Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letter of the Day

Badmouthing politicians is lazy

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Jae Eadie has got it wrong (Can't you dig into why they're so lazy?, Letters, Dec. 13). It seems to me that Free Press reporters should do some reporting on how our 57 MLAs actually spend their time out of session. Manitobans should understand that MLAs are engaged in other important facets of their job during those months. MLAs do much more for their constituents than sit in the legislature debating and passing budgets and legislation.

So I'm wondering why Free Press legislative reporters couldn't dig a bit into what an elected official's job actually consists of. They could write an article or two that might help inform Eadie and other like-minded individuals that our MLAs (of any political stripe) are not lazy. Perhaps even the editors of this newspaper might be stirred by the constant badmouthing of our public servants to write an editorial or two as to why the public holds this view and the effect of completely devaluing these positions in our society.

We need politicians -- a label with an overwhelmingly negative connotation -- for our representative democracy to function. Being an MLA or other elected official is hard work, and more than just thankless, it's disparaged. I'm often amazed that we can convince anyone to run for office since it likely entails them going from being a respected professional and active community member to a lazy, incompetent bogeyman.

Who wants to work under these harsh conditions of public disdain?

Surely to goodness improving awareness of the meaningful work of our public officials is more important and deserves more space in this paper than unfounded commentary and gossip based on negative stereotypes. And when concerned citizens are in the mood to be critical, there are plenty of legitimate debates to have about policy choices, budget decisions, conflicts of interest, election commitments, etc.

LINDSAY STORIE

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 15, 2012 A16

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