General Etiquette > Etiquette of the Rich and Famous

I won't shake her hand

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--- Quote from: Winterlight on March 20, 2013, 07:55:12 AM ---Methinks Ms. Facebook has no idea how politics actually work- you have to build alliances. Way to burn a bridge.

--- End quote ---

I think it's quite telling that this is a new electee. I presume she'll either learn the ropes by hard experience, or else have a short and very frustrating time in politics.

We tell our children how wonderful it is, in stable democracies, that power is exchanged through peaceful elections regardless of which party comes into power.  We see officials with differing opinions congregate together to get laws passed and measures enacted.  Even though they act with passion at times and heated arguments erupt, they can usually set aside their differences to act with civility.

This woman disregarded that.  I see her behavior as more fitting for one of those "banana republics" you see brawling on news clips from time to time.  If she wants to act out a personal "beef" she doesn't belong where maturity is required.

Snowy Owl:
I don't think it's wrong to prefer not to shake hands with someone.  There is one particular former politician I'd really rather not shake hands with because I have severe issues with practically everything he did.  I would however find a tactful excuse not to do so.  That said, I do think it's rude and unwise to go putting it on facebook and crowing about it. 

For a politician to say this in a public forum, it's extremely divisive.  Politicians (at least in the UK) are elected to represent their constituents, many of whom don't agree with all their policies and they have to represent those who didn't vote for them as much as those who did.  To refuse to shake hands with someone from another party is to intimate to the constituents who voted for that party that she doesn't have any regard for them.  This is not a good way to win friends and influence people and no politician should be burning those kinds of bridges. 

I think it is one thing for a private citizen to want to avoid shaking hands eith a politician. It is very different for somebody who had gone into politics to get sniffy over the matter.

Years back in our state election for governor, one of the candidates did exactly that. He refused to shake hands with his opponent. It made the headlines. That and other not-so-intelligent gaffes lost him the election.

As a politician, it's in your best interest to make yourself look good, put yourself above the fray so to speak. Refusing to shake hands with someone in the opposing political party only makes you look like a louse.


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