Thursday, December 3, 2015

Personality Politics

Our local elections are now in the books and the immediate, reflexive reactions have settled down. Of these reactions perhaps the most interesting was the notion that the vote for Dunwoody Mayor was largely about personality. The supporting argument is that when Council votes mattered the winner and the incumbent almost always cast their votes the same direction. As is common in political arguments it ignores that fact that the Mayor is a tie breaker whose vote is rarely recorded. Or maybe the soon-to-be-former Mayor's insistence on name and address before addressing Council, which some considered a violation of good manners and others considered arrogant, tipped the personality scale in favour of the challenger.

Or maybe not.

A notable few of our current crop of professional politicians seem less involved in personality politics and more fond of photo-op politics. For these, the Mayor included, it is almost as if there is a law requiring their presence in any picture of a positive event. They seem to expect voters to believe that there is some kind of causal relationship to the hard work of others forged by a snapshot. Politicians have many ways of demonstrating how stupid they believe voters to be and this is one of them. Perhaps voters are not quite so dumb and know that getting your picture taken is an activity, not an accomplishment.

Let's hope they make that point again at the next opportunity.