While I was in Ottawa last week, I actively avoided two things, thinking about work and Parliament.
One might ask why anyone would go to Ottawa and not stop at Parliament. There are two reasons for that; first, I’ve seen it before and it, of all things, doesn’t change much, and second, I needed a break from politics.
I’ve been covering the election since before the writ dropped. I’ve laughed, I’ve nearly cried and I have rolled my eyes more times than I can count.
I appreciate politicians.
We need them and it’s not a job I would want to take on, but I really don’t like campaigns.
It seems to be all false promises and fake smiles, overly sincere handshakes, enough eye contact to make everyone uncomfortable and endless photo opps, as if those posed pictures portray who a politician really is.
And the entitlement to space in the newspaper amuses me. Just because you are running to represent the North Island doesn’t mean that every press release you send is worthy of going in the paper.
If I was just a reporter before the election, I was suddenly treated as a potential voter as soon as the writ was dropped.
And honestly, I don’t know how I feel about that. Yes, I voted, but I’m a journalist when I’m talking to you face to face.
And then there are the nasty comments that the politicians throw at each other. In a way I suppose it is good, you could think of it as people being passionate and getting carried away, but it all seems like cheap shots and finger pointing.
Like school children pointing fingers and saying “nah nah nah nah nah” because one of their peers is wearing the wrong brand of running shoes.
I do think politicians should be held accountable, otherwise I wouldn’t be very good at my job, but the whole campaign process seems to be more about big white smiles and pipe dreams than accountability.
But maybe the promises aren’t ridiculous, maybe the government that was elected last night will be able to follow through on all of their promises, unlike almost every government, both federally and provincially, before them.
Either way I’m looking forward to covering whatever the government gets up to in the next four years.
But I probably won’t be making plans to visit Parliament, or the Legislature, in my spare time.
Otherwise I had a great holiday. Ottawa is a beautiful city, though it seems I brought the rain with me because the weather wasn’t all that great.
But now it is back to the political grind.
At least campaign season is over now.