It is expected the writ will be dropped today and the flood gates will open sending a rush of politicians into the streets hawking their political wares like a hot dog vendor on the corner.
I hear people say what difference does it make? Followed by they are all the same. Well, inside we know down deep that isn’t true. The question of value is – how do we always end up with the same mess? There are reasons for that and yes I am going to share a few perceptions with you. First we have to understand perception is reality in politics. Look south is a prime example. Trumps perception of reality is his reality and when he starts making decisions it becomes the reality of others like it or not.
In Canada it is different. Our politicians try to please everyone and in the end please no one. That is becoming another perception of reality. Many do not go to the polls for a variety of reasons. They don’t make a decision and the result is one is made for them. Often as not it’s one they don’t like. Ironically they are among the first to complain.
This election could be much different. There are a lot more engaged young people, many with a first time vote. Of those a little older there appears to be an uncertain shift. All in all aside from the dyed in the wool partisans there is a large group of restless undecideds and no one knows where they are going.
This time on October twenty-second we can no longer hide behind the question- How did it get like this?
Or how do we come to a different conclusion?
First we stop talking and start listening. We don’t run out and pick up our lawn sign for the neighbors to see. It always strikes me funny. We hold the concept of a secret ballot, yet we put up a lawn signs that tells everyone what we are going to do.
We want the best policies governing our country. Are you sure? In order to do that we have to read the policy positions of all the parties. How many of us do that? Two years into a mandate a government does something unpopular and people howl. “They never said they would do that” yet there it is on page whatever deep in the policy manual as circulated.
Lets be honest about our electoral failings. Most of the problem is not on the shoulders of the politician. Most of the problem rests with the person you see in the mirror every morning. This is true for a variety of reasons.
Our perception of expectations is larger than the reality of what will be delivered. Yes we succumb to the too good to be true line almost every time. We believe t here is a magic money pit to finance the programs dangled in front of us. The truth is you are the money pit.
Regardless of what party you intend to support it is wise to visit the other campaign offices and gather as much information as possible. My view is, the only wasted ballot is the uninformed ballot. In my opinion it is worse than not voting. Again informed is relative to your reality. Another reason to visit the other campaign offices is you will in all likelihood find one of your friends there. I find the perception that the other guys are somehow an enemy is the biggest negative view we have in politics.
We have to begin to make political decisions on the basis of the social and fiscal realities of our time. That means we have to step outside our perception of reality. If we don’t do that we get to ask the same old question we started with. “How did it get like this?”
It’s a bit like watching the movie Groundhog Day.