We are in the midst of a federal election.  I am not as interested in politics, as I should be, I suppose. I just don’t get it….and I really don’t want to, but like it or not, I am exposed to a healthy dose of our political climate for the duration of the election. (which is too bloody long!) So, fine, I listen. And I do honestly try to keep an open mind because this is important (at least that’s what my husband says)  and  (apparently) I have a voice, so I listen. But what I see and hear is never what I expect. Please, help me here, because I’m so clearly missing something. (and I’m missing all my favourite tv shows for these blowhards airtime!)

Every commercial I see features a party leader depicting their ‘vision’ for us, for our country, and how they, as a leader  will ‘bring us to the threshold of success, locally and globally’…..no, no  wait, that’s not it. It should be it, but instead what I see is the start of the temper tantrum.

In the one hour taping, each candidate is allotted a fixed number of minutes to speak their piece, then the microphone is turned over to the commentator who summarizes the events, after which one opponent is declared the ‘leader’ of this particular debate. Sounds fair enough….but this sophisticated plateau rapidly loses ground as soon as the horses are out of the gate.

The first opponent takes the mic and from the minute he opens his/her mouth the political ‘slurling’ starts. (ok, I made that word up,,,,SLURLING. It’s a combination of political ‘slurs’ and ‘hurling’, ,,,’slurling’… pretty good huh?) Anyway, whatever we call it, it happens. The candidates spend all their time trashing their opponents, their platforms, their projected policies, etc. Their committees spend every waking minute searching the archives, public meetings (birthday parties, funerals, who knows where they’d stop) looking for ‘dirt’ on their opponent. And invariably they find something because we are all, at one time, young and stupid, and we do things, we say things, recklessly…..innocently, naively, but that doesn’t matter anymore, because only now is it relevant.

I endure the entire debate (painfully) because I know it’s my duty as a citizen to make an informed decision on election day as to who will represent my interests and the interests of my country going forward. (isn’t it enough I have to endure their commercials?)

Weeks have passed and the political ‘slurling’ has ramped up because when the public do not respond as expected to whatever sordid story the opponent has dug up, they just go deeper. They’ll find more dirt, and if it isn’t dirty enough, they’ll ‘re-interpret’ it on behalf of the public (because we’re so stupid?) No, in defense of the public! And the message here is clear,,,,, if we vote for this candidate, we’d have to be morons.

Does anyone understand my confusion here? I would love to trust, respect, support and revere my political representative. Just find me one worthy of it.

Why do they have to come out slinging accusations instead of boasting about their own accomplishments?  (could it be they have none?)

Why can they not spend valuable publicity time enthusiastically listing the many attributes of their platform, instead tearing down the platform of their opponents? (could it be the opponents have something better to offer and they feel threatened by it???) Just imagine a candidate laying out his proposed agenda and his opponent, saying “Wow, what a great idea…wish I’d thought of that!” or “Hey, let’s work together on this for the benefit of all our fellow countrymen!”  It’ll never happen.

Do they think we are so gullible that we would take what they say at face value? When these candidates look out at their audience during these debates, hurling their accusations against the opponents, do they see ‘stupid’ stamped on our foreheads?

I suppose the political campaign agenda has been long since established. Offer the world, i.e., spew the crap,  knowing you won’t deliver,,,, just say what you have to say to get into office. Once there, dodge all historical issues or any with long term commitments, i.e. do only what makes you look good for the duration of your term….until your next big promotion. Beyond that, just smile pretty for every photo opp.

Now, after the debates I honestly thought I’d vote for the candidate who took the higher road, the dignified one. Unfortunately there wasn’t any because at the end of the day, when the politician smells defeat, they pull out the big guns and that’s when it really gets ugly.

Why would anyone go into politics?

Political slurling

3 thoughts on “Political ‘slurling’

  1. Hi Emily – I am continually entertained and educated by your blogs. I am presently reading Rick Mercer’s collection of his CBC rants “Final Report” – I can’t help but think that your blogs and his rants are so similar – opinions/thoughts expressed using a great mixture of facts and humour. Your work very unique – shame it does not reach more folks who would enjoy it as much as we enjoy it. Cheers – Brian


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