Good news stories are out there.
For instance, Camp Kildare is getting a new lease on life. Sharon Gallant, chairwoman of the Alberton and Area Community Development Corporation, says the camp will be ready to greet guests by next spring.
Tainting this good news story, sadly, is the fact that it is the latest example of why the electorate is losing faith in our political system.
The development corporation was one of the community groups in Prince County awarded “taxpayer” funding late last week, during an announcement at the Western Community Curling Club – another of the four community groups that received a financial commitment that day from taxpayers.
But, if you read the government spun propaganda each and every time another funding announcement is made, you would never guess it is taxpayers footing the bill, with government (elected or otherwise) deciding who gets the funding.
To listen to the elected officials (political affiliation is a non-factor as they all do this) it would seem that it is the Blue Fairy of Government behind each generous gift and not the taxpayers.
There is rarely, if ever, any mention of “public” money involvement. Yes, we acknowledge an argument can be made that people realize if the government is involved than it is really taxpayers footing the bill. But we are not convinced that it is as clear to the general public today as it once was. With each and every new announcement of ‘government funding’ the waters are further muddied and the perception moves away from what at one time could be assumed to this new perceived belief – that it is some magical pot of cash created and doled out by the all-powerful and all-knowing elected official to us, the vote-giving peasants.
The practice suggests that the political elite in this country and province believe that if you say something often enough then eventually it is accepted as truth.
We suggest that politicians, at every level and at every announcement, are using the hard-earned and harder-taxed dollars entrusted to them by taxpayers to gain personally in terms of votes each time they stand at the front of the room with a big cheque, a smiling face and a handshake. In reality this ugly exercise says more about them than it does about us. But how many people stop and think about it and how many others just accept it and shrug it off as a fact of life?
Most Canadians don’t get their photos in the newspaper for doing their jobs, why should politicians just because they work in Ottawa or Charlottetown for a few weeks of the year?
These good news stories should be all about the programs and the people benefitting from the contributions of taxpayers and the good it will bring to their communities, and not about the hand holding the cheque.