Right in the centre - Nastiness is neither nice nor necessary


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

I don’t believe there has been a nastier time in politics and that applies to all levels.

The US political scene spirals ever downward with each passing day. Donald Trump has been convicted on 34 charges but rest assured he will appeal the ruling. It remains to be seen when all these charges and many others will come crashing down on him. In the meantime, the court case has proven to be a huge fundraiser incentive for him.  It’s reported that his fund-raising web site crashed from over subscribing within minutes of the court decisions on the 34 cases.

President Joe Biden appears to be more senile as the days go by. This week, his son Hunter is in court on gun possession charges and both generations of Bidens seem to have their share of legal troubles. When coupled with the many verbal slips that Joe makes, the whole family seems to be in trouble.

This an election year in the US and I have said many times that that country is in trouble if Trump and Biden are the best candidates they can come up with for president of the most powerful country in the world. The US claims to be a nation of faith so I suggest they increase their level of prayer as soon as possible.

The Canadian political scene is fortunately much calmer than the US situation, at least on the surface. I have made it well known that I am not a fan of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He got elected because he looked younger than Stephen Harper, appeared fresher than Harper’s government and he promised to decriminalize marijuana. Trudeau’s marijuana venture was an ill-fated move, not so much for the legalization part but because so many people lost so much money on it.  Can’t actually blame Justin for peoples’ bad investment choices. A new report from Miller Thomson found Canadians have lost more than $131 billion investing in the 183 publicly traded cannabis companies, amounting to $43,000 per Canadian that’s gone up in smoke. That is a staggering amount of money. I guess the government licensed weed is too expensive compared to the black market stuff.

The Trudeau government is not very popular now and unless things turn sharply for them they will be ousted. The election is due for October 2025 and a lot can change in 16 months.

On the provincial level, there’s been a lot more nastiness than needed as well. Many months before the last Manitoba election, I was asked for advice by then Premier Heather Stefanson. I told her to not let the upcoming campaign go negative and nasty but that advice was not taken. I offered the same advice to newly elected premier Wab Kinew. Ironically, even though he benefitted greatly from public backlash to the PCs badly run campaign of negativity, he himself has swerved in that direction. Nasty is not nice in my view.

At various Manitoba municipal levels, we have seen some nastiness and some out-right misuse of funds. That is also unfortunate and doesn’t make for smooth running municipalities.

I guess my point is that honesty, common sense and decency are all attributes we need to embrace and hang onto tightly. Nastiness has no place in public discourse.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.