Politics and Sports

As of yesterday, Canada finished a month of political campaigning and a federal election. This more or less resulted in some minor changes in the House of Commons. Those following it mainly saw this as a failed attempt at a power grab by Trudeau to achieve a majority government – as he had from 2015-2019. I myself see it more as a calculated attempt at extending his term well into the late 2020s and waiting for a more opportune moment to shore up his popularity for a majority, rather than sincerely believing he would achieve one. Trudeau himself is not elected by anyone besides the electorate in his riding: the Governor-General appoints the Prime Minister, who is traditionally the party leader who elected within his own party.

This serves to give an extremely brief background into current events in Canadian federal politics for those who may not be aware. However, it is ultimately not so important. Of the political parties in Canada which hold power, they are not so different from each other in what the society that they want looks like. You’ve likely heard of the analogy of comparing politics and competitive sports. Someone who uses this analogy is typically apathetic and/or dismissive of politics, and usually sports as well. To them, all parties are not very distinguishable from each other besides their colours. Their supporters cheer for them for reasons that they don’t understand. It’s often a shallow analogy.

I will take this analogy further, as democratic politics is indeed increasingly like competitive sports, especially in the west, but not in ways one might think. Both are ultimately about winning, and engaging the masses. Of course, a key difference is that a sports team’s performance does not depend on how much their fans support them, besides any psychological effects they experience from a live audience.

Over time, western political parties adopt similar views. It’s a shifting of the Overton window, as some ideas become more acceptable than others, particularly socially, but also economically. Social issues are much easier for your average disinterested voter to comprehend, and that is generally where the most ground is given or taken. There is however, just as much manipulation as with anything else political. You can be fucked over a million ways economically, and have slim prospects of owning a house or your own property in the future, but for many, that is less important than someone using “hate speech” or not supporting “(current progressive social issue) rights”.

Colloquially, this could otherwise be known as the drift towards a totalitarian soy state that many western countries are following, but it is especially accelerated in the Anglosphere. Sports teams tend to adopt similar social policies to each other with time as well, especially if they are all in the same league, though it is evident that it follows from other factors rather than sports team organically having this kind of social influence.

The types of poisonous language that too many adult figures use to mold children into beings who will hurt forever psychologically and spiritually are much more harmful than anons or semi-anons taking a rude passing jab at you. This kind of abuse is not only legal, but actively propagated and encouraged. It is not overt abuse, but encourages falsehoods and harmful lies by parents and others who act as mouthpieces to their kids for interests that are not their own. These kids, in turn, often pass along their mistreatment, or the symptoms of it to others. For instance, if you are aware of the types of people on Tumblr in the early to mid 2010s, they have gotten older and inflicted their traumas and misguided views of the world on others, as they ended up in positions of authority and enabled each other.

Would someone be a good parent if they did not act genuinely towards their kids, or treat them in a fashion that would be considered abuse at any point in time before now? Certainly not. It may sound abstract, but there are a whole generation of children who are being mistreated by those who believe they are doing good things for them. To a less harmful extent, sports teams PR may be dishonest with their fans about certain issues, or galvanize them against players who have fallen out of favour if they are especially scummy.

It has to be said that intentionally stirring the pot and drawing the type of attention that you cannot handle is foolish in this sort of social climate. Even if you are right about something, or are merely speaking frankly there are many who do not see it that way: the undeniable truth is still unacceptable. If you saw a group of sports fans who you weren’t a part of, who you saw beating down a fan of another sports team, you wouldn’t go up to them and antagonize them unless you wished to potentially suffer some form of physical harm. You might say a few derogatory words at a distance, if anything at all.

Obviously, saying mean words that clearly cannot be acted upon or expressing your extreme disdain for someone or a group of people is not really a threat, especially when one has no real power while doing so. An autistic man slapping Macron in the face does not do anything to challenge the system besides symbolically, even though he was treated in a manner suggesting that he did. It is not only a sentence itself that matters, but being turned on by magnifying glass of media until you are made to squirm in pain as society looks at the person beneath it like a bug about to be set on fire. What matters is the power you want to give them over you emotionally. It’s easier for authorities to scapegoat someone who does that as tangibly making your life worse, like those in power do, diverting from their own failures. Avoiding accountability is paramount to them.

They are feigning having meaningfully protected you or another person from an abstract threat by punishing him or her. “Yes, our leaders sold their souls to foreign interests, while we’re too ashamed of ourselves to have any, and are increasingly out of touch with the reality of a worsening situation, but at least they’re not racist or sexist.” – this is the gist of the delusion in Canada. This also happens in sports, where one’s fanbase or team’s athlete draws attention for holding certain beliefs, although professional athletes are not nearly so oppressed.

In sports, it is the norm that better managed teams and franchises do better in the long run than poorly managed ones. This is the same with political parties. As with sports, politics has evolved. They copy certain electoral strategies, certain popular ideas which are acceptable, all in the hopes of winning the game. The meta game for various sports has changed, from where to shoot a ball from, to how to enter a zone, when to pull goalie, and what plays to make and when. Appealing to certain demographics and encouraging others belonging to those demographics to immigrate to your country are other strategies. Political parties, like sports franchises, are ultimately businesses, and they want grease their own wheels financially, and put more money in the pockets of their high-level members.

I myself have noticed a very Eastern European strategy in one incident by the Conservative Party of Canada, where Maxime Bernier quit the party in 2019 ahead of the election, and they deliberately ran someone else with the same name in his own riding to in an attempt to beat or spoil him, which succeeded. This spoiler strategy is far from the most underhanded thing political parties in the west have ever done in an election, but it was obviously a “fuck you” in the same spirit given to the Russian opposition where two candidates had the same name and looked similar to a third, long-standing one, as a more current example.

I was into sports myself, mainly hockey, not so long ago. My interested in it has waned, as questionable management decisions leading to perpetual mediocrity and moral grandstanding by various organizations has made me largely lose interest. Even though I have been involved in politics educationally and have some modest experience with it, I have also become less interested in it with time, because I do not believe most things will change positively in that regard.

The world is streaking towards an outcome from where few are truly happy, to one where nobody will be happy. The bleeding out of the great beast of all civilization is a tide that can be mopped up temporarily, but it’s hard to see the tide being stemmed completely, as the core problems are not being addressed. I do not think this decay will be perpetual, but there is a general obliviousness towards how bad things will start to get soon. It will look like a very different world after it is finished.

The path of civilization is one of a competitive sports organization. This is just the seasonal opener for a failing league with players with no heart, deluded fans, sadistic owners, and verging on bankruptcy.