Recent polls are indicating voter shifts from traditional expectations. How much do you believe? How much do poll results matter to the decision you make and the vote you cast? Kenneth H. Young explores these questions today and hopes you’ll share your thinking with his. BONNIE
Do you believe the Polls?by Kenneth H. Young, CD
I am not one of those people who discounts a poll unless it favours my candidate or political party. You know the–“I don’t comment on Polls”–type and then does anyway. I am also not one to change his mind once it is made up.
For the past few years, I have decided I will no longer vote for the person or the party, for friendship or because of some convoluted sense of loyalty. This is an election, and the person I vote for is the person who might well represent me in Parliament for the next four years. Instead, I review the issues this person stands for, the issues which his or her party has decided to address if elected, and how they line up with the issues that are dear to me. Yes, me. Selfish. I know. But, if all Canadians voted for the issues rather than personalities, how a person looks or which Federal party they belong to, Canada would be rewarded with issue-driven elections. Canadians could and would dump any MP who reneges on the issues. Canadians in turn could expect to be rewarded with governments that no longer dare to run a campaign of lies and broken promises.
THE FACT IS the Canadian Political problem we now face is of our own making.
Politicians lie to us and, instead of punishing them on election day, we reward them, in the same way many pet owners reward a misbehaving dog with treats. We continue to elect them into power, re-enforcing the political notion that lying in order to get elected is not only acceptable but preferable to telling the truth. Our message is the same as it is to the misbehaving dog. Sadly, we reinforce this misconception we want to be lied to new politicians, as they watch their counterparts get elected on campaigns of misdirection, sullen denial and lies.
So far in this election campaign, there have been forty or fifty MP-wanna-bes (candidates) who have decided that, to get elected, they need to play hooky and absent themselves from all candidate debates in their respective ridings. What party they represent doesn’t matter. In my opinion, on election day, voters should punish them with a withdrawal of their support. They should move their votes to the candidates who at least showed the people enough respect to show up and answer questions.
Let’s face it, Canadians. The most attention you will ever get from an elected official is during an election campaign. This is the time they do listen to you and hear what you are saying because your vote matters to them. It is the only time they bother to personally answer every question you ask, shake your hand or give you a hug. It doesn’t get any better then this. They won’t show you this much respect and friendship again . . . well, at least not until the next election.
If this is as good as it gets, remember those who not only want your vote but also believe that they do not have to do anything to deserve it.
Present polls are showing the NDP ahead of even the Bloc in Quebec and are or close to tied with the Liberals nationwide. SO?
How many people have been asking me or telling me that they are worried about the possibility of the NDP actually pulling in front. All I have to say is WHY?
Would we really be that much worse off, further in debt, lied to more often or steered against Canada’s best interests if we–God forbid–dared to elect a party who has not yet had a history of scandals, missing monies and patronage appointments?
We have been ruled by successive Tories and Grits since 1867. Canadians have, for the most part, been loyal to this two-party system, but where has that taken us? To the sick but somewhat warranted Canadian perception that all politicians are liars, cheats and, at best, scoundrels with their fingers in the cash cow called Canada. We don’t see poor former prime ministers, cabinet ministers or senators, do we?
Polls or no polls, the issues haven’t changed, and the issues I believe I want to vote for haven’t changed. Therefore, the party offering to solve them and my vote has not changed. Maybe it is time to try something new, to give someone else a try at fixing Ottawa. We’ve already lost world respect. I’d hate to see all the rights and privileges we vets fought to preseve disappear too along with this respect.
Yesterday, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said that the NDP has never in the history of Canada lead the country–as if this is a bad thing! And the operative word here is lead, or rule, depending on your interpretation of the word.
But, leaving that aside, to me this may be Jack Layton’s strongest endorsement. He is not yet beholden to Corporate Canada.
Besides, if we could afford the recent five-year experiment with the Western Alliance-Reform and now repackaged “Conservative” Stephen Harper, what is four more years of a Canadian experiment with another “non-entity” going to harm us, if we allow Jack Layton a chance to show us what the NDP can do for Canada?
Frankly, if the other parties were doing so well, do you think we would be going to the voting polls again?
Kenneth H. Young CD
Canadian Veterans Advocacy
Agent Orange Association of Canada