BONOKOSKI: Politicians, say readers, are the bottom of the barrel

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Politicians today get no respect.

As a collective, as opposed to an individual, they are hated, overpaid, selfish, and look upon taxpayers solely as money machines.

Lower taxes are invariably a promise never kept. Campaign promises, like carrots dangled in front of donkeys, are filled with pre-fab lies in order to “buy” votes.

An honest politician is an oxymoron.

I get hundreds of readers’ emails a month. The consensus is that all of the above vitriol is true, as well as descriptions more profane.

Twitter rubber-stamps that it goes way beyond just Sun readers.

Canadians, they say, long for the good old days of smaller government and respected politicians — the days before the Internet drowned us in politics, trolls, and white noise.

Canadians are fed up with politicians.

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Politicians, as a whole, are scoundrels, so much so that the many ethics breaches of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the many scandals his government is buried under, no longer raise an eyebrow.

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Of course, they’re crooked, say readers. They’re all crooked and into it only for themselves and their friends.

They’re the bottom of the barrel.

The hired farmhand slinging bales of hay in the heaviest heat of the summer never enters their mind, but the Bay St. tycoon in his air-conditioned suite of offices is worshipped for his political donations.

It’s still called cash for access.

Serving only one term, or being a sacrificial lamb, is often the key to a Senate seat.

If a journalist gets appointed to the Senate, there’s something wrong with the journalist. Ditto with the Order of Canada

Somewhere down the line they sold out.

The late Doug Fisher, long the dean of the parliamentary press gallery, and a Telegram-Sun Media columnist, always refused such honorifics because he felt they tainted his reputation.

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He would not be bought with a bauble.

There are a lot of condescending nicknames for Trudeau, of course. Turdeau is the most common.

Reaction to my column last Sunday on a single contraband tobacco bandit ripping off taxpayers in lost tax revenues totalling $600 million generally resulted in high fives for the smuggler.

“Turdeau would piss away that money before breakfast,” wrote one reader. “That money would never be used to help fight the debt,” wrote another. “That’s not how the system works.”

“The ongoing success of tobacco smugglers is due to their being lesser thieves than the government,” writes a third.

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Politicians couldn’t care less.

One reader told the story of writing weekly letters to Trudeau cabinet ministers to enquire about the health and welfare of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, the two Canadian men imprisoned by China’s communist dictatorship, and getting not one answer back.

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“Do they care?” asked the reader. “Not in the least.”

Sunday will mark the Two Michaels’ 917th day in captivity, yet when was the last time their plight was discussed by any politician?

Politicians care about only one thing, and that’s getting re-elected because serving at least six years in the House of Commons means a pension will await at age 65.

Besides, where else can you make $185,800 for sitting silently on a back bench plotting for a successful return?

During my decades in journalism — as a columnist, European bureau chief, editor, Publisher and CEO — I have never come within sniffing distance of $185,800, nor did I expect to.

Yet a new MP fresh out of the box, the latest being former CTV talk-show panellist Marci Ien via a byelection in Bill Morneau’s former riding of Toronto Centre, immediately has a salary of $185,800.

There are doctors making less.

markbonokoski@gmail.com

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