'Politics is fun' - Macleans.ca

‘Politics is fun’


In the process of assessing George Smitherman, Jim Coyle considers the nature of politics.

It is a forum in which the artful insult of foes is esteemed, an arena in which even – sometimes especially – misfits and nerds can thrive. For those not gifted athletically, it’s the next best way to experience the intense camaraderie of a team, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, the Rudy-like triumph against long odds, the Paul Martin-like frittering away of championships that should have been.

At times, political life can be positively Shakespearean in the playing out of human goodness and foible – the intrigues, treacheries, plots and schemes, the falling on swords for the greater good. Beyond question, the attendant media spotlight – the notepads and cameras constantly seeking opinion – is ego-boosting. In most cases, propinquity to power and the powerful is seductive. Reaching the exalted rank at which one gets to wield power is more than a little gratifying and, as Smitherman has been wont to say, cool.

As William Davis once famously observed, his dullest day as premier was more exciting than his best day doing anything else.


‘Politics is fun’

  1. Hopefully George will find exercise fun too – hitting the treadmill might help avoid embarrasing pics of his waistline during the campaign.

  2. "the artful insult of foes is esteemed… the intense camaraderie of a team…the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat… the intrigues, treacheries, plots and schemes"

    All of this is partisanship. None of it is governance. Therein lies our most profound problem.

  3. It's strange, Wherry, but you haven't blogged on Flanagan's admiration of Ignatieff yet :-)

  4. On second thought, I withdraw this comment.

    • What I'd like to know is Aaron's take on the bloodletting in the OLO tonight.

  5. I think what Coyle said is that politics is the best place for people whose ambition exceeds their talents.

  6. I’d wager the ‘seductiveness’ of power was the least thought in Slitherman’s mind during the Toronto garbage strike when his followers cleaned the streets for free. Mayor Slitherman would privatize city garbage collection, saying “Hey, if it stinks and you don’t like it, grab a pitchfork and take to the streets!”

  7. Gotta love politcs

  8. "artful" would be nice…slagging one's opponents on personal terms is not "artful", and belongs in the school yard.

  9. Bill Davis quotes are suddenly popping up everywhere. Shall we sing a chorus of "Where have all the Red Tories gone? Long time passing …"