Columns » Opinion

POLITICS AS USUAL: The Silly Season

September 13, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Alison Collins-Mrakas

What makes a candidate successful?
As we are heading towards a Provincial election in or around June 2018, I am wondering about who will seek to govern our Province, and who will actually get elected to do so.
I have my own opinions obviously but will leave those aside in the interest of refraining in engaging in what some will feel is partisan politics.
My question then is more of a global one. How and why do some people get elected? In looking at some of the folks that hold or have held elected office, I can’t help but wonder how in the heck anyone voted for them. I mean, good god! Just look at the cast of characters that govern our provinces, our country – or worse – other countries. Some seem positively vacuous, without even the semblance of the ability to form either an intelligent thought or even the inclination to attempt it.
Others seem positively odious, without even a scintilla of redeeming personal attributes or the ethical or moral framework to even give a hoot to pretend that they do. And still others seem positively oblivious of the purpose of public office and instead are single-minded, hell bent on pushing a particular ideology irrespective of whether it in the best interest of the community or nation they seek to serve.
To me, their limitations are real and frankly obvious. And yet, somehow, they get elected. I don’t think I am particularly more astute than most folks and yet I can see through the nonsense that some of these “leaders” spew out. And yet untold thousands buy what they’re selling – lock, stock and barrel.
But why? Are people gullible? Unobservant? Apathetic? Or all of the above? Or do some candidates run spectacular campaigns that appeal to whatever it is the voters apparently want?
I think it’s a combination of all of it and none of it, and a wee bit of, who the heck knows…luck, I guess? Or an electorate that simply wants change and will vote for the guy – or gal – who appears to be the opposite of whatever currently occupies the office.
In speaking to the issue of campaigns, I was watching a documentary on Netflix, “How to Win the US Presidency”, and was just amazed at the lengths that some have gone to secure a win.
Dirty deeds don’t really describe the tactics of some campaign teams. Vicious, underhanded, nefarious and just plain nasty would be better descriptors. I don’t know what appalled me more, the tactics used or the fact that they worked. I think the latter.
No one is perfect – least of all a politician – but some people are so ill-suited to public office that one has to wonder just why they wanted to do it in the first place. Prestige, I guess. Or perhaps some other deep-seated need that only a psychologist could uncover.
But the point is, there are people in office that do not belong there. And by belong there, I mean they do not have the skill set, the temperament, or the work ethic to do the job for which they have been elected.
As we enter the silly season of Provincial races and, in the US, Congressional races, it will be interesting to see who steps forward to seek office and who will ultimately hold it.

         

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