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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.

Friday 14 March 2014

Political Staff, Feudal Partisans and the Peaceable Revolution

Warren Kinsella has posted a hilarious, cheeky political cartoon that speaks to the Toronto insiders crowd.  He also suggests that, to voters, they don't care about back-and-forth sniping between campaign team members.  By and large, he's right.

People focused on getting through their day, making it through their year and maybe having some sustainability down the road want their politicians focused on real problems and real solutions.  It's a bitter pill that our system has moved so far away from these priorities.

Don't get me wrong - issues are discussed, but never without some sniping thrown in.  You can guarantee that any time an issue or a controversy blows up, high-profile political operators will blog/pundicate about it and your inbox will fill up with asks for donations.

Only Column A can stop Column B, after all.  Column B will bring upon the Apocalypse while Column A will save the middle class.

It's an increasingly specialized field, politics, requiring expensive talent and all the expensive toys and peacock feathers they demand for themselves and campaigns.  What political operatives get up to often isn't very nice - so it's no wonder they don't want us to pay attention.

Or do they?  With blogs, TV commentary, news articles, Twitter, the sausage-makers are out in front every day.  The reality of our increasingly probing communications tools is that there's a continual thinning of the political fourth wall - whether we care about the shenanigens of political staff or not, we are increasingly exposed to them.  

With Senate scandals, robocalls, email trails, impersonations, personal attacks and the rest of it, the picture emerging of the backrooms of politics looks less like democracy in action and more like Game of Thrones.

We don't want to care about what goes into our political sausage, but now that the process is coming to light we're understanding where the sour taste in our mouths is coming from.

Politics is a feudal business.  Ridings are often treated like fiefdoms by inside power brokers while Political Parties serve as the King's Court, trying to keep the realm in good order for the King.

The people see what's happening, see how the system is letting us down and are increasingly demanding more.  It's kinda like Magna Carta all over again.

Magna Carta (and the English Civil War that stemmed from it) led to the model of Responsible Government we have today.  Only we've lost that thread - partisan politics has tied it up into a Gordian Knot.

Which is why we're cycling back to something similar with Open Government.  It's a new Peaceable Revolution that will, given time, lead to another power shift and ultimately, more sustainable governance supported by a more Responsible Society.

History's funny that way.

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