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Old 03-15-2012, 07:44 PM   #13
wouldu like some tinfoil?
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poll: 77% of Canadians are severly distrustful of our dishonest politicians

Politicians can't be trusted: Canadian poll

14/03/2012 8:30:00 AM
by Nevil Hunt

A survey of Canadians has found we have little respect for the people we elect and that we consider them incompetent and dishonest.

With each new story about election cheating, corruption and incompetence, we lose even more faith in our politicians.

Our respect for our elected representatives is so low, it's hard to see any chance of politicians ever being able to reclaim an ounce of dignity..

A study by the Manning Centre found just one per cent of us have a "very favourable" view of politicians in this country. A full 77 per cent of us hold a "somewhat unfavourable" opinion.

The right-wing think tank surveyed more than 2,000 Canadians of different political stripes to come up with the startling numbers.

Sure, we hope our candidates will be honest, open and credible, but our expectations have been dashed so often we think of politicians as both unable to do their job, or crooked.

The words used to describe elected officials include "lazy," out of touch," "unprincipled" and "dishonest." And you thought lawyers were the most hated members of society.

With Canadians staying away from the ballot box in ever greater numbers, you don't have to look far for the reason. Promises get delivered and promises get broken. Worse still, it seems like the people we elect become incapable of doing the right thing.

Every sex scandal, expenses account weaseling and outright lie just makes us all a little more jaded.

We've all heard people say there's no point in voting because they're all the same. Even if there is a difference between candidates and parties, the continual flow of bad news about office holders makes them seem like a single mass of dumb and dumber.

Once in a while, a politician does manage to rise above the fray and connect with people. Love him or hate him, Pierre Trudeau got people enthusiastic about Canadian politics. We haven't seen anyone like him since he was prime minister, which indicates just how rarely great people rise to high office.

In the United States, Barack Obama got a lot of people on the same page in 2008 with a populist message.

And there are parallels between Trudeau and Obama that go beyond Trudeaumania or Obamamania. Both men have reputations beyond reproach. No one has ever suggested either man's actions in office were made for personal gain.

Preston Manning is another politician who – whether you like his politics or not – has always appeared to be above board. As CEO of the Manning Centre, he addressed the topic of trustworthiness earlier this week.

"... if the aim is corruption-free, ethical politics there is still no substitute for rock-solid personal integrity," Manning said, adding that ethics should be taught in political science classes and within political party training schools.

The reputation of politicians may not be salvageable. The numbers say it's a lost cause to try and change our opinion.

The only real hope may be that rare man or woman who not only manages to make us believe they are respectable, but proves it.

Is there a politician in this country who deserves respect? Would you encourage or discourage a child from entering politics?
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