It’s election time in Afghanistan.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is doing something he is not used to doing. Leaving his abode to mingle with the people. You see, he must be accountable to them, as he must show he is working for them.
Karzai’s speech, as explained by Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, is about ‘National Unity’. Ironic in a country that Dimanno explains as a place that has forgotten what life without violence is like. Unity is a far removed concept, so the irony of the President discussing this as an excuse to be seen is strange.
You see Karzai rarely ventures outside his palace, for reasons of security, as explained by DiManno, but she points it out for a far greater reason:
….because Afghan politics is largely about backroom coalition-building, the forging of alliances with unseemly but powerful kingmakers, rather than direct appeal to the citizenry.
Karzai over the years’ has seen his popularity plummet’ according to DiManno.
How does this compare to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman?
Well, the attitude of Karzai’s pre-election campaigning seems to be different than the attitude of Gary Bettman who doesn’t have to worry about the citizens (the fans), as he is not voted in by the fans.
No, Gary Bettman is more concerned with the ‘poweful kingmakers’ that keep him in his seat of authority, and not the fans. He does not too often have to discuss issues with them.
The question at this point begs the question as to what the ‘kingmakers’ are telling him. What is it they want these days?
With the Phoenix Coyotes case exposing a few tidbits of information making the ‘people’ question motives of the Board of Governors, will a fan outcry be required to make the kingpins listen?
In another article in the Toronto Star of today, the NHL is shown to be worried that the youth of today are less inclined to have loyalty to sport as their entertainment choice.
Perhaps the NHL would be wiser then to listen more to the fans, especially those in Canada, where hockey is embraced the most.
And, Toronto is in the greatest trouble. With teens less drawn to the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs than in other provinces. Could it be the greed of the MLSE that has added to the dilemma? Are there kingpins in Toronto that Gary Bettman is getting an earfull from?
The Phoenix Coyotes court battle shows the NHL’s philosophy about battling to the end is similar to the attitude of the situation in Afghanistan.
The only difference is there is no public election that Gary Bettman needs to concern himself with. But this might lend itself to a false sense of security.
Gary Bettman and the NHL had better start looking to Afghanistan for direction, and perhaps change the constitution to be a democratic process that serves it’s fans.
Or, the NHL may get their way, but in the end have nobody too interested in their good boys club, or the product they offer.
Please visit http://makeiteighteh.com for more information on the current Phoenix Coyotes case.