Everyone today is talking about how nasty the election has become. I still think it’s natural to think that the current election is always nastier than the ones before, but this one has certainly taken a turn for the worse.
A few caveats before continuing.
First, as the wise Alexander Michael Lougheed said somewhere on Facebook, remember that
- Very few people read this, in the big picture of things
- Outside of our bubble, nobody really cares
- Hardly anyone will remember this after a month or two
Also, I would add that this is what comes with running for a position. Yes, it would be nice if everyone just got along and posted things like Jeremy did (although Jeremy’s also done his part of getting caught up in the vindictiveness, as he would admit.) It would also be nice if everyone had a pony. But this is real life, and if you run for a position to be an executive in a multimillion-dollar organization, or a seat on a very powerful Board of Governors, you are going to be attacked—sometimes fairly, often not. You need to have a thick skin, and to learn to ignore the idiots.
Complaining about being attacked in an election is like going to a nice restaurant and then complaining when you have to leave a tip. You knew what you were getting into, or should have known.
Now, here is what caused the downturn in the tone of the election.
- Bijan’s actions
- The reaction to Bijan’s actions
(You might add a number 3 here to include Ricardo’s ever-popular if short-lived “Twit of the Day” feature, although really, if you go back and read it now, it seems pretty playful compared to the recent posts elsewhere.)
Be careful about this. You can’t just blame it all on Bijan, as nice as that would be. People are responsible for their own actions, and those who have responded to Bijan with vicious, angry, ANONYMOUS commentary deserve just as much blame. Nobody forced you to start being an asshole.
I don’t doubt that Bijan’s put together a slate of candidates. As I’ve said before, so what? There’s nothing wrong with planning out these things ahead of an election.
But Bijan’s attack on Jeremy in the video was absolutely disgraceful, divulging innuendo and gossip that should remain private, and everything went downhill from there. I feel sorry for the candidates who agreed to run after Bijan talked to them, or even candidates who Bijan didn’t talk to but has still endorsed, because his endorsement of them is a hindrance, not a help.
The ithinkubc site is a pretty understandable reaction to Bijan. He was asking for it by making that video and so blatantly attacking his executives. I don’t really have a problem with that site. I think it’s kind of funny.
But what really caused this election to fall off the cliff is the angry return of Black Box, and the unnecessary assaults it has launched on Katherine, Sumedha, Ekat, and others who are connected in any to Bijan. (Although why Ekat fits in here is still a mystery.)
I was clear about what I thought about Black Box’s attacks from the beginning: an irredeemable project of fulfilling petty grudges, launched from behind a mask of anonymity. I admit that the writing is often entertaining, but that doesn’t change how I feel about it, and I resent people giving Black Box compliments, as if the writing style somehow makes what they’re doing any better.
Anyway, this is all very confusing, and every minute that I think I know who’s writing Black Box, something else happens that makes me change my mind. I still feel like it must be a councilor, but I’m less sure that I know exactly who.
But I wish they’d stop writing—or at least stop the unfair bashing.