Volume 91, Issue 37

Tuesday, November 4, 1997

till you drop


Political asylum

Politicians are acting more wacky than usual. Maybe it's tainted water coolers in their boardrooms. Or contaminated fibers in their dark suits. Either way, questionable, dare we say, loopy, decisions are being made at various levels of government.

Take yesterday's fiasco for the provincial government. Harris and his band of not-so-merry Tories were denied an injunction which would force Ontario teachers off the picket lines and back to work. But Justice James MacPherson ruled "it was impossible to conclude that in the first week of the strike it has caused irreparable harm [to students]" and "the [government's] motion is significantly premature." In other words, the government acted way too fast when they went to the courts and did so without a strong case.

Lawyers, teachers and media said right from the start the government's case was weak at this stage in the strike. Who was the guy in Harris' cabinet who said, "Yeah, despite the fact it is impossible to conclude that in the first week of the strike it has caused irreparable harm and our motion may be significantly premature, I still think we can win this thing?" Was it the same guy who suggested someone without a high school degree be given the education portfolio?

It seems the province's PR people are going to have to spin their way out of this one as the government not only looks foolish but has wasted money and courtroom time.

But Queen's Park is not the only building with contaminated water flowing through its pipes. London's City Hall must also have some bugs because everything's gone haywire over there. The mayor, Dianne Haskett, has taken a leave of absence until the election and is reportedly hiding out in Port Stanley, a hotbed for fish, summer tourists and now, incognito politicians. This has meant she has ducked out of the visible race for mayor, not showing up for any forums, interviews or canvassing – but don't doubt it folks – she is still running for re-election.

Even crazier is the fact Haskett's non-election bid for mayor is scoring major points with Londoners. A London Free Press poll indicates Haskett is beating second-place contender Grant Hopcroft (the deputy mayor, now acting mayor in Haskett's behalf) by two to one. Londoners are standing up and saying: the less we see you, the more we like you! You go girl!

Of course, we can always look closer to home to see silly political behaviour. Take the University Students' Council which voted in their last general meeting to adopt a hand gesture symbolizing the USC. How many governments, other than a former Nazi one, adopt hand gestures? This Vulcan-wanna-be thing was a self-indulgence which makes the USC look immature and a little too much like an exclusive club.

But, hey, at least sanity reigns supreme on the federal level of government... right?

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997