Alvin Shier displays an alarming level of cynicism about politicians generally that forces this old political junkie and campaigner to pause.
To his challenge, I would be happy to provide him with a list covering all parties, all levels, love ‘em or hate ‘em for their dogma, that I know for sure did not enter politics for the money, perks or pension, but out of a genuine and admirable, even when misguided, belief in public service. Maslow’s hierarchy of higher needs may explain the more altruistic.
Winston Churchill, who knew a bit about it, famously said: It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
It is not recorded that he ever explained what faults he believed might apply to the first part, but that might be deduced from another Churchill quote: The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
Couple that with another less famous 200-year-old quote, attributed to Joseph de Maistre, translated and often paraphrased: People get the government they deserve. (I suggest an amendment to that sentiment: some people, etc.).
These sage observations are a sad commentary, connected by how carelessly and irresponsibly, without ‘due diligence’ the democratic franchise is too often exercised; they place the onus of good governance squarely on the voter.
First, look in the mirror. Then crusade.