Take, no, MAKE over the world
I find myself in an awkward position regarding politics. In this past year I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ridiculous side of it, and am now starting to understand why politics gets such a bad rep. But I see a brighter side to politics too; one that is often lost in the banter, snide comments, and egos.
I actually admire politicians. Criticize them all you want, but while we sit behind our comfortable desks, politicians are constantly offering ideas on how to make the world a better place, and getting shut down for it. This summer I had the opportunity to visit Ottawa and hear Ontario MP Mike Lake speak on his role in politics. He stressed that MP’s often spread themselves too thin and end up accomplishing not much of anything. He combats this by limiting his focus to three specific issues: Autism awareness, poverty in his hometown, and world hunger. Through these initiatives, Lake is trying to change the world for the better and improve the country he lives in. I believe this should be the essence of politics: to consistently find ways to improve your country and the world.
Yet, whenever people are granted a position of power, they are inevitably affected by it; absolute power corrupts absolutely. And this struggle is everywhere in our lives today, not just in politics. It’s present in your relationships with friends and families, in choosing your career paths, in your marriages, your workplace. I personally believe this stems out of the fact that we all feel a need to be respected and loved; we want to be important and for people to like us. And so within these positions of leadership, we become so focused and concerned with ourselves that we forget why we were given this position in the first place.
Throughout my transition into the role of Editor in Chief, the ugly side of politics has reared its head high. But when students are appointed to leadership over their classmates, they need to be held accountable. Power corrupts; and as much as I’d like to think that I’m immune from that, how can I be sure? The system needs a safeguard; so with great power comes great bureaucracy. As much as I can appreciate the good intentions behind the time consuming system, I find that it’s not the red tape that actually keeps me grounded, it’s the relationships I have with my team— with you all. You keep me focused on why I’m here, to serve you, rather than seeking out affirmation for myself. The occasional chirps from the Bombers hockey team certainly doesn’t hurt either.
TWU is an interesting place to discuss politics, and an even more interesting place to participate in them. It’s here where we should be asking the questions that may seem dumb. Don’t be scared by the loud political science or confident business major who makes you feel stupid for not knowing the name of the Governor General. Ask questions; be informed; this stuff matters.
We keep forgetting that people fought to the death just so we could choose our leader; and worse, we often throw the decision out the window. Instead, grab hold of it, ask questions, learn, and be open to new ideas. I hope in some way this issue will at least get you thinking, if not also talking, about how you can make the world a better place too.