What are we: seven, eight days into a federal election in Canada? I’ve lost count.
Already I’m sick and tired of the dubious and deceitful nature of party politics and the inglorious leaders marching their sheep into battle.
You see, in Canada at least, elections are no longer about the candidate, but the cause. Voters have only one vote, and the person elected is only now recognized as a digit in the grand total that will put one person (one party) into power.
There were, perhaps, days — and it may well have been long before I could vote — when you could count on the local candidate to support and defend the constituency they were elected to represent. In those days, perhaps, honest people did honest work. Honestly.
Now, I realize this may sound like an old man ranting about how things were in the old days, but I suppose I’ve accepted that I am older now, and I’ve grown tired of the same old song.
Federal elections and — to a (marginally) lesser extent — provincial elections, have become routine. It’s the same old thing, over and over again; from the structured spin a party delivers in over-hyped platforms, to the manner in which the media will cover a campaign race.
It is a system where reporters follow around the chosen ones, waiting for crumbs to be dropped at structured points along the campaign trail. Access to the leaders, or the candidates, is regimented or, at times, non-existent. Every aspect of the branded campaign is designed to be strategically introduced during heavily choreographed presentations rather than addressing true societal concerns in a timely matter.
It’s all about controlling the narrative.
Political parties will respond only to their own polls. Politicians will only provide prepared answers. Politicians will only repeat the same answers. Reporters are given no time for follow through. It appears as if some reporters have no interest in follow-up.
It is a flawed system that counts on the electorate not caring or not bothering. It assumes disinterest and dismisses the intellect of the voter.
It is action and reaction until voting day, and then inaction through the years to follow. It is a flawed mechanism built on errors and ignorance.
There is a pattern to the errors, but even worse, an acceptance of the pattern; even an outright reliance on a perception of the continued stupidity of the electorate. Why else would a politician say things that cannot be backed up, or make statements that can never be validated? Never, at any point, will they acknowledge past mistakes.
And there are so many mistakes. Time is not an unproven principle.
We hear the same things, and we listen to them again, time after time; particularly at election time. Politicians lie, they cheat, and, sadly, are accountable only to their party. Politicians give politics a bad name.
We seem to accept that. We end up with the governments we deserve. Don’t accept what is offered, because it is rarely provided.
If we want something different, we cannot allow things to be done the same way they have been done. We, the electorate, deserve change. Don’t just ask for it; demand it.
Do not trust, or reward, the incompetence we have come to accept.
© 2019 j.g. lewis