04.03.2012 01:00 AM

In today’s Sun: fightin’ words

Hit him again. Put him down. Make him bleed.

Not many of them will admit it, but that’s what a lot of partisans were hoping for when Liberal MP Justin Trudeau and Conservative Sen. Patrick Brazeau squared off in an Ottawa boxing ring over the weekend. Someone said the match had something to do with raising money for charity, but I’m willing to bet no one — not the guys, anyway — gave that part much thought.

This fight was about something a bit more primeval. It was about visceral, gut-level, deep-down stuff that political partisans regularly feel for one another. If you were to say it was about hate, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.

Politics, stripped down to its essence, is like boxing. Get in a ring, beat each other to a bloody pulp as people sit on the sidelines and cheer.

That’s why so many guys are drawn to it, and why so many gals are not. It’s a vicious and ugly avocation, one that tries to dress itself up in finery of statesmanship. But women — being smarter than men — know what politics is. It’s schoolyard brawling that pretends it isn’t.


  1. Conservative Socialist says:

    I was not aware that this boxing match had taken place. I honestly had quite literally, no dog in this fight.

    In my case, I was a far angrier partisan when I was younger. It was quite easy to get worked up about what politicians and their operatives said in the media back in those days.

    I confess that I do look at political bloodsport today from a cynical and amused detachment. I’ve never made a living in politics, and my involvement was doing door-to-door canvassing when I was an “angry” young lad.

    Vic Taves compared those who opposed the internet surveillance bill to child pornographers. Instead of letting the Conservatives hang themselves with this gaffe, some Liberal partisans let hatred guide them to the point of being exposed for committing a cheap shot. In the end, the Liberals’ hatred for their opponents made Vic Toews look sympathetic.

    Hatred can be a powerful and useful emotion. It keeps you focused, but it can also blind you. From the description of the fight, it sounds like Trudeau used defense and skills to wear out the physically stronger Brazeau who was angrily pouring all of his strength into him. Kind of like how Foreman did the same against Ali (who was toying with him) and Hitler wasting the best of the Wehrmacht at Stalingrad.

    Passion is useful, but can backfire and be a waste of energy.

    • Conservative Socialist says:

      OK out of curiosity I just watched much of the fight on Youtube.

      Brazeau looked quite amateurish. He claims to have trained for 5 months, but he looked as polished as those guys you see in toughman brawling contests.

      Trudeau obviously looked like an actual boxer using his superior height and stance to take his opponent apart.

      Maybe I’m being too hard on Brazeau considering that it wasn’t me in there. But the Conservatives will need a better ringer if they want to be competitive with Trudeau in next year’s charity boxing match.

  2. Nic Coivert says:

    It certainly was an allegorical battle. The effete intellectual vs. the brawny scrapper, suave vs. uncouth, playground bully vs. teacher’s pet.
    And Trudeau beat them on their own turf, at their own game.

    One thing Brazeau isn’,t however, is representative of aboriginals. He is widely pilloried by natives as a Conservative puppet, I mean they hate this guy. And for good reason too.

  3. smelter rat says:

    It reminded me of the feeling I had when Canada beat Russia in ’72

  4. G. Babbitt says:

    A very nice post, but I would argue that the visceral bloody stuff is power and how to acquire it. “Politics” is the rules and the “finery.” Depending on the context (democracy – emerging state) the rules can be quite elaborate (boxing) or minimal (a bar brawl), but of course it doesn’t completely hide the brutality at the core. I think politics is more like boxing with more rules and the robo calls are like biting, while vikileaks30 is more like a low blow, (penalized but not bout ending).

    On a different note, I am really disgusted with Brazeau’s handling of the match. He seems to give no credit to Trudeau’s conditioning or ability, instead implying it was only time and some strategic errors that led to the outcome. And his request for a rematch is classless.

  5. fred says:

    With Flim Flam Flaherty cooking the books in time for the next election, and Bob Rae’s vulnerable past, there might not be much left for
    Justin to lead.

  6. MCBellecourt says:

    Our man Rodger Cuzner strikes again.



  7. Jack says:

    People involved in partisan politics are there precisely because they can not box or even fight.They are extremely passive aggressive because of their lack of physical courage, everyone knows that.

  8. Dude Love says:

    A classically trained boxer versus a martial artist, fighting under a boxing point system scoring, of course the boxer will win.

    • Pat says:

      You could have just said “boxing rules” the point system doesn’t really matter when one of the combatants doesn’t get to the end of the third round…

    • Kevin T. says:

      Except there were no points, just a trash-talking Con thug beaten into submission. Of course the better man would win.

  9. Mom says:

    I’d like to see a Justin Trudeau/Sean Cullen lead coalition in my lifetime. That would give me great hope for the future.

  10. Mom says:

    Oops – Nathan Cullen

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      No worries….Im sure Sean Cullen wouldnt be bad either….whats another clown on the hill?…….

    • MCBellecourt says:

      I would like to see that, too. Interesting that if voting was confined to the convention, Cullen might have narrowly won.

      Things have a funny way of working out in the wash, though. Remember, during the convention, Cullen made it clear that he would do everything he could to prevent that pipeline going through his turf? My old town, among others, would be very, very negatively affected by a spill, and Enbridge’s record sucks in that department.

      Cullen has a fight on his hands with the new rules surrounding environmental reviews. He’s got the heart–he genuinely loves the area he represents–and he’s got the moxy to come out swingin’. He’ll be an MP to watch in the very near future.

  11. Cynical says:

    I wonder if the competitors were subject to drug testing…

  12. Mae Moore says:

    Warren Kinsella lost any respect I had for him when he poured out his hatred of the PC’S & PB, He talks about PC’S hatred for the liberals but its sounds pretty much the other way around. Conservatives dont hate JT but certainly dont care for his arrogance, talk about a spoiled brat feeding off of trudeau mania. I wont waste anymore time on this but its Mr. Warren that I am so disappointed in, He really spewed out hatred, bad reporting. I suppose this letter dont have a chance because I’m not goo goo over JT.

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