05/30/2015 04:25 EDT | Updated 05/30/2016 05:59 EDT

Why Politics Shouldn't Get Personal


There are less than five months left before the next federal election; that's ample time for politicians--and staffers--of all stripes to make mistakes and for the media to expose them to their readerships and the gossip beyond.‎ When one member goes down, the whole party often wears the disgrace. I.e., is there one MP who isn't over cautious about the price of a glass of orange juice now?

Leading up to October, the personal lives of those involved in politics are very apparently becoming more newsworthy. Some of the blether finds its way into mainstream media, but most of it floats and buzzes around in social media or makes its way into smaller papers/websites where they are less likely to provoke a lawsuit. No matter the vehicle however, there is no less harm done to the people involved in the salacious stories.

Make no mistake that the destruction of relationships and tarnishing of reputations comes with a complete disregard for the people who happen to be in the stories; this is more about trying to destroy a particular party or shifting votes. It then becomes a question of which party can put the other deeper in the crapper, while concurrently flushing the personal lives of a flood of politicians. No regard is given for heartache, children, family, or a future after politics.

Sometimes these people's reputations are ruined, and employment prospects become sparse. There is no room for mistakes, politicians are expected to be perfect o‎n the job and off, which is an impossible feat and therefore dissuades many people from joining the political family.

There are no names mentioned in this article, simply because it would defeat the purpose of perpetuating the personal nonsense that has no correlation to professional capacity.

Having worked in the political sphere, whether it was putting my name on a ballot or working in ministers' offices, I've heard the grapevine grow with scandalous stories of personal lives. Relationship woes reek of humiliation even within your own circle, this I know as well. 

Names are also not relevant, because they come from all party colours. I was once given pretty damaging personal information on an opposition member, but it was so hurtful and unnecessary for a campaign based on professional merit. We all have skeletons rotting away in our proverbial closets that terrify most people from ever putting their name of a ballot. Those who do, have such a love for politics that they are willing to risk the embarrassment of whatever personal secrets they may guard. That deserves credit.

I think we should all put on an oxygen mask when we see the smoke of politicos' personal lives being pushed in our faces. Their work should be the measured based on their achievements as our representatives.

All's fair in love, war, and politics? Each seems to contain an element of the other in one way, and each needs rules of its own.  Let's see who can play the election game fairly and not manipulate voters into believing a flaw in someone's personal life equates to them being ill suited to honourably serving the public with devotion and distinction.


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