Lies and more damned lies

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By Raynier Maharaj

During election time, citizens are required to separate the wheat from the chaff.
In other words, it is the responsibility of the voter to sort through the rhetoric being thrown at them from all sides to make sense out of nonsense.
Unfortunately, we cannot depend on politicians to be straight with us. We cannot trust them to tell us the truth, or to be honest about their plans for the country / province if they are elected.
Instead, we are bombarded with ridiculous promises and ludicrous statements about their opponents, none of which will stand up to any scrutiny at all.
Case in point is Ontario’s Doug Ford, who based his campaign as being a leader “for the people.”
Immediately upon being elected, Ford turned a complete 360 on the very people who elected him and immediately began showing his true colours as being “for the rich and privileged.”
His foray into Toronto’s transit business, for example, could be seen only as a reward for the rich financiers of his Conservative party, who will no doubt move swiftly to grab up real estate along the proposed transit lines Ford has promised to build.
His claim that the preceding Liberal government was wasteful with tax dollars goes out the window when one looks at his own wasteful spending since elected, hiring friends for high wages to fill government jobs, demanding that taxpayers pay for his vanity campaign against the Carbon Tax, putting taxpayers on the hook for the legal bills for his fight against said tax in court even when poll after poll shows that the majority of people do not support this court action, and even redesigning Ontario’s logo at a cost of $600,000 … when it was not necessary at all.
Ford, supposedly a man for the people during the election, also turned against the people by slashing education, which will cost thousands of teachers their jobs and put our children at risk by placing them in higher density classes. He has come after health care, social programs, low-cost housing and other people-oriented programs to benefit the rich developers who support his Conservative Party at a high cost to the province’s poor and vulnerable.
Clearly, Ford is not for the people. He never was. But he fooled us all by claiming he was. And nobody is holding him accountable for his outright lies.
Similarly in Guyana, where an election is overdue and the parties are ramping up the rhetoric to win over the people. The incumbent is using its extended time in office — extended through open manipulation of the judicial and electoral system — to persecute its opponents. It is using the state-owned media to openly campaign for another term, and using the police service to go after its political opponents.
The rhetoric is not limited just to the incumbents. The opposition, hoping to return to power, is also engaging in claims to try to discredit the government.
How much truth is behind any of this is left to be seen. After all, we are yet to see any criminal charges stick on anyone in spite of claims of corruption against members of the former Guyana regime.
So tell us — if that was the truth, why isn’t anyone in jail for these crimes?
Yes, some people might pass this off as “politics as usual” and claim this is normal for the time, but we see it as the dance of the damned. And we, the voters, are the ones who are damned if we believe them.
Whatever happened to speaking truth to power? Whatever happened to the expectation of honesty from people asking to serve us?
Have we all become too callous and jaded that we expect lies and openly support them?
Our politicians, both here at home and in our former homes, must be held to higher standards.
If we don’t, then we are deserving of lesser leadership. And we shouldn’t complain about the outcome.