"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."
I wish I could vote on issues - policies and priorities that I wanted the government to pursue. Not an exhaustive list, mind you. Maybe just the top two or three things on which I'd like the government to give a little extra attention. I'd probably put the environment and climate change first, democratic reform second and inequality third. Then again most people might go for the usual - the economy, jobs, low taxes - and my altruism would be trampled underfoot.
Okay, forget all that stuff. One vote it is. But if it is to be just the one vote shouldn't we have better candidates? Shouldn't our candidates have to take some courses, pass some tests, to prove that they're not complete dumb asses like the Born Again dumb ass who used to hold my riding? He was the guy they had in mind when they coined the phrase, "useless as tits on a boar hog." There were a lot of his constituents who couldn't remember his name and I couldn't find anyone, no one, who could recall a single goddamned thing he did for us or our riding.
Now admittedly he snuck into Parliament as a Reformer. There was a party that openly revered ignorance. I suppose ignorance, the Old Testament and thinly veiled racism were their platform. Then, through the effluxion of time, he got laundered into a Conservative although he remained fiercely committed to being bone lazy and stupid.
Can you imagine a candidate saying, "Vote for me. I'm everything you want in a member of parliament. I'm bone lazy and I'm stupid and I promise, if you send me to Ottawa, I'll stay that way. Fuck them Liberal elites with their book learnin' and their fancy facts." I can think of a good number of MPs from Harper's caucus who could run under that slogan. Yesterday I wrote about another guy, Mel Arnold, from the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding who's trying to join that club.
I know it's none of my business who the folks of North Okanagan-Shuswap elect to be their next MP. Only that's not quite true. You and I and every Canadian and all of our institutions and the future of our kids are going to be affected by the next honourable member for North Okanagan-Shuswap and every vote that dumb ass casts on the floor of the House of Commons.
Now Mel has cultivated the art of stupidity, elevating it to near religious status. Here's how Mel responded to a question about man-made climate change. "Until science can prove conclusively and empirically that humans are the main cause of climate change, I will withhold my personal opinion."
The truth is, Mel isn't withholding anything. He's got a personal opinion. He believes the science isn't in. He believes that anthropogenic global warming hasn't been proved to his satisfaction. I'm sure the fact that Mel's entrepreneurship runs to selling high-performance, gas guzzling speedboats that spend summer days racing from one end of Shuswap Lake to the fuel dock at the other has nothing to do with his "belief" or the magical thinking on which it rests.
I don't want to pick on Mel, not when there are so many other Mels and Ronas and Cletises in the field, but I use Mel to make a point. You wouldn't want your kids boarding a school bus if the driver wasn't licensed. You wouldn't want your brakes adjusted by a guy who couldn't tell a wrench from a ladle either.
You see, all this matters - a lot. Right now we get by with the likes of Mel and Rona and all the other nasty, narrow-minded, bigoted dumb asses because their intellectual, spiritual and cognitive defects don't matter. They don't matter because our parties whip their votes. What they think or even if they think at all doesn't matter so long as they damn well do as they're told. And there's your problem.
We need more free votes in Parliament. They should be the rule, not the exception. We need free votes on serious matters, not just on frivolous distractions. But, to have a culture of free votes in Parliament, we need MPs of a certain standard. We need people who will make the effort to learn what they need to know to cast informed votes. We need people who understand that being a MP, casting a free vote in the House, is a solemn responsibility that can't be met by bone lazy dumb asses.
Maybe there should be SAT-type tests that have to be passed before individuals could even stand as candidates. These might embody things like the citizenship exams immigrants must pass and basic tests of reading comprehension, simple math and logic. We don't have to set the bar very high. Serving in Parliament is a learning experience unto itself. Still is it unreasonable to expect those who aspire to high office to at least have a learner's permit?