Only two days into the campaign, PC Leader Tim Hudak’s blue bus broke down in Ottawa. His staffers, afraid journalists would use the incident as a metaphor for his election effort, parked the vehicle far down the suburban street where Hudak was slated to make a campaign announcement and brought in a replacement bus…
Hudak used the replacement bus for less than a day, until he got his wheels back.
PC campaign staff divulged this story to reporters after the election wrapped up Thursday night.
And there, the state of Canadian politics in a nutshell, and a powerful citation as to WHY nobody gives a shit. I don’t blame the Hudak campaign, god knows Liberals are well aware how a completely unrelated mechanical failure can DOMINATE an entire day, IF NOT MORE, of an election campaign. Can you imagine the sheer PANIC to find another bus before it became public knowledge, I mean we are talking about seats in the balance here! SAD, but TRUE.
The above story encapsulizes campaign fixation with the superficial, how the TRIVIAL can take center stage. Nobody will dispute, when I say if that bus broke down, it would have received more attention than the debate over clean energy in the Ontario campaign. Truth is, campaigns are all now about avoiding mistakes, sanitizing the message, protecting the messenger, carefully crafting every step to avoid the dreaded “gaffe”. This posture has contributed to voter disinterest, in a way that deserves much more attention: campaigns are bland, they’re SAFE, they avoid any controversial issues, their goal is to not offend or ruffle, the antithesis of what politics is supposed to encompass. Again though, today’s campaigns are really a product of learned response, they are merely reacting to past pitfalls, trying to avoid, a clean campaign is preferred to a substantive one.
The Hudak bus incident speaks volumes about the state of things. Bravo to the Hudak team for switching buses, that one moment was perhaps key to thwarting a Liberal majority, SERIOUSLY.