One bad ap­ple

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

What’s in a name? Well on the pro­vin­cial po­lit­i­cal scene in re­cent years you’ve had two ‘Byrnes’. One MHA was Jack Byrne – politi­cians and con­stituents alike thought highly enough of him they im­mor­tal­ized his name by ded­i­cat­ing a new Arena in Tor­bay af­ter him.

Mind you now, the poor man passed away and usu­ally in death peo­ple tend to think more kindly of you. But, if you polled most mu­nic­i­pal coun­cils in the prov­ince, you would hear he was one of the bet­ter Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs min­is­ters this prov­ince has had.

He was rough in his speech but sin­cere, and he knew the tri­als of be­ing a mu­nic­i­pal politi­cian since he was for­mer coun­cil­lor and Mayor him­self.

Now the other Byrne – Ed Byrne. It’s un­fair to hit a man be­low the belt, es­pe­cially when he’s down, but there were many re­marks in the me­dia last week af­ter he pleaded guilty to de­fraud­ing the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment and its res­i­dents of thou­sands of dol­lars and maybe more. Re­ac­tions have not been kind, and many feel there’s no op­tion for the judge hear­ing his case but to or­der a sen­tence in­volv­ing jail time.

Mr. Byrne was of­ten de­scribed as the ‘fair haired boy’ of the pro­vin­cial Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive party, and one of its top guns. How­ever, he ap­par­ently has de­vi­ated too many times from a straight path and his guilty plea to fraud charges proves this out.

To think Ed Byrne’s po­lit­i­cal achieve­ments were any­thing but spec­tac­u­lar over the years can’t be de­nied. He held key Cab­i­net port­fo­lios in Danny Wil­liams’ ad­min­is­tra­tion, and prior to that was in­flu­en­tial within the PC party, even serv­ing as an in­terim leader.

One can un­der­stand things can turn sour when it has noth­ing to do with your own ef­forts, but when you bring the down­fall upon your­self it’s be­wil­der­ing.

There have been many good mem­bers elected to the House of As­sem­bly since Con­fed­er­a­tion in 1949, and the Burin Penin­sula has had its fair share. It can’t be de­nied Mary Hod­der, who served some eight years in the Lib­eral gov­ern­ments of Brian Tobin and Roger Grimes, gave her heart and soul to her con­stituents’ needs.

Why the Marys­town Town Coun­cil, on which she served for many years, even saw fit to es­tab­lish a high school schol­ar­ship in her hon­our.

The ex­pres­sion is of­ten re­peated – ‘ It only takes one rot­ten ap­ple to spoil the bar­rel’.

That’s why politi­cians, and the demo­cratic sys­tem of gov­ern­ment, do not re­ceive glow­ing re­marks on a great many oc­ca­sions.

The out­come – ‘One rot­ten politi­cian means years of cyn­i­cism for pol­i­tics in gen­eral’.

— Ge­orge Macvicar, South­ern Gazette

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.