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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Politics is a Blood Sport OR We Move Forward Together

I absolutely agree - politics is a blood sport.  I've written about that fact on this blog more than once.  Along those lines, I've written about why the bar room brawlers in politics continue to be successful on the backs of others, undermining the system - and their own success - with each hit they score.

It happened to the Federal Liberals.  It's happening to more than a couple other Parties out there now, too.  The "you're with us, against us or irrelevant" attitude is all too pervasive; the careless dismissal of others (staff, supporters, potential allies) as "dead wood" because they don't aggressively toe the line only shrinks the political gene pool, resulting in increasingly bitter partisans duking it out while our democracy cracks all around us.  Vikileaks and Robocalls weren't random individuals getting carried away - the perpetrators were informed by an ugly political culture that encourages underhanded tactics, so long as you don't get caught.

"We're the solution," the partisans will tell us.  "All you need to know is that the only way out is through (insert Party name here)."  That's complete bullshit and it's unfortunate how many decision-makers have convinced themselves otherwise.  Shrinking the water hole never produces long-term wins.

It doesn't have to be this way.  People are at their best when they're pouring all of their energy into something bigger than themselves; a shared vision for a better tomorrow.  It works at the family level.  It works at the community level.  It works at the partisan level, from time to time.  There's no reason this can't happen at the national level, if we have leadership that actually believes that collaboratively, Canada can be more than the fractured sum of its parts.  It starts with a little thing called honour.  Honour in politics is brilliantly described in this piece by the Citizen's Andrew Potter.

Fortunately, there's one decision maker who gets that it isn't one way or the highway, but the shared aspirations of the collective - current and former staff, supporters, average citizens, even the opposition - that provide the best solutions for these challenging times.

If we can't work together, we'll die alone.  Or, the glass-half-full version of this grand notion:

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