The dawn of a new year

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When it comes to the political scene, be it provincially, nationally or internationally, there has been no shortage of headlines in 2013.

For the provincial Progressive Conservative Party, this past year is likely one that its members would rather forget.

This fall, in a move that shocked many, Tignish-Palmer Road Conservative MLA Hal Perry crossed the floor to join the Liberals after, according to the MLA, he had been silenced about speaking out against changes to Employment Insurance

Shortly after his exodus came another shocking move, this time against embattled outspoken former leader Olive Crane who, soon after, was booted from the party.

Now, the party, so it would seem, is in shambles.

Maybe the provincial Progressive Conservative’s resolution for 2014 should be to get back down to business, rebuild a party that has fallen in the polls and, if they’re lucky will at best hold on as the official opposition come the next election.

Then we have embattled Senator Mike Duffy, a man born on Prince Edward Island and, if you believe his assertions, has his primary residence on our fair isle.

He, along with Conservative Senators Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, have been ousted from the Red Chamber, suspended without pay over allegations that each claimed tens of thousands of dollars in improper expenses. Duffy, who first made a name for himself as journalist, now has a name that is mud.

Maybe his New Year’s resolution should be pay back every dime that he earned while in the senate as a way of atoning for his actions and a step in earning back the respect of his fellow Islanders and Canadians.

Then there is the story that has made headlines the world over, that of crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, a story even the most clever and seasoned fiction writers in Hollywood likely couldn’t think up.

Maybe Ford should resolve, in 2014, to step up to the plate and do what he should have done months ago — step down while he still has a smidgen of dignity left.

While scandal seemed to dominate politics, it was the passing of one of the world’s most respected political figures that captured everyone’s attention.

Although few of us were privileged to have known Nelson Mandela, his work, vision, compassion and perseverance will forever leave its mark on this world.

And that’s what a politician should strive to do — make this world a better place.

Maybe we could all learn a lesson, particularly our political leaders, from the anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, philanthropist and outstanding human being and put our differences aside and, in 2014, resolve to, in our own way, do what we can to make our world and the world of others a better place in which to live.

Organizations: Progressive Conservative Party, Red Chamber

Geographic location: Tignish-Palmer Road, Prince Edward Island, Toronto Hollywood

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