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Author of the book, Gladiator Leaders: Don’t Drink the Laced Drink, A.K. Hasan wrote, “Never accept the role of a Gladiator if you do not have the spirit of a Warrior.”

As it goes and as predicted, Victoria Premier, Daniel Andrews, loses support after pulling out of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Sports-mad Australians especially those in the state of Victoria are not too happy with Andrews after he pulled the plug. According to Andrews, it was due to spiralling costs.

The Canadian province of Alberta did the same thing, however, Premier Danielle Smith’s reputation is undamaged from the announcement. First off, 2030 is farther out than 2026, which is essentially “around the corner,” when it comes to organizing global championships. Also, Smith did not make the initial announcement to the press it was, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Joseph Schow. Tactically, Smith made the more savvy move. Andrews fully took on the announcement and immediately faced a harsh backlash.

According to the publication, Inside the Games, a survey carried out by Resolve Political Monitor has found that Andrew’s support has dropped from 41 per cent to 39. This is the Labor-led administration’s lowest score since November 2022 when it fell to 36.

It has also been reported by the Daily Mail Australia that Andrews’ likeability is slipping having dropped from 49 per cent to 44. Meanwhile, support for rival Liberal leader John Pesutto has grown from 26 to 29.

In all fairness, Andrews said that he would not take money from education and hospitals, which he felt would be at risk. Smith’s government also claimed that costs were spiralling. Up to 93 per cent of costs would be on provincial taxpayers. The bill was already at $2.68 billion CAD.

Spending $500 million on nothing

On the other hand, for Andrews, Victoria still spent a large amount of money just to get out of hosting and in return received nothing. He is, however, experiencing the aforementioned drop in polls and likability. Victoria’s taxpayers were apparently on the hook for $380 million AUS to cancel. The amount is apparently now reported to be $500 million AUS — ouch!

For both Alberta and Victoria, federal funding was necessary. In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is ruling under a heat lamp. The pressure is on after several scandals have dogged him during his two-term tenure. It is presumed, albeit it is early days, that he will need to step down to provide the Liberals with any chance at being re-elected.

In Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s support is at its lowest ebb anytime during his term. Apparently, 68 per cent are saying the PM has not done enough for affordability in the country. Paying billions of dollars to Victoria to host the Games would have crushed his reputation.

Neither PM seems to have the spirit of a warrior. Rather, they are ruling just to remain employed, and apparently failing at that. Australia spent $10 billion on a new fleet of Hercules aircraft as it updates the ageing Defence Force. Funding the war machine, sure, protects the citizens but at what costs? Culture, sport, health, and fitness are out the window as an investment. Interestingly, according to the Fraser Institute Governments in Canada spent more than $350 billion on corporate welfare.

There is money for the Commonwealth Games to grow culture and sport. However, political tenure seems to be more important to the premiers and prime ministers of our nations.

It was the great George Elliott Clarke, Canadian poet, playwright, literary critic and Poet Laureate of Toronto who wrote, “Sport is cultural. What the star athlete does helps to define the culture. What the star athlete does on a Canadian team, especially if he or she is Canadian, helps define Canadian-ness,” and so it goes in Australia and the rest of the world.

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