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Let me tell you about the other guy!

It happens every time… or at least, it has been happening for quite a while now. An election is called, and the campaigns begin.

It happens every time… or at least, it has been happening for quite a while now. An election is called, and the campaigns begin. 

While there are a lot of promises made — perhaps empty promises — there is also lot of finger-pointing.

According to the challengers, the incumbents are the reason for all the ills that have befallen the country.

The incumbents would have us believe that the challengers are so misguided that the country would be irreparably harmed should they come to power.

What irks me most is that the candidates rarely seem to want to tell us what they, or their party, will do for us. They are more inclined to enumerate what they see as the many faults of their opponents.

So, to all the candidates I offer this advice:

Tell me what YOU and YOUR PARTY will do for me, for the people of your riding, and for the people of this country. 

Please, do not tell me what you see are the weaknesses of your opponents and their parties. 

What I want is to hear from all of your is simply your platforms, and then I will make a decision on how to cast my vote.

I do not need “advice” from someone who has an obvious bias toward the outcome of the process.

Oh, don’t get me wrong… I understand why you do what you do. I know people who have been backroom hacks strategists

I know that the plan is to get people repeating the statements you make about your opponents as though these were facts. It doesn’t matter what we think about you, as much as you want us to distrust your opponents.

There’s also the implication that the voters just aren’t intelligent enough to make such an important decision on their own, which is why you (thanks to the backroom strategists) have your “talking points” to address, to convince us that it would be wrong for us to vote for the other candidates.

When I vote, I look at a number of factors, such as:

  • the local candidate
  • the party’s platform and/or previous record
  • the leader of the party

I also consider the likelihood that a particular party really does have the wherewithal to follow through on their promises, or is it more likely that the promises are more of the “pie-in-the-sky” variety.

I am concerned when I hear promises that sound like they will cost a lot of money, especially when accompanied by a promise to reduce taxes, or an assurance that they will “find the money” somewhere.

I will admit that I have concerns regarding all the parties. None, really, are my overall first choice. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.

I am not a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of any party, although I do lean more toward the Conservatives for their fiscal policies. 

However, I have in the past voted for candidates from each of the three main parties; sometimes because I liked the candidate, sometimes because I liked the party’s platform, and sometimes because I liked the leader.

I’ve not yet made my decision for this election, but as I have stated, I will base my decision on what a candidate or a party can do for me, the riding, and the country.

I was just reading an article on Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House, and MP for Regina-Qu'Appelle. He has won his seat in three previous elections, and is favoured to win again.

However, as Speaker, he must maintain an "air of neutrality" -- despite being a Conservative, he must refrain from expressing a stand on federal policy issues. 

Previous speakers, including Peter Milliken (Liberal) -- Canada's longest-serving Speaker -- have done likewise; not only avoiding partisan politics during the campaign, but essentially avoiding attending most partisan events, in order to preserve the neutrality of the office.

Obviously the average candidate cannot be neutral, as they are trying to get elected on the basis of their party affiliation, and each has its own set of policies to promote. But if they stick to promoting their own platform, and refrain from commenting on the other parties' platforms, election campaigns could be almost bearable.

I will not base my decision on what a candidate tells me about the other candidates or their parties — those are conclusions I will reach on my own.

So, to all the candidates: please don't tell us about the other candiates. Tell us what you will do, and then leave it to the voters to chose.


But… that’s just my opinion.