Growing up, did you ever know that kid who would quit a game the moment he was winning? I mean, we probably all did that at times. If there’s not a defined end-point, the lure to end the game when you’re not losing makes total sense. It’s not the best sportsmanship, but what are you going to expect from 7-year-olds.
There’s an old episode of The (American) Office that demonstrates this perfectly. The sales team is playing basketball against the warehouse crew. At one point, the Steve Carrell character gets, accidentally, hit in the face, so he calls the game off…moments after hearing that his team was in the lead. It’s understandable for kids, but bad form for adults, don’t you think?
Enter Lisa MacLeod.
As Catherine McKenna, Yasir Naqvi and a host of concerned residents try to create an open and honest consultation on the future of the Experimental Farm and the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital, MacLeod is tagging along, trying to preserve what little is left of the Conservative Government’s local legacy:
But Progressive Conservative MPP for Nepean–Carleton Lisa MacLeod sees it as a political move.
“I think it’s really politics at play,” said MacLeod, who also attended the meeting. “My hope is the current [federal] government is not going to reverse everything the previous government did — that’s what this appears to be.”
Get it? All the cynical political manoeuvring of the Conservative government was okay, but if anyone else tries anything, it’s just playing politics. Now that the Tories are done, everything should stay as is. Baird’s decision should be maintained. Game over. Tories win.
Basically, she’s Michael Scott.
There are so many problems with what she’s saying. First off, of course this is political. We’re talking about shaping our city. We’re talking about the work of multiple levels of government. We’re talking about the life of the public. We’re talking about the fucking body politic.
Second, no one–I repeat no one (other than MacLeod)–appears to be trying to inject an inordinate amount of politics into this process. People are trying to strip the politics out of it. It was the Tories and Baird who made this a political issue. The rest of us are just trying to fix all the meddling.
(By the way, I did a quick search, and I couldn’t find MacLeod condemning Baird or the Tories for playing politics with the location of the Victims of Communism memorial. So her lamentations about inserting politics into city-building ring doubly hollow.)
McKenna and Naqvi aren’t demonstrating any heavy-handedness. They’re listening. Councillors Leiper and Brockington are just trying to make sure their residents’ voices are heard. MacLeod (whose riding doesn’t include the Farm) is the one playing partisan politics.
It is such a cynical and contemptuous move by MacLeod: the Tories and the Hospital rammed through a crass political decision, and that decision needs to be preserved in amber.
Read: Everything my team does is okay. Anything your team does is out of line.
This is all just so very gross. In this situation, MacLeod is the manifestation of so much that is wrong with politics these days: rampant, rabid partisanship; contempt for the public; secrecy and obfuscation; cynical projection; intellectual dishonesty (if not outright dishonesty).
We desperately needed new political leaders in Ottawa (both “Ottawa” the federal government and the city of Ottawa). We need to scrub our city of the shallow, crass decisions of the former government.