I learned a long time ago that there’s three things every person must do in their lives before entering politics.
First, the sage-like wisdom of Monty Burns: “Family, religion, friends… these are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.” Ditto politics.
Second, you have to learn to demonize opponents and uphold the mantra of “perception is reality” because the pursuit of power is just too enticing for many people, including deluded young people that actually think mainstream political parties care what the youth wing thinks. Trust me, I know. The Liberal Party is a perfect example of this. Young people become policy wonks and party zealots to the point that they’re even willing to help tear the party apart to support some rich, well-connected old guy that might become a party leader (and thus, a job on the Hill).
Lastly, just like Wolverine, you have to have the ability to heal fast from injuries inflicted by douches across the floor and know that if you take politics too seriously, you’re toast.
So the high school clique war that is Parliament Hill nowadays, going on the attack with unsubstantiated rumours and conjecture is fair game. Perception is reality, right?
I’ve got no love for Harper, don’t get me wrong. I think the man’s running a minority government that acts like it has a majority and feeds off the narrow-minded regionalism of this country. But still, doesn’t the idea of accusing someone in office based on what one person said with no proof whatsoever seem kind of, well, FUBAR?
Let’s get one thing straight: politics isn’t run by ideas. Politics is run by technology and timing nowadays. Ideas are reserved for graduate students. Getting the killer blow in before the next news cycle and the sharpest headline so the blogosphere can go buckwild with page views and five cents per CPM is what matters now.
So there’s really no honour left in working in politics. The more and more political parties in the House of Commons push the agenda of attack, the more separated Parliament becomes from the ordinary Canadian. Most sensible folks want leaders that actually uphold democracy, not create a tribal, siege-like mentality to the process of debate.