Definition of a politician

Dear Editor:

What is a politician?

The term politician, as defined in most dictionaries, is: “a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of or a candidate for an elected office with the interests and definite needs of a community, city or region while fulfilling the mandate given as set out by voters.”

This is a stock definition at best.

As we all know, we each have our own version of what a politician is. I was always led to believe that a politician in a general sense, is a public official whose primary role is to create or propose laws that further the general interests of the public.

Boy, did I get a wrong number!

In light of the above, let’s look at our local political scene. How does this definition apply, or does it? The mandate of the mayor and council was based on transparency, accountability and fiscal management. Based on its record up to now, the above definition is just rhetoric. What a surprise!

Let’s look at the definition in various parts. As to addressing immediate needs, what has happened is addressing wants and desires. Hardly accountable as citizenry has been ill-informed if informed at all. If information has been put forth, more often it is after the fact.

There is the issue of pending

lawsuits. Great way to show fiscal responsibility, don’t you think?

Getting involved in various lawsuits just means that citizens will bear any costs as taxpayers. Makes a great deal of sense doesn’t it? The next financial boondoggle is the fact that taxes may be raised 5.5 per cent. Justification for this, I suppose, is to prevent the council from having to find some reserve funding to pay for their screw-ups.

Many other areas show token disregard for the definition as stated. Among these are the most commonly referred to: Skaha Lake Park development, parking meter installation on Lakeshore Drive, relocation of the casino to the SOEC area, the Memorial Arena controversy, downtown revitalization project, the July 1-2 waterslide proposal and the now-shelved “light show boondoggle.”

The best way to further illustrate the definition of politicians is to quote some political authors:

John Quinton: “Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.”

Don Brown: “Never underestimate the ego of a politician.”

This pretty much summarizes our present political situation in the city as per politicians.

Ron Barillaro

Penticton