This is my 100th column in the Marketplace and this is a good milepost to lean on and think a thing or two
Of the 100 columns by far the most were about Democracy. Many of them hook on happenings on our governance stage. Such hooking on current event adds purpose to the discourse as it encompasses an example of what the writer writes about. More than that really, for it results in democracy-in-action as it spreads information and reminds the magistrates that they are watched. Exposure of happenings in governance is the only known potent antidote to the “Power Corruption” syndrome, recorded by Lord Acton relatively recently but traceable back to “Athens”.
I keep a close eye on the Island Trust for good and valid reasons. A prime one is the proximity of Local Government to us, the populace and the immediacy of the consequences of misgovernace to our lives. Another one is my recognition that the Islands Trust Local Government, is a microcosm of the larger governments we suffer, ranging from the CRD and running thought the Provincial and Federal governments, upward to the United Nations. Governments, including some “local” ones, take Victoria or Vancouver, have grown into mammoth size and have become labyrinthine and are accordingly difficult to observe and more so to comprehend their workings.
My engineering career was split both within and without Government. I have seen the government interface with the people from both its sides and this helps me understand events, interpret omens, and pierce the “cover” of coverups.
It is also my involvement with engineering models. Of these I have done many over the course of my career. I value models and I appreciate the complexity of the extrapolation of findings from model to “prototype”.
I see the Islands Trust as a “model” of the larger governments, because its modest size makes observation of its workings feasible, gaugeable and comprehensible. The workings of the Trust are within grasp of Lord Bowen’s “man on the Clapham omnibus”, who personifies reasonableness. This is not the case with larger Governments.
The most common malice of governments is power-induced corruption, resulting in the infected magistrates stealing both wealth and power from the people. This malice permeate all governments, usually proportionally to the their size.
But studying the Trust has another interesting facet, that of being a government “imposed” from above as distinct from one being sought by the populace. This has attracted in the Trust’s ranks “Czarismatic” individuals who tend to interpret peculiarly and narrowly their mandate. There are some “True Believers” in the ranks of the Trust, their ilk making them a most dangerous sub-species.
Some of us like to play the violin, others like doing surgery and some others like to farm or climb mountains and, of course plenty are inclined to do nothing. I happen to like politics and this may be innate but surely it should be partially blamed on my schooling. Anyway, I ended up as I am and, save for my craving to sing which I successfully suppress outside the shower door for personal safety reasons, I am content being who I am.
But voicing my excuses for being a scribe and writing about what I write is not what I wanted to write in this column. I had in mind to write something nice, something about Valentines day “and stuff”, but I was somehow detracted by this being the 100th column in the series.
Parting from my intended subject may not be unrelated to events on the Political scene, either. Last week AG Dave Eby ebbed his spitting on the fire burning in the ICBC dumpster which he had been doing with tenacity throughout his tenure as AG, and Premier John Horgan stepped onto the stage, big hose in hand, flooding the flames to “extinguition”.
I have written about the ICBC and I will do more of that, this being unavoidable. For now I will leave you with your Valentine and my wishes for a lovely evening. Au revoir.