Home > abuse of power, Canada, Government, Uncategorized > Bob Rae Retires From Federal Politics Scandal Free

Bob Rae Retires From Federal Politics Scandal Free

rae1_jpg_size_xxlarge_promoFinally someone has done it. Finally someone has retired from federal politics during the Steven Harper reign of terror, after having served their country for 35 years, without their having to do so  because they are in the midst of a scandal. This is not an easy feat to accomplish at anytime in politics, but to have been able to accomplish this is truly something in this American style, mud-slinging, attack ad, non democratic, non ethical type of dirty politics that Steven Harper and his Tories have made part of their everyday way of governing and controlling this country.  It seems that dirty politics, scandals, misappropriation of  government funds, smear campaigns are the new criteria for running a successful political party in Canada. As in the USA what a political party and its candidates stand for matters little in Canada anymore as long as we the voter can see a good old dirty dozens contest.  (The Dozens is a game of spoken words between two contestants, where participants insult each other until one gives up. It is customary for the Dozens to be played in front of an audience of bystanders, who encourage the participants to reply with more egregious insults to heighten the tension and consequently, to be more interesting to watch. Among African-Americans it is also known as “sounding”, “joning”, “woofing”, “wolfing”, “sigging”, or “signifying”, while the insults themselves are known as “snaps) As long our political candidates can sling the mud and can dirty their opponent, we do not care what they stand for and will vote for the best mud slinger.  The senate has proved to be corrupt and has several of its members both Liberal and Conservative stealing from tax payers by putting in for faulty expense claims.  Then you have the all the MP’s that were guilty as charged and resigned from their office, almost making it not such a bad idea to paint them all with the same brush, without need of proof.

In a time in politics where no political figure is safe from the press and the press gets away with character assignation and the public eats it up without seeing the slightest bit of evidence based in actual fact, it is a miracle that Bob Rae is being allowed to move on with a relatively clean slate.  It would seem that the press took the day off, or decided that Bob Ray‘s retirement from politics, could sell without him being sullied in some way, or without them insinuating that there was bad blood between him and Justin Trudeau.  We have seen the press, like the Toronto Star and Gawker attack Toronto Mayor Rob Ford with no factual evidence.  In Montreal we have just seen the interim  Mayor Michael Applebaum arrested, charged and forced to resign his office without being found guilty of any wrong doing, or admitting guilt to any wrong doing.  I say it again that it is almost a miracle that Bob Rae has escaped a 35 year career in both provincial and federal politics with his honor and integrity intact.

Bob Rae up to the day of his retirement from politics has been respected as a dedicated, honest and great speaker, by his peers and colleagues; Bob Rae was not perfect, but  then again who is?  I liked Bob Rae and enjoyed listening to him make a point, or ask a question, because like him or not; agree with him or not, I always thought he asked questions that needed to be asked and not just questions that made him and the Liberals look like they were doing something.  If I found anything wrong with Bob Rae, it is that he started off as an NDP and ended up a Liberal, but I forgave him for that because in reality it is hard sometimes to find a meaningful difference between the Liberals and the NDP  until you look at how they plan to pay for the policies they hope to deliver on. Perhaps I hope is why Bob Rae made the switch from New Democrat to Liberal.

Love him or hate, one has to admire his sense of heart,  his passionate nature and his sense of humor.  I was aware of his support for First Nations People and the work that he has done, but I never knew that he did not get paid for it.  Bob Rae’s political story is in my opinion is one that Steven Harper and all those other politicians entering into politics hoping to leave behind their legacy, their stamp on the world and their mark in Canadian politics should study and learn from, because up to now they have been weighed and measured and have been found lacking.  A legacy is not something that you try to leave, but rather something that people most remember you for.  What type of legacy you leave depends on how well people thought of you and what they thought of what you accomplished, or tried to accomplish.  Being respected from the beginning to the end of ones political career and in one’s personal life by all of your political party members, opponents and the public is what great legacies are made of and not by things one does trying to leave a legacy.  Bob Rae’s legacy in politics has already been made and his contribution to Canadian politics unanimously agreed upon by all that worked alongside him as allies or fought against him as foes, that he was an  honest, moral, passionate, patriotic and hard-working servant of the people, who loved his country and the job he was chosen to do.  What better legacy than that can any politician hope to get then the love of the people he served, the gratitude of the country he served and the respect of political allies as well as foes?  As Bob Rae leaves his political life behind and goes out into public life to help the First Nations People in their negotiations, his legacy can only grow as a great man and human being.  No one is perfect and neither is Bob Rae, but what a legacy he has left behind  by just being Bob Rae.

I would submit that Bob Rae has made me eat my words, something that has not happened for a bit.  I once asked in a post, where all the statesman had gotten to in Canada? I think that Bob Rae qualifies for that title. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a statesman as:

  1. One versed in the principles or art of government; especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies.
  2.   A wise, skillful and respected political leader

I feel that although the 1st is a given just by entering and remaining in politics, the attributes in number 2 are the ones that most politicians fall short of being taken for and so never enter into the status of a true statesman, or states person.

I, as should all Canadians, say thank you  to Bob Rae, wish him God speed, all the best and every success in his new venture. Trying to help negotiate between First Nations and the Ontario government in the Ring of Fire talks over mining deposits in aboriginal territory near James Bay will be no easy task, but I am sure that they have picked the right person, with the right qualities for the task at hand. First Nations leaders asked for Bob Rae to be involved, and he said on Thursday he’ll be starting that work when the Commons takes a break in May.  This is how a legacy that a person can be proud of is made. A tip of the hat to Bob Rae in thanks for a job well done!

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