Russell Wangersky’s April 13 column (“Here they go again, campaigning on your dime”) about politicians who are in campaign mode describes a practice that I have always found to be, at best, disingenuous and, at worst, infuriating.
That the electorate is treated like so many sheep and with such contempt is the part that is infuriating. An old friend of mine used to say that it was pointless to complain about the universal ineptitude of our political class and the best we could hope for is to get in on it and qualify for the pension. He had a point.
In the HBO blockbuster series, “Game of Thrones,” the infighting and political plotting usually ends up with someone being executed. Our political system makes do with a more civilized metaphorical execution — but an execution all the same as was displayed by the Liberal schoolyard bulling incident. A recent statement on “Game of Thrones” by Jon Snow, King of the North, sums up our system succinctly: “when enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers only better and better lies, and lies won’t help us in this fight.”
For “fight” read statements made by previous politicians in previous campaigns that helped dig the financial hole we presently find ourselves in.
Doesn’t Snow’s statement exactly describe what happens before, during and after our election campaigns? A perfect example of art imitating life.
I am waiting with bated breath to see if Ches Crosbie will keep his leadership campaign promise of having his candidates sign an Honesty Pledge prior to the campaign. This pledge would certainly put his party at a clear disadvantage in the pre-election rhetoric battle. It would, however, offer a unique challenge to the electorate in sorting the wheat from the chaff, the fiction from the truth, the realistic from the ridiculous and the moral from the cynical prior to casting their vote.
With each passing election I am becoming more convinced that we would do no worse with our representation in the House of Assembly if we picked our members at random from a telephone directory.
If nothing else, that method would save us from having to listen to the ridiculous tales our political parties and their candidates tell while campaigning.