No, we’re not taking about Willy Wonka, where the song originated, or Sammy Davis Jr., who made it popular (don’t you just love the power of wikipedia), we’re taking about the man in Shul who makes the kids smile with a piece of candy or three on Shabbos.
Could there be possibly be politics with the candy man? Of course! Now remember our definition of politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. And in the case of distributing candy to children there are actually some real issues.
A story will illustrate. When our Shul moved into a new building the members were putting in their requests for seats. The candy man wanted to sit near the Aron, but the Baalei Tefillah felt that having the kids come up front during davening was disturbing. The candy man agree to change his policy and only distribute candy after davening. Soon thereafter somebody further back in the Shul distributed small portions during davening. The candy man did not mind and was happy with his after-davening slot.
Besides the distribution issue, some parents are not crazy about their kids eating too much candy on Shabbos because it makes some kids wired. However it’s hard to put controls on the candy man if the Shul is ok with the distribution.
All in all the candy man is a good thing. It sweetens the Shul going process for the younger kids who remember the experience for a lifetime.