The Art of the Possible

Politics is the art of the possible.

  • Otto von Bismarck

Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

  • Winston Churchill

I’m not a giddy person by nature. Sure, I’m happy enough. Well, happy enough for someone with my particular temperament. Which is not to say that I’m unhappy, but rather to say that I’m not terribly demonstrative or given to…well…giddiness.

But today’s news that the Federal New Democrats are planning to step up to the plate and defeat the government had me on cloud nine. Not only had the party I’d once supported and have recently maligned risen to its promise and refused to offer any further assistance to the corrupt and contemptible (both objectively and legally) Conservatives, but they’ve also presented us with an opportunity to reverse 10 years of political ennui in a mere 30 days.

Like so many others, I immediately took to the facebook-twitter-blogosphere to express my joy over our likely election. Not surprisingly, my happiness was met with the usual Conservative memes: namely, “elections don’t change anything”, “elections are too costly” and the crème de la crème; “elections are too risky”.

If you feel like you’ve been addressing these arguments for a long time, you have. Cynicism has become the predominant symptom of our current governmental reality. And rather than rise above it, we’ve not only allowed it to fester, but we’ve also allowed our representatives to use it against us. The Conservatives haven’t been in power for 5 years because their better, they’ve been in power for 5 years because they convinced us to stop worrying about who’s in power. Through endless media assaults, the Harperites have convinced a great number of us to believe that as long as everything is mostly OK, why should we bother worrying about who’s in office?

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