Naughty, nice or inexplicable?

Santa Claus has had a pretty busy season so far. 

Between appearing in parades around the county, the country, and indeed the world, and struggling to fill wish lists despite stubborn supply chain issues, Old St. Nick has no doubt been stressing over preparations for Christmas, which is now just a few days away.

While youngsters everywhere will surely have supplied Santa with lists of their Yuletide desires, I suspect he has a harder time finding the perfect present for some prominent politicians, whose behavior often defies easy categorization for the naughty and nice lists. 

Perhaps he needs a third litany, the “Inexplicable List.”

For example, what do you get a premier who, after overseeing the underspending of his province’s health care budget by nearly $1 billion during a time of crisis, joins a pre-Christmas call by premiers nationwide for the federal government to raise its contribution to health funding? Nothing wrong with asking the feds to pony up, but the premiers’ well-documented refusal to accept any conditions along with the desired new funding makes one wonder if they could really be trusted to spend any fresh cash on health care rather than, especially in Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s case, unproductive election goodies like license plate rebates and gas tax cuts. Hard to plead poverty when you’re voluntarily foregoing billions in revenue.

We’d suggest Santa leave Ford a lump of coal on Christmas morning, but given his government’s record on environmental issues, we fear he’d take it as a sign he should bring the pollution-inducing mineral back as a primary fuel source. 

Maybe just leave him an easy-peel Tory blue license plate and an expired snowmobile trail pass.

At the national level, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could probably use a break from the relentless trolling of the conspiracy theory crowd. 

While not expected in time for Christmas, perhaps a positive judgement from the Emergencies Act Inquiry early in the new year could cause a few “freedom” fighters to realize that shutting down a city (and a few international border crossings), subjecting its residents to a horrifying three-week honk-fest and demanding the duly-elected government step down is maybe not the best way to generate support for your cause.

Another player on the federal front, Conservative opposition leader Pierre Poilievre, might benefit from finding a gift certificate for a basic course in economics under the tree. 

Seems some are concerned that investing in cratering cryptocurrencies might not be the best way to “opt out of inflation” after all – and that any politico espousing such an approach would perhaps not be the ideal steward of the national economy. 

And if there’s room in the sack, Santa, a copy of Elementary Media Relations  might also be a practical gift.

Let’s not forget our local politicians in Wellington County and across Ontario, who could use a toolkit of useful planning and policy direction and support. Judging from the reaction of most municipal leaders, the province’s Bill 23 might not be exactly what they were hoping for. 

It would also appear the citizenry at large, at least as represented by our Wellington Advertiser Letters to the Editor writers, also question whether the Building More Homes Faster Act will result in anything of the sort.

And finally, Santa, through your international giving mandate, spare a thought for dethroned U.S. President Donald Trump. 

I know it’s hard to find a gift for the man who has everything, including multiple congressional and judicial investigations into nearly every facet of his personal and professional life, but if it makes things easier, we know he likes orange. Maybe a nice jumpsuit?

Sweet Christmas dreams to all!