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Thursday 8 September 2011

The Biggest Picture

October 11th is fast approaching and the politicking is already well underway. Every cent of Government cash doled out is accused of having the intention of buying votes, and every complaint levied at Government is called blatant negativity, and the name-calling is just getting ramped up. The PC’s want to hold on to control, the Liberals want to take it, and the NDP want to continue the “orange wave” into NL. It’s why they affectionately call election time the “silly season.”

The finger pointing is rampant and unfortunately forms the crux of many political campaigns. Luckily we have not yet gone nearly as far as the American style of political attack ads, even though the research seems to indicate that negative ads actually work. It seems contrary to what reasonable people say about wanting to hear messages of positive plans and directions. What is it that voters really want?

Those with a few campaigns under their belt will say that voters want to be told that you can fix their problems. “They” say that just saying you will do your best just isn’t good enough. It seems that the battle is turning into a silly argument of who can promise the most. Unfortunately the delivery of those promises is often long forgotten except by those of the other parties.

Winston Churchill is supposed to have said “The best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.” While I can understand where that sentiment comes from, I don’t agree with the premise that average folks aren’t up to the task of voting for good representation. I have to believe that people can make the right choice when it’s offered to them.

Politicians who underestimate the intelligence of voters do so at their peril. I happen to think that the main reason people are disenfranchised from politics and often feel that all politicians are out for their own best interests is because some of them are. It’s unfortunate but true that some people enter public life for less then altruistic reasons. These are the politicians who underestimate the abilities and passion of the average voter, but there is an upside.

Luckily the majority of people who throw their hat into the political ring do so because they see an issue that needs to be addressed, or they really want to make a positive difference in government. Despite how some people feel, the truth is that politicians are normal folks who want to make a difference. They commit their time, money and effort to bringing good government to everyone.

Of course the results vary greatly but there’s one thing that’s for sure. No matter what the results of the coming election, we will get the government we deserve. Lets hope we choose wisely.

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