Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What's Wrong With Canadian Politics?

A couple good reads this morning, digesting low voter turnout, the general malaise that is objectively putting our "democracy at risk". I'd like to point to another story that came out last week, garnering little attention, but offering up a terrific demonstration of ALL that is wrong with Canadian politics:
Only two days into the campaign, PC Leader Tim Hudak’s blue bus broke down in Ottawa. His staffers, afraid journalists would use the incident as a metaphor for his election effort, parked the vehicle far down the suburban street where Hudak was slated to make a campaign announcement and brought in a replacement bus...

Hudak used the replacement bus for less than a day, until he got his wheels back.

PC campaign staff divulged this story to reporters after the election wrapped up Thursday night.

And there, the state of Canadian politics in a nutshell, and a powerful citation as to WHY nobody gives a shit. I don't blame the Hudak campaign, god knows Liberals are well aware how a completely unrelated mechanical failure can DOMINATE an entire day, IF NOT MORE, of an election campaign. Can you imagine the sheer PANIC to find another bus before it became public knowledge, I mean we are talking about seats in the balance here! SAD, but TRUE.

The above story encapsulizes campaign fixation with the superficial, how the TRIVIAL can take center stage. Nobody will dispute, when I say if that bus broke down, it would have received more attention than the debate over clean energy in the Ontario campaign. Truth is, campaigns are all now about avoiding mistakes, sanitizing the message, protecting the messenger, carefully crafting every step to avoid the dreaded "gaffe". This posture has contributed to voter disinterest, in a way that deserves much more attention: campaigns are bland, they're SAFE, they avoid any controversial issues, their goal is to not offend or ruffle, the antithesis of what politics is supposed to encompass. Again though, today's campaigns are really a product of learned response, they are merely reacting to past pitfalls, trying to avoid, a clean campaign is preferred to a substantive one.

The Hudak bus incident speaks volumes about the state of things. Bravo to the Hudak team for switching buses, that one moment was perhaps key to thwarting a Liberal majority, SERIOUSLY.


Sean Cummings said...

24 hour news cycle has a lot to do with it. But mostly, I suspect people just don't give a rat's ass anymore. Hyper-partisanship is rampant, it's always a negative message on the news - people generally avoid stuff that is consistently negative. It doesn't matter who is running the government, be it Provincial or Federal, it's always the same old shite. I don't blame voters for becoming disengaged.

Jerry Prager said...

when only 3 companies own most of the media in Canada, journalism becomes a gloss, develops tabloid mentalities, becomes about nothing, every time I scan National News Watch I get bored out of my skull looking at articles by shills, spin doctors and ass lickers: everything bad Keith Davies said about concentration of media ownership in the 1970's has come true.
If the Liberal Party wants to stand for something again, maybe it can take on the oligarchy that runs the world, at home and abroad, maybe then democracy can have a chance to function.

sharonapple88 said...

Narrative seems to trump policy. You don't have to know more than the information given with respects to narrative. The wheels come off the Conservative bus. Simple. Easy.

With policy, you'd have to know that you can't just drop the Hydro debt charge.

Anyway, as safe as the campaigns were run, there were some reckless campaign promises. Parties can say anything they like on policy-- no one will call them up on it when they're driving the bus over the cliff.

Dame said...

When 4-5 small self indulgent Parties run for power democracy is not working in a way the people won't get some satisfying result and they turn off ...

Steve V said...

Is it that parties are putting out only negativity, or that the atmosphere craves negative storylines?

C4SR said...

It's not about negative vs positive.

It's about spin vs real life.

It's about politics vs governance.

It's about cynicism vs citizenship.

And yet we wonder why citizens are disconnected.