Letters

The election process

August 22, 2019   ·   0 Comments

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Re; Editorial Aug. 15, 2019

The subjects in your editorial usually come up after an election often from those moaning how their preferred candidate/party didn’t make the cut with the suggestion that electoral reform is needed to make things fairer.  It comes up again after they’re elected and voters wonder what changed their MP once she or he got to Ottawa.

Some folks claim the whole process is a circus and the election merely selection of a new crop of trained seals.  Others say it’s really a national job fair for those wanting to be elected.  I look at it as a marketing exercise using the same techniques and tactics used to sell soap, cars or any other product or service.  In fact, the parties are now using a lot of terminology borrowed from marketing.    

There’s no doubt that the process is fraught with fairy tales, never-to-be-kept promises, bias, myths and outright lies, perpetrated by some of the players such as candidates, political parties, pundits, media, pollsters and yes, voters.  They are subjects for another day.  For now, I’ll focus on the purpose of the election from a practical point of view.

In theory, we’ll be electing someone to represent this federal district or riding so we have a “voice in Ottawa”.  In practice, our “voice in Ottawa” will be one of 338 with the same goal for their respective ridings. What are the odds?

Voters are faced with a basic decision at the get go.  Do they vote for an independent candidate or one linked with a political party.  According to to the theory behind it all it doesn’t matter but in reality, it does, as voters realize MP’s elected under a party banner are beholden to that party if they want to go anywhere in Ottawa or get anything done. The old saying about serving two masters comes into play.

The editorial covers this situation with the suggestion that more independent candidates and more free votes in parliament would help.  I am sure it would but not enough to improve participation by voters and candidates alike.  For that to happen we have to consider changes those in government won’t support.

Enjoy what’s left of summer before the ‘official’ campaign hits the fan.  

Hill Cox

Caledon resident



         

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