As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)

FRENCH CONNECTION: Reasonable decision making can go a long way

We're all at fault, but today I'll pick on politicians

It may be because I’m in my dotage, but to me the news is mostly gloomy these days. There are happy things happening, but we hear mostly about floods, fires, gang wars, people in high places misusing their power, and COVID, COVID, COVID. Ordinary people whine, politicians battle.

The good old days weren’t that good, but with today’s technology and knowledge we should be able to deal more efficiently with all this stuff, including environmental issues and now the pandemic.

We’re all at fault, but today I’ll pick on politicians. They are human beings, and like the rest of us they can make mistakes. The trouble is we all reap the consequences of their mistakes, and no amount of wailing or braying turns back the clock. We have to cope with the results.

In my opinion, too few politicians have much vision for the future. They’re more concerned about winning the next election. They blame their predecessors for any problems, even ones they created themselves. We have had courageous long-viewers. Former B.C. premiers WAC Bennett (Social Credit) and Dave Barrett ( NDP) brought in controversial programs that have proved their worth for decades.

READ MORE: We have it pretty good in Canada

Governments don’t deliberately make bad decisions. They do what seems reasonable at the time. I’m sure former Prime Minister Stephen Harper thought it reasonable to dismantle the world-renowned Canada Institute for Scientific & Technical Information whose scientists were seeking ways to respond to pandemics should one come along. Well, one did and caught us flat-footed.

Time will tell if former Premiers Gordon Campbell, Christy Clark and present Premier John Horgan were being reasonable with their Site C Dam decisions.

Question: why can’t ordinary people and politicians pull together and use our resources to fix things (COVID, environment, etc.) instead of pushing apart and making things worse?

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.


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