Archive | May, 2014

Playing to Win

23 May

The Toronto neighborhood I live in, has become a battleground, where residents live in fear of a knock on the door.

By a quirk of resignations, happenstance and backroom deals, 3 concurrent election campaigns are raging: Federal, Provincial and Mayoral.

A knock on the door brings deja-vu and yet another canvasser with yet another clipboard and the same set of questions.

Not to mention the candidates, maybe you can imagine the gnashing of teeth and pointing of fingers, but I doubt it.

It’s hard to get through the day without catching a kitchen-full of pots calling kettles black as the candidates attempt to make an impression (any impression) on an increasingly zombiefied electorate.

More cheap shots are flying than in a bar during happy hour.

Here’s my favorite from earlier this week, as the Conservatives told off the incumbent Liberal premier.

“Kathleen Wynne set a very bad example this morning when she rode into her media avail with someone hanging off the side of a tractor,” the release read, citing statistics from the Health and Safety Guidelines for Ontario Tobacco Producers that farm tractors have killed 250 people on Ontario farms in a recent 15-year period.”

Gotcha, in-depth knowledge of tractor safety guidelines is a prerequisite for any Premier of Ontario.

Among the self-serving, credibility-lacking, doubly duplicitous nonsense served up daily, all the inanity falls into insignificance next to the ultimate electoral diss.

Playing politics” is a homely old chestnut, implying the trivialization of vitally important issues to score cheap superficial points.

It’s a one-size-fits-all put down to shoot down anything Party X supports that Party Y opposes.

Such as, “I am not happy with the politics being played out in this report,” the world-famous Mayor Ford said at an afternoon news conference. “The ombudsman’s report is supposed to be impartial and objective.”

Well it didn’t mention Jimmy Kimmel.

Then there’s this comment about Prime Minister Harper from his former (now disgraced) aide Tom Flanagan.

“He believes in playing politics right up to the edge of the rules, which inevitably means some team members will step across some ethical or legal lines in their desire to win for the boss,’’ Flanagan writes.

The Prime Minister of Canada plays politics, really?

You have got to be kidding!

Where’s the logic here?

Footballers play football; musicians play music, what’s so remarkable about politicians playing politics?

Isn’t it their trade?

Isn’t it why we elect them?

Isn’t it playing that keeps Jackie from being a dull girl?

Instead of pretending politics is somehow above gamesmanship, I’d rather vote for someone who plays to win.

Not someone who sanctimoniously pretends it isn’t a game at all, albeit one with high stakes.

British politician Aneurin Bevan nailed it about 50 years ago when he said, “Politics is a blood sport.”

It’s got even more ferocious since then.

Come election day there will be winners and losers.

The winners will be the players.