Friday, September 24, 2010
Reject the Ugly side of politics. . . . .
Taking a brief survey of our politics today I really have to wonder how we have found ourselves here. In a time when it is not acceptable by most people to be openly racist, overtly sexist, or chauvinistic against gay and bisexual people, how is it that it seems perfectly acceptable with so many people for our politicians and political discourse to be full of lies, intentional misrepresentations, vulgarity, hostility, and strategic self-interest? Everyday you hear people talk about how tired they are of political leaders who are negative and self-serving but they keep voting for them and the most vulgar and hostile of them retain their popularity. Meanwhile, any politician who attempts to promote discourse or compromise is constantly vilified, particularly by the right-wing. As any reader of my blog (all two of you) knows I have never been a big fan of Jack Layton, but I will give him his due, he continually attempts to foster discussion and is willing to make compromises. A cynic will say that this is only because he has no chance of gaining power. But I refuse to be that cynical because there have been leaders in the past who were in fact compromisers and didn't use constant lies and vulgarity just to gain and retain power regardless of the results. The present government is certainly one of the worst offenders on this front and for the life of me I can't figure out why their supporters let them lie, misrepresent the facts, intentionally try to divide the public, be openly vulgar and hostile. And yet they would condemn this behaviour if a party they didn't support were in government. And look at the narrative that the Tories are attempting to create on any potential coalition. "Cooperation is bad, compromise is bad, rule by the majority is bad." This is the narrative. And they are pursuing this narrative with an almost embarrassing vehemence, as the speech by the Finance minister demonstrated this week. I think it is time to finally make the vulgarity, lying, naked self-serving politics unacceptable. I won't hold my breath in anticipation of this change but the time has come.