Bad Apple Syndrome

Political Party – the neighborhood gang!

Politics

Politics – it is not a game

Most all politicians in both Parliament or provincial Legislatures are well-meaning, honest, hardworking and conscientious individuals. Many have interrupted a far more profitable career to become involved in politics with the expectations of making a difference for the better. Why then, the mistrust, disbelief, doubt, suspicion, disenchantment, nonconfidence and skepticism by so many Canadians.

The Bad Apple Syndrome: “It is well-known that negative interactions have a bigger impact than positive ones, and that people tend to remember a person’s bad qualities more vividly than their good ones.” These observations were included in a recent Wall Street Journal Story entitled, “How a Few Bad Apples Ruin Everything.”

Is overall distrust the result of the “one bad apple”? Or collective bad apples? The public’s main access to politics is through the media. Whenever an issue in parliament or Legislature takes place the media at first covers the story with controversy. It is controversy that grabs the headlines. It is conflict that sells the news. It is the lie that becomes the story. The bad apple violates norms of equity, positive affect, and proper social functioning. The public very seldom have opportunity to see the work that is done away from the camera or reporter. Very few subscribe to politicians’ news letters.

Why have politicians allowed the adversarial aspect of politics win the day? Why do caring and considerate men and women band together to heckle and belittle a “rivals” message? Why do honest and reliable men and women cheer and pound their desks in response to a co-members pre-written party line? Which all to often is misleading and deceitful. Why is lying in Parliament allowed with little consequence. Why has bullying become the norm for the party in power?

It is very akin to the crowds children get mixed in with. Throw any group of kids together and they will always be reduced to the lowest common denominator, the bad apple factor or syndrome. Obviously there is no difference with adults, even the more learned ones.

What brings on the “Bad Apple” factor? The political party. That must maintain one voice, one message that stifles individual creativity and cooperative brainstorming resulting in serious implications for productivity. The same factor which limits the prospects of reaching the most honest, fair and appropriate legislation. All the while thousands are being turned off politics, turned off voting.

The “Bad Apples” gain the publicity wars therefore high levels of public skepticism may be here to stay. Democracy continues to suffer more and more. Only parliamentarians themselves can change the perception, but, they need the nudge. That is the reason for MYMPA. Become a member.

If parliamentarians won’t – the public must!

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