Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Clear Conscience


Canadian politics does not capture world imagination, my dear American friends. We can barely control our own apathy. However, at present, the government finds itself in a minority position in the House of Commons and the opposition is threatening to 'bring it down.' Most Canadians want government which works. Something is clearly not working in Ottawa. The balance of power is held by three independent members whose votes are endlessly courted. A member of the opposition crossed the floor the imminent threat of another election has been stayed. However, before that happened I ranted off a letter to the CBC. It was chosen as letter of the day for May 16, 2005. Click on the title above to read my letter in context, or read it as is, below:

LETTER OF THE DAY | May 16, 2005

"We need honour, loyalty, the courage to admit mistakes, the vision to correct them. We need politicians of principle. We need parties that will work together for the common good of the people."

Mr. Kilgour thinks there is a clear consensus for an election. It appears, since the votes of the independents are needed to bring down the government, that Mr. Kilgour, and not the people of Canada, hold the power to bring about this decision.

This is Mr. Kilgour's fifteen minutes of fame. Does self-interest or truth motivate him? Will he be returned in this now seemingly inevitable election?


We need honour, loyalty, the courage to admit mistakes, the vision to correct them. We need politicians of principle. We need parties that will work together for the common good of the people. We need politicians who will set aside narrow personal interest for the sake of fairness and good manners, as Ed Broadbent did in his recent abstention.

Canadians are tired of the behaviour of politicians. We are ashamed of the carping and sniping across the floor of the house during question period. We are exhausted by inquiries that drain the public purse and produce, not justice or improved policy, but endless posturing, rhetoric and constant national anxiety.

We are quickly becoming a neurotic nation, twitching and writhing in our own endless self-examination and bearing the collective shame of our elected officials.

Where are the clean hands and pure hearts?

Amongst the BQ, who if elected to power, would set as a first priority the dismantling of the nation? In the compromising Conservatives, who in their quest for power are willing to sacrifice social programs that define our national identity? With the fratricidal Liberals whose only possible defence in the present situation is ignorance? With the NDP whose idealism has grown weary in waiting and whose only hope of influence is functional minority government?

Mr. Kilgour please, not consensus but conscience.

If we must have an election, then let us have the courage to fight it based, not on the performances of past governments, but on the reform of parliament itself. Let the self-righteous remember their own follies and the dishonoured their higher goods.

Let us have humility and grace and an honesty that goes beyond facts to intentions. Let us have clear consciences, and a moment of silence.

Connie Knighton | Bracebridge, ON


bobbie said...

here, here! madame spokeswoman!! :)

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you for speaking up and making your voice heard!!!! I believe so many of us agree with your view. I mean, they must have to post it as the letter of the day on cbc!!! Bravo!
CLEAR CONSCIENCE - Not Concensus....
Right on, Mom!
Write on, Mom!
You are a true inspiration
Love, Barbara
p.s. Any luck with the marriage license?

Jo-Ann said...

Well said, Connie. I'm hoping that Belinda Stronach's actions today, whatever the motivation, will save us from an election in which I would, yet again, find it very hard to vote for anyone. I have been almost tuning out of all the childish fighting but it's hard to ignore. I think it must be very hard for many of these people, who actually want to serve the people through a strong and effective parliamentary system, to have to tow the party line and be identified with such selfish and undignified behaviour.

J.Silver said...

Good morning Connie .... I've just read the "Letter of the Day". Very well said. More of us should be expressing what we think and feel. However, my excuse usually is "they won't listen to me or do anything anyway, so why bother!" It is good that you take the time to write, and you do have the gift of expressing logically and precisely. We do seem to be in a precarious position in this country regarding leadership. We might have complained about Pierre Trudeau years ago, but at least he was a LEADER and we felt secure with him.

Len said...


Bev M. said...

Hi Connie


Love, Bev

JO said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi Connie,
Thanks for sending me a copy of your interesting was especially timely for two reasons.
1) I had just about driven off the road on the way to work when I heard the Stronach announcement on the CBC
2) When I checked my email at work I discovered two emails from CBC - one saying sorry to my IDEAS proposal - the other saying let's talk for the same proposal, but for Tapestry.

So you see I was confused when I got your CBC email. Interesting times.

We will soon be the overlords of the Corporation!

Connie said...

Dear Anonymous, whose name is known to me. Would we be overladies?

Jim Ellis said...

HI Connie - eloquent!
Any sign of your marriage licence?

Connie said...

Thanks and NOPE!