lack of ethics hurts government

When a region’s political leaders receive 16 per cent on the ethics gauge, the place has a problem. So the Yukon has a problem.

When a region’s political leaders receive 16 per cent on the ethics gauge, the place has a problem.

So the Yukon has a problem.

But the Yukon Party has a bigger one.

Recently, the Centre for Research and Information on Canada issued a 16-page survey of people’s thoughts about government, each other and the future.

Eight out of 10 Canadians lack faith in their leaders’ ability to tell the truth, that’s up from seven in 10 just four years ago.

That’s high, but not as high as the lack of faith Yukoners have in their elected leaders.

Here, 84 per cent of respondents to the national poll had problems with their government’s ethical performance.

Now there’s a caveat. Because of sample sizes, the poll is wildly inaccurate — plus or minus nine per cent.

Nevertheless, having less than 25 per cent of the people happy with your ethical behaviour is nothing to brag about — and that’s the best-case scenario.

The worst is that only seven per cent do.

So, the only thing you can deduce from the poll is that Yukoners are not happy with their government.

It might have to do with its numerous true-crime scandals, its deadbeat ministers (in one case, former minister) the shooting of the Northern Splendour reindeer, the way the computer-misuse scandal was conducted, the overlong suspension of the Dawson City council, the growing list of agricultural land debacles, the lack of progress on a new jail … the list goes on and on.

Worse, for the Yukon Party, protecting the environment topped the list of people’s priorities. That’s one of the lowest priorities on the government’s list.

At the bottom of the public’s list was closer ties with the United States, which might explain why Premier Dennis Fentie’s sidekick status to Alaskan governor Frank Murkowski and the $3 million the government gave to the Alaska-sponsored railroad initiative is ticking people off.

It’s becoming clear that the Yukon Party’s direction is at odds with the public mood.

That might explain why folks are so sour on government at the moment.

And, with an election due sometime in the next nine months, that doesn’t bode well for the Yukon Party. (RM)