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Stages of a Political Crisis

March 11, 2019

Grief counselors are aware of the five stages of grief proposed by the psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Surprisingly, these stages apply almost as well to the evolving of political crises, such as the one overwhelming the Canadian Federal Government and its mishandling of the SNC-Lavalin foul-up. We might have to do a bit of fiddling with them, but let's see how they fit.

Denial: The Prime Minister insisting with a straight face that there is no crisis. Nothing happened.

Followed by …

Anger: Why do the media keep harping on about this. I repeat, nothing happened.

A few days later …

Bargaining: Okay, something happened, but it was trivial. Nothing really. And besides, our hearts were pure when we did what we did, which was nothing.

And recently …

Depression: I don't understand why my people are abandoning me. After all, we did nothing wrong. We did nothing at all. Even if the nothing we didn't do was for the good of the party … sorry, country.

And next?

Acceptance: Here's where the analogy breaks down.