Monday, May 23, 2005

You have to stand for something

The weekend post citing Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" drew this comment from a gentleman whose political leanings don't coincide with mine:
"... an anthem about futile, recalcitrant obstinacy. Whoo-hoo!"
Damn right it is. And it's time to not back down.
Sometimes you have to draw a line. I don't care who you are, what your political leanings are, what your philosophical beliefs are. Sometimes you have to draw a line beyond which there can be no compromise.
You can nibble at the peripherals, but when you start dealing off your core beliefs, then someone inevitably will inquire, "Just what do you believe anyway?"
And you'll be hard-pressed to answer without drawing skeptical glances. Just ask the Hon. B. Stronach.
This is not to say that views do not change with time. In fact, it would be surprising if one's perspectives didn't change with the increase of knowledge that (generally) accompanies more time spent on this hungry planet.
But there are some things that haven't changed and won't change.
One of the fundamental presumptions of democratic governance is that any government has a responsibility to be honest with the people it is supposed to serve. Any government that fails the fundamental test of honesty governs without the moral authority to govern. Using government as a means of fattening the wallets of associates (and your own self) is unconscionable. In Canada, the Gomery testimony -- not allegations, folks; this is sworn testimony -- exposes a pattern of systematic dishonesty within the government. Those who want that government out for this reason have no reason to compromise this principle, nor should they.
I won't back down on this stand. If there is one thing that government owes us, it's honesty.
Systematic dishonesty brought down the Nixon White House. Only time will tell if a similar fate awaits the Martin government.
If it escapes, then one of the most fundamental compacts between a nation and its government will remain broken.