David Warren says something that I have always noticed about politicians but have never been able to articulate properly. I have thought this:
There is no point talking to politicians. They don't say anything. They are slippery. They run out the clock if you want them to answer a direct question.
If you stick a politician among a group of pundits, the politician seems to be emasculated and missing a common human trait -- an opinion.
Warren says this about politicians:
the sanest of them can be disconcerting to converse with, at close quarters. The need to maintain various pretences, from sanctity to infallibility, contributes powerfully to habits of mental aloofness -- to the point where no question can be answered candidly.
True as this is, is there anything that be done about it? In some ways, you can't fault the politicians because it seems that each voter wants a politician who is everything to him or her, and each voter seems unwilling to compromise.
I was going to say that we expect too much from our politicians, but I quickly recall that everyone I know is cynical about politicians. And so it can't be that we have unrealistic expectations about them. In fact, a lot of people don't bother to vote.
I could say that the population has to be more educated about the political system, but really, we want a society where politicians matter little instead of a society where politics is all for everyone all the time.
I am Canadian. I have lived in Wuxi, China since September 2004. I teach English. In this blog, I recount the things I have seen and the experiences I have had here in Wuxi. I also make comments on things that strike my reactionary fancy.