The day after an election it is human nature to look at the tally sheet and exclaim: “How the darn heck did that dildo get in (or back in)?
Well, the first question that exclaimer must ask him or herself is, did I actually get off my ass and go out to the polling place? If not, then the answer is self-explanatory. That dipshit got in because other dipshits like you couldn’t be bothered to do what you should have done.
Needless to say, I voted yesterday. I have always voted even if I find the slate offered me detestable. The obvious point is that having the right to vote is a privilege and if you don’t exercise it you are a knave, a poltroon and a crappy citizen.
I have always voted despite how jaded I got by politics and politicians over the years in the newspaper trade. I had the privilege, I guess, of seeing them not always at their best. I’ve had them be rude to me, and I have been rude back. I’ve dealt with politicians I found to be arrogant assholes, and others I ended up liking more than I had anticipated. And my liking or disliking had nothing to do with where they sat on the political spectrum or how much I agreed or disagreed with them philosophically.
Locally, for example, I loved Karen Sanford like a big sister and we couldn’t greet without a hug. This is despite the fact I never voted for her at any time. We may have been at some philosophical odds, but never at human odds. Provincially I was extremely fond at a personal level with Stan Ha gen, who was a truly decent man at all levels.
I once, years ago, met Christy Clark. What can I say? I liked her on first impressions even though I detest some of her attitudes today.
In the bigger world, I found Jean Chretien to be one of the more charming and witty men to meet. A chap with no pretentiousness whatsoever. Likewise Michael Ignatieff, despite the fact he was a piss-poor political candidate, was an extemely gracious and pleasant man. On the other hand, one of the most insufferably arrogant federal politicians I ever encountered was Ed Broadbent, and his disdain for the ink-stained wretch such as I was could only have been matched provincially by Pat McGeer who was a self-impressed jerk.
In closing, however, I shall return to the municipal realm, and I have dealt with many of our local reps, both good and bad, though the years. But, even if I indict, I commend those who choose to run and serve their communities.
My favorite moment, however, took place at a municipal council meeting many years ago, and I won’t say which council. At one point a councillor stood up to indict me, as a reporter, for something I wrote in the paper after a previous meeting, and he demanded a retraction.
“Did the reporter misquote you?” asked another council member.
“Well, no,” said the councillor in question.
“Well, what is your problem?” asked the other councillor.
“What he printed wasn’t what I meant to say.”