Let’s look at politics from another angle for a minute…..the people involved and what they do, their employment or career paths…or self-interest. What makes a politician tick?
I have reluctantly concluded that they all must be very content and happy with the way it is. Even the opposition. Maybe….especially the opposition!”
I can speak to this to some extent because it was always something I wanted to do and, more to the point, I actually made a stab at doing it. Speeches and meetings and all that crap. So, I get it. I wanted it. I wanted to be one of them. So, why did I?
Part of it, of course, was altruism. I wanted to make the world a better place. Who knows if my perspective was a good one or not since I didn’t make it. We’ll never know. But there was more to it than that. I actually thought I was a better person. Ergo, as a better player, I could do better at the great game. Or, so I thought then. Not now.
So, in that way, it was just plain arrogance. Ego. And, if I was guilty of such egoism, then the ones who actually make it to the top must be guilty of that, too.
But that’s not a surprise. You already know that. Politicians are arrogant and full of themselves. To some extent, anyway. The following, however might be news for you.
I couldn’t join a party. But they can. I did join parties now and again (twice) but only to support others and once to support myself. But it just didn’t feel right. It felt wrong. Joining a party was an act of subservience akin to silencing myself and obeying others. It was an abdication of responsibility from that very first act of joining. I couldn’t, in all conscience, agree to what they said as implied by my membership if I didn’t agree with it personally regardless of the inducement to being supported in the election by the party.
Seems I am not much of a joiner. Not a good career move for a politician.
But the successful ones must be joiners and followers and, by extension of their success at it, purebred sheep. Maybe lobotomized sheep. Think about the psychological dissonance in those two simple observations. You are an arrogant egoist but NOT a leader. You think you are better and smarter BUT you keep your mouth shut and march and bleat in unison. You do as you are told. You pretend to agree with what they say. That, in itself, would eat at your sense of self, wouldn’t it?
And what kind of erosion of self would take place if you ignored the wishes of your constituents and supporters at the same time as obeying your party whip? Wouldn’t guilt, at the very least, continually gnaw at you? Wouldn’t you be feeling like a failure from the get-go?
That’s why it is so much easier to be in opposition; you get to speak out but it doesn’t matter to your place in the scheme of things. You are safe. You still get paid.
I am also, by nature, impatient. And that personality trait wouldn’t work in the legislature or parliament. I want to see things get done, if not quickly, then at least without unnecessary delay. A little tardiness is OK, as I have learned that we all move at a different pace but years of delay or delay-as-a-tactic is crazy-making for me. Government moves slower than glaciers (although, to some extent, that is now somewhat due to global warming).
Still, government moves too slowly for me. I’d go nuts.
But they don’t. They live with it. They must like it to some extent. Or respect it, anyway. So, they are complicit in their complacence. They even ask to do some more of it every four years or so. It may just be the comfort they get from feeding at the trough but we seem to have 300 or so MPs content to sit on their butts with their thumbs firmly inserted while pressing issues spring up all around them. And they talk and meet and eat lunch and talk some more. What kind of person can do that for year after year?
The non-employment of the MARS water bomber when it was most desperately needed is a good example of that incredible lack of action from those at the helm. The First Nations Treaty process is another. Climate change efforts haven’t even gotten off the ground and yet the ground is burning. What do these dickheads need to get their butts in gear?
And therein lies another issue…..’DOING’ something. I am not so sure that I could have stayed part of a system whereby my role was to sit and listen and do NOTHING. Even if I was in with the party-with-power, I would then have to be one of those who do nothing but pound my desk and yell at the monkeys on the other side of the room. What kind of self worth would that generate?
Seriously. We often judge people’s mental state by what they do, how they act, what they say and what they accomplish. Judging our politicians on that basis makes them all more than suspect, it makes them – apparently – mentally ill. I could go on. But, I’ll spare you except to ask, “What is wrong with these people? How can they participate in a system that is so clearly in need of reform? How can they accept a salary for, essentially, doing NOTHING but talking?
I understand that a lot of modern life is just talking but even the most sedentary and porcine of them must, at times, chafe at the bit. But why don’t we see any of that? Shouldn’t some of our reps be yelling? Shouldn’t some of them file lawsuits? Shouldn’t all of them be shouting out alternatives at the very least. Leading protests? Speaking out?
Harper is bad. Really bad. But where are the good guys? When was the last time you heard any politician say, “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!”