Saturday, 23 January 2010

Non-Partisan


 

The title of today's posting is the pseudo of somebody who posts comments on globeandmail.com. The name says a lot about him and the views he wants you to associate him with. His is pure, unfiltered, political analysis, unbeholden to any party, ideology or interests and untainted by the vulgar baseness of "partisanship". Or maybe he just thought it was a catchy name people would remember. I mean, look, I did. It doesn't really matter why he chose that name. What matters is why this word "Partisan" has suddenly become so toxic and why it is used by itself to remove credibility and with a negating qualifier to lend it.

Well, let's start with what good, old-fashioned, respectable folks do when they need a definition. Let's look it up in the dictionary:

partisan

–noun

1.

an adherent or supporter of a person, group, party, or cause, esp. a person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance.


 

2.

Military. a member of a party of light or irregular troops engaged in harassing an enemy, esp. a member of a guerrilla band engaged in fighting or sabotage against an occupying army.

–adjective

3.

of, pertaining to, or characteristic of partisans; partial to a specific party, person, etc.: partisan politics.


 

4.

of, pertaining to, or carried on by military partisans or guerrillas.

Also, partizan.


 


 

Origin:
1545–55; < MF < Upper It parteźan (Tuscan partigiano), equiv. to part(e) faction, part + -eźan (< VL *-ēs- -ese + L -iānus -ian )


Related forms:

partisanship, partisanry, noun


 

Synonyms:
1. See follower. 3. biased, prejudiced.

Antonyms:
1. opponent.


 

Dictionary.com is not very useful. 2 and 4 are not relevant here and 1 and 3 shows that it has bought into the new meaning we have given the word.


 

The word that means member, believer, adherent, or follower now means being uncritical, ignorant, blind, and most importantly, having no credibility. I get it. This is why Obama presented himself as a "post-partisan". As in, he wasn't going to get bogged down in a rah-rah sports team mentality while he got down to the business of pulling America into the twenty first century by the scruff of its neck. This is why the biggest group of voters in the states is called "independants". They're not putting all their eggs in one basket. They're not going to be categorized or have to awkwardly explain their change in allegiance (In both countries politicians from both major parties have switched to the other party in the two thousand decade). This is why I cannot read an editorial that doesn't denouce the "partisan" bickering in the House of Commons and "partisan" behaviour in Ottawa. The "partisan tactics" of the prime minister are unacceptable, but the opposition should avoid taking "partisan cheap shots" when holding the ruling party to account. Certain ministers are "partisan brawlers" and "blustering partisans", while in the Prime Minister's mind he is the one being impeded by "partisans" and "political games". Add that to the rallying call of every issue for the opposition, an "independent, (there's that word again) non-partisan public inquiry." Could we have an inquiry maybe into the use of the word partisan?

I say this because today I went to an anti-proroguation rally today, one of the dozens that happened across the country, and all speakers present were whispered at and chided by the crowd at various points in their mostly uninspiring speeches "Non-partisan!". As in, even though you were the liberal candidate for the past three elections in this area, this is a non-partisan rally. If it's partisan that means we have no credibility. So please keep that in mind

How about enough of this wishy-washy, buck-passing bullshit? OF COURSE we're partisans, we're all partisans at this rally, and we are anti-conservative partisans. Are you surprised? Is that scandalous? You knew you couldn't trust that guy when he was elected, with his beady eyes and icy arrogance. Now look where we are four years later; all of the checks on power in the prime ministers office have been removed, weakened or ignored. Call me a partisan if you must, but at least I'm not a partisan of this sorry excuse for a douchebag embarassment of a leader we have. Like most people, I haven't always voted for the same party, haven't always had the same opinions and ideas, and haven't even made it to the ballot box each time. There are so few people who you can consistently place in the same result for those categories throughout their entire lives that the partisan label is pretty useless to begin with. I'm a stop shutting down the f----ing democracy partisan, as were all at the rally today.

At the end of the day, can we just be honest about what we like and what we don't like and stop being so coy, as if we're these complicated, sophisticated beings who cannot lower themselves to admit having tastes, opinions and preferences? Are you a Toronto maple leafs partisan? A J.K. Rowling partisan? A President's Choice Peanut Butter or Timex Watch partisan? Are you a shower or a bath partisan? A Britney Spears partisan? Are you an apartment building partisan or a mortgage partisan? Do you consider yourself a prophet Mohammed partisan or a Jesus Christ partisan? See how ridiculous this is? I could go on all day. But we all have a lot of choices to make in our lives and they inevitably involve choosing some things over others. And one important thing we have to choose is words. Politicians, media, and the message massage therapy team who feed us our authorized truth every day, I implore you to please stop being so partisan to the use of the words partisan and non-partisan and revert back to giving explanations of why things are credible or not credible. Thank you from a newly minted partisan of not describing things as partisan or non-partisan.

No comments:

Post a Comment