I have done this myself as a political geek, and I’ve seen it done on television and heard it on the radio.
The misdeed is referring to politics as a “sport”.
The comparison is an obvious and easy one to make, which is why it is so common.
But it overstates the importance of sport, while understating the importance of politics.
Well, except for hockey.
Oh, don’t forget soccer.
And if you’re going to mention soccer, you may as well bring up cricket.
Sports can play an important role in society with the benefits of exercise, socialization and the opportunity to test one’s resolve.
Politics is where we decide if we need to set aside space for the soccer field and the baseball diamond where we, and maybe one day our children, play.
Politics is also how we decide which person will represent our collective interests for a time.
These people may not have the literal power of life and death over our lives, but they do affect how we live and how we relate to each other.
Those issues can affect our lives.
If we cannot find work due to a change in legislation or, because consequences of lack of legislation are taken into account how we live changes.
On an individual basis this can cause stress, on a societal basis one can see statistical increases of behaviours and responses to the stress which can be life shortening, including clinical depression, increased use of drugs and alcohol and increased domestic violence.
And this is when politics ceases being sport.
Livelihoods and as a consequence lives can be at stake.
The circumstance Kitimat finds itself in is not of its own making.
The council did not cause it, but our elected officials will have a role in getting us out of this.
This is not a time for “politics as sport” where it may not matter if we achieve anything as long as one scores political “points”.
We need better and we deserve better.
Well, tangentially related, because it has the word "politics" in the name.