Journalists report on our politicians all the time. They think they can judge them best. They kid themselves. There is too much that they do not say about our MPs, MPPs and MLAs. Even if we, as interested citizens, watch our politicians on CPAC and provincial channels, we might only get a small sample of what our local politician is doing on our behalf in Ottawa or as a member of our provincial government.
So, what can we do four years or less later when they want to be re-elected? How do we judge their worth? Do you trust them again to represent you?
Many people abdicate the responsibility by voting for the party. It is their right to do that. Some will cheerfully vote for the village idiot—if he or she represents the preferred party.
The news media encourage voting for the party by spending considerable reporting resources on following the travels of the party leaders. Some of the large city media will also take the trouble sometimes to interview candidates in your electoral district. There will be the usual complaints about sign by-laws and access to voters in institutions and condominiums.
Some people try to save all the literature they receive during the election period and, maybe, sift through the pile before going to vote. What you have read is what they want you to know, or believe. Do you trust all you read?
Surprising few of your neighbours ever bother to go to one of the all-candidate meetings. And there are fewer of those than in the past. There used to be coffee parties where a supporter would invite neighbours to meet and talk with one of the candidates. The rarest event is when a candidate comes to your door.
But if you are lucky and can question your candidate, what do you want to know. Doesn’t it all boil down to a question of trust? Can you rely on this person to represent your concerns to the government of the day?
You are the voter. What do you want? Whom do you trust to deliver for you?
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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