meal. Every time I hear a reference to "The Gravy Train", I imagine this setting and the warm feeling of enjoying turkey, while others pass around the gravy, sharing it together on an equal basis.

After a brief moment of enjoying this mental treat, I am reminded of the reality of the reference being attached to "The Gravy Train." Most likely it is an elected official or political party stating how "The Gravy Train" has to come to an end and how someone in some position needs to get off the ride.

If you have not figured out just yet...I am making a nice reference myself to our dear friend Mayor Rob Ford.

Mayor Ford based his entire election on something he holds dearly to his heart, "The Gravy Train." Seriously though, the man cannot get enough gravy on his food, have you seen the lunch expenses he declares????

While Ford proclaimed in all of his political glory that "The Gravy Train" would be destroyed, the taxpayers of Toronto looked up in hope that finally...someone with the tenacity and strength of a leader could assist them in their daily lives and make things better.

Years later, those very same taxpayers are looking at their television and computer screens and unfortunately realizing that, while Mayor Ford made many references to "The Gravy Train", he was in fact not looking to abolish it, but rather ride on it first class indefinitely.

I am beyond embarrassed and enraged by the media reports, public announcements and scandal that has followed this mayor of Toronto, and while many argue that the media is simply bullying Ford, I disagree, because he is not alone and the sad reality is that others who have taken it upon themselves to ride the very same "Gravy Train", all appear to be fellow supporters and party members of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Now, let me take a minute to let the air rest, because I can imagine many party supporters, fresh from the recent conference are swearing and yelling that my statement, if they haven't already closed the page.

The problem that has persisted for many years in Canada is that many of our elected officials seem either uninterested in supporting Canadians who do not directly vouch for them or to concerned lining their own pockets to actually do their jobs properly. These politicians and public servants like to take the public out of public service and replace it with "Me."

"Me Service" appears to be the growing trend within the Conservative Party these days and also appears to be spreading to other politicians from the Liberals to the NDP.

Mayor Ford out of them all appears to conveniently make the news every time Stephen Harper has a foul to cover up. Senate issues with Mike Duffy and all of the sudden the notorious crack video ends up in the hands of the police.

Coincidence or pure conspiracy?

I hope that one day I can enter the public service myself, not because I want my own office or a nice pension after eight years, but rather because of the ability it gives me to not only help people, but enact change. Our politicians are given a lot of moving space to help others, mainly because the people of Canada allow them this power. However, when the media shows constant images and examples of these very same public servants squandering our money on private business buddies, gazebos, an action plan that essentially does what government should be doing already...fixing roads, but rather spends even more money on marketing to make it appear more than that and finally on backdoor cheques, one cannot feel bad when they lose a little bit of hope and respect for the political system in general.

I really want to emphasis that politicians are very important and that the political system may have glitches in it, but still serves as a relevant and super important factor in our daily lives.

Mayor Ford states that he is not an alcoholic and not a drug addict, because lets face it...when your doing drugs after work and on weekends, it really doesn't count because technically your not on the job? Or are you? Is mayor of Toronto a position that has no hours of operation, is Ford always mayor or just when he is in his office or at an event? Does he put his suit away at night and deactivate the responsibilities that come with it?

The current evidence seems to suggest unfortunately that this is true, because while Ford may have accomplished parts of his goal in reducing taxes on the citizens of Toronto, he has failed in the most important aspect of his position...the ability to be a strong leader with a vision for ALL of the people of Toronto, not just his corporate buddies or his drug dealers.

Realistically, what the mayor does on his own time in his home is his business only, but when these activities do come to light and prove to be impacting on his performance as a public servant and more importantly show his lack of disregard for the position, then and only then will he face the punishment waiting for him.

Keep riding "The Gravy Train" mayor Ford, because very soon you and your buddy Stephen Harper will have a lot of worrying to do. When the next election comes around or maybe before for all we know, you may have to dust off that old resume and start applying for jobs like the rest of us, because I am pretty sure that high end crack your using ain't cheap!

Until Next Time!