When I read that B.C.’s Finance Minister and attorney general would be making an announcement in front of Abbotsford’s court house, I thought it a good idea to attend.
I arrived to a medium-size crowd of media and political-types milling around the area in front of the microphones. Recognizing a number of people I knew, I headed over to one of them. Before I could enter the area a sheriff asked me whether I was “a member of the public.”
When I answered in the affirmative, she said I could not enter, and gave me a choice of listening on the other side of the fence (the roadway), or on the steps of the court house. I chose the latter.
I do not blame the sheriff for enforcing orders. However, I was carrying neither a protest sign, nor a purse or any sort of bag. Since I was wearing shorts and my jacket was unbuttoned, it should have been obvious I was concealing neither rotten eggs nor tomatoes.
And it soon became apparent that the announcement was for the benefit only of those in line of the microphones, with no sound check done to assure that “members of the public” could even hear what was going on. So I left.
On my way back to the car, I came up with a definition for “member of the public” that may suit our leaders – one who provides cash in a compliant yet disinterested manner.
And as a friend of mine so clearly opined “Why would you expect to be included with the bureaucrats, big-wigs and politicians … this was, after all, a photo-op.”