01 September 2007

Patting Themselves on the Back...

...for doing exactly what they're supposed to do and living up to the minimum standard of behaviour. That is the sentiment I get when I read this story about a Senator funding a $10,000 award for the "most honourable MP." There was, I'm sure, a time when MPs would have found the notion of handing out cash on the grounds of doing your job with a modicum of decency and civility, with only the public good in mind, to be something bizarre. Harry Truman would have scoffed at the idea of somebody wanting to line his pockets because he did his best to serve his country--and make no mistake, Senator Harry Truman would have won that award in the US every year.
However, in this era of gutter politics, one of their own has decided to reward the least-scuzzy politician. Nothing beats a friendly pat on the back from the unelected portion of the old boys' club, after all. If there was a behaviour report card for MPs, we would demand that everybody earned an A. With this purely arbitrary system, the one that at least strives to receive a B in a sea of Cs, Ds, and Fs (because let's face it, they'll be content to do the bare minimum) will be hailed as some sort of angelic presence in Ottawa, one that everybody should strive to be. There should be no need for a stupid reward such as this.

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