Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Elitist and the Electorate

In the election, an elitist Opposition leader, born into a well off family, who attended the best schools and lived abroad for several years, came to the voters and asked for permission to govern a country which is politically volatile and split nearly down the middle in support. He even voiced support for a coalition with a third party, with yet another leader who could be considered "elitist," and in some circles, a socialist.

What does this sound like? UK 2010? Canada 2010/2011/2012? How about Canada in 1972? Ontario in 1985? All these are pretty much on the mark, for all have the same storyline, and all end up with that elitist running the country. So the popular will bends.

Which is why it bothers me when those on the right side of the spectrum scream at "elitists," and how they don't connect to the public, how their concerns are not that of the common man, etc. etc. It gets rather silly, and it doesn't stay within party or even ideological lines. David Cameron, Michael Ignatieff, Pierre Trudeau, David Peterson - all faced these baseless attacks. Yet no one can dispute that, bar one exception in the list (at least so far), they aren't successful in what they do, nor that the public never supported them. And if these evil elitists are getting elected, what does that say about the so-called "down to earth" politicians? What does it say about the Gordon Browns, Frank Millers, and Stephen Harpers of the political world, when their so-called "connection" with the people fails them?

I think the fact is that in the end, elitists may not be so elite after all. Yes, maybe they're privileged, and maybe they lack some of the life experiences that many of us have. But they still stick their necks out there to propose ways to help fix and support us through these challenges in modern life. Connection isn't about your background your education - it's about what you want to do and how you go about doing it. It seems to me that the Gordon Browns and Stephen Harpers in this world, who constantly work against the flow of people yet say they're the common man, lack this real type of connection.

What we need isn't really representatives - we need doers. And if the so-called "elitists" are the doers, then godspeed to them.

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