Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Campbell's honours are just beginning

BC Politics, Gordon Campbell, general Information

The Order of B.C. people's decision to give former premier Gordon Campbell the highest lapel pin in the land is a positive and encouraging move that should be met with enthusiasm by the general populace.
Because when people at the very pinnacle of society make bone-headed blunders, it excuses us when we do the same. It's somehow refreshing to see an eminent judge, a university president and assorted other worthies emerge from their high-level deliberations and make exactly the wrong decision.
Personally, it makes me feel better about that recent RRSP play I made involving Greek bonds. Or that time I bought heavily into the concept that Stephen Harper would never get a majority.
It's awkward when you honour someone and the biggest public reaction is: "Are you kidding me?"
There's no question he doesn't deserve it. He's had an outstanding three-decade career in public service. He got to the top of every single outfit in which he enlisted and won a lot more battles than he lost.
But even his most ardent fans must realize it's way too soon. Any politician needs a cooling-off period before they start showing up on awards lists.
When they write the history of our times, Campbell will be a leading figure. But the point is: They haven't written it yet. Let's not award the Oscar until the screenplay is written.
The authors of this botch are a very distinguished bunch, which makes the mistake all the more entertaining.
They are from all sorts of different spheres and most of the members of the panel would have had routine dealings with Campbell over the years.
But there's one member of the group who should have had the good sense to put the nomination on ice for a while, and that's legislature Speaker Bill Barisoff.
The chief justice and the university president could be excused for not using their political antennae. Municipal leader Barbara Steele may have just missed the call. You couldn't expect the deputy minister on the panel to raise such a fine political point. And former Olympic boss John Furlong is too big a fan of Campbell's to call a time-out.
Barisoff is the only provincial politician on the committee. He should have had the good sense to let the nomination sit for a while. But he's been ensconced in the Speaker's office for so long he seems to have lost touch with the public mood.

Now that the ice is broken, however, Campbell can look forward to a chestful of medals. If the traditional idea of waiting for the dust to settle has been parked, officials will be tripping over themselves to bestow honours. Because it makes it easier for everyone else to get them.
Look for the following news in the near future.
- LONDON - Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by the Royal Air Force.
Campbell has completed several sorties across the Atlantic as Canada's High Commissioner to Great Britain, without once complaining to a flight attendant about how the pilot is flying the plane.
The RAF also cited his record of five confirmed kills. Most of them were at receptions where his enthusiastic recounting of "the five great goals" and the "golden decade" sent guests nose-diving into their cocktails.
"He comes at you from out of the sun," a survivor said. "He opens up with that New Era stuff and you barely have time to grab the ripcord before you're unconscious."
- OSLO - Gordon Campbell was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this week for his work on introducing harmony to B.C.'s tax system.
The Nobel Committee said he undertook a daring, secret mission to merge two warring, dysfunctional tax systems into one. The harmony only lasted a few years before tribal differences re-emerged and the project foundered.
"At least he tried," said one member. "And we gave one to Barack Obama after just eight months on the job, so it's not like we have high standards."
Campbell is now living in exile and could not be reached for comment.
- LONDON - Sir Gordon Campbell, OBC, DFC, PC, BA, MA, has been named to the British House of Lords.
"No special reason," said a spokesman. "He just kept asking and wore us out. He's worse than Conrad Black."


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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.