The city of Montreal has suffered through many high power investigations over the past year dealing with corruption at the highest levels of government—much of it dealing with bribes, payoffs and extortion. Mayors from various boroughs in the city, as well as many city council members, were found guilty of accepting payola. While practically all the politicians in the city have been suspected of these improprieties, the Mayor of Montreal,who most people feel was not guilty of any crimes, resigned out of indignation at the accusatory tones that were sent in his direction.
Upon the resignation of the Mayor, it was left to the members of the city council to elect a new mayor. After much deliberation and consternation, the decision was made to temporarily install Michael Applebaum as the new mayor of the city, with the proviso that within a year a new mayor would be elected by the populace.Behind the scenes there was much discussion about the fact that this was the first Jewish mayor in the City of Montreal.Jewish groups smiled quietly to themselves and other groups, I am sure, renounced the fact that a Jewish mayor would now be controlling city hall.
It did not take more than a few months for one of the ongoing investigations in the city to bring findings citing that Mr. Applebaum would face 14 charges linked to illegal real estate deals that he had been involved in. Suddenly, the community’s glory was soured and although Mr. Applebaum plans to fight the charges against him in a court of law, he had no choice but to step down from his position.
We remember as children singing the song from Annie Get Your Gun, “Anything you can do I can do better.”Montreal and Canada, which are always being compared to the U.S.A., appears to be unfortunately, catching up to the low level of government that we see and hear daily from various news media.
Here we are in the New York area facing and listening every day to the disgusting rants of Anthony Weiner— another Jewish prodigy.If we turn the channel or station quickly enough we are able to hear about the honorable acts of Elliot Spitzer. Yiddishe nachas like this is purely an embarrassment to each one of us. To watch the Munkacser Rebbe sit at a table with Weiner and have a serious discussion literally turned our stomachs. Is this what politics is all about?That neither of the above mentioned men has the ability to conceive of the fact that the only type of running they should do is as far away from the public eye as they can possibly get, boggles our minds.
We cringe driving in the car when we turn on the radio to hear the traffic report and have to shudder over the possibility that our young grandchildren, traveling with us, should have to listen to the pornography emanating from the radio newsrooms. Honestly, if this is what it means to have Jewish candidates running for office, count us out. Any of us who can really believe that —and we have heard opinions stating that the candidates’ private lives have nothing to do with their public responsibility—should do some serious introspection. Yes, we always agreed that Canada is far behind the U.S.A. in so many different ways, but in this instance the fact that candidates do not try to make a right out of a terrible wrong leads us to believe that being behind can be so much better.
About the Glicks - Rabbi Mordechai Glick enjoyed a long career in the rabbinate and academia – serving as the rabbi of a number of shuls in the Montreal area and teaching psychology full-time at Champlain College. Nina Glick led Yachad in Montreal for over 10 years and was closely involved in the Special Needs Community. The Glicks have three children in the NYC area daughters and sons-in law living in the Teaneck, Bergenfield area together with nine grandchildren. They have participated frequently in the OU Marriage Retreat
By Nina Glick