Droves of baby boomers -- myself included -- have lamented the political disengagement of the young. But, in the light of Michael Sona's conviction for election fraud last week, it strikes me that perhaps the young are on to something. Chantal Hebert writes:
Electoral politics is a blood sport and an intoxicating addictive one at that, especially in an era of permanent campaigning.
To work in federal politics these days is to breathe in partisan helium 24/7. Short-term strategic gaming matters more than long-term policy outcomes and consensus has become a poor cousin to finding a wedge to pry voters off a rival.
In public, that translates into a culture of mutual disrespect that is on exhibit daily in question period.
In private, it leads to an adversarial climate that makes it easier to rationalize making the most of the grey zone between what is ethical and what is legal.
Justice Gary Hearn wrote that Sona's arrogance -- and his willingness to talk about it -- got him into trouble. Arrogance is not confined to the young. But it's clear that Sona's arrogant elders got away scot free.
Perhaps the young have figured out that, when they get involved in politics, they will be used by their elders and then abandoned when they become a liability.
Smart folks -- young or old -- call that stupid.