A Federal Election is Called
Let the Mudslinging Begin

Brian Campbell

Full article with pictures: https://highhopescommunications.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/A-Federal-Election-is-Called-Let-the-Mudslinging-Begin.pdf

The receptionist in an office I visited described our 2019 Federal Election better than anyone else I have spoken to lately. She said, “I have no idea what any of the candidates’ policies are. I know every stupid thing they have ever done or said, but I don’t know their policies.”

At what point did our elections become such a three ring circus? This candidate said this offensive thing ten years ago. But that candidate did that offensive thing twenty years ago, and again twenty five years ago. But he did this. No, that isn’t important. Look at what he did. Yes, but he also did this, and this, and, and… Ad nauseam.

Wait a minute! What about politics! Never mind what he did. For just one second, I want to know; What are YOU going to do? And, HOW are you going to do it?

Because, let’s face it, it’s one thing to make a bunch of promises while you are on the campaign trail. It is another thing to actually follow through on those promises, once the election is over and you are actually in office.

Besides, what makes you think I actually want what you are promising? Who? Me! Over here. Remember me? Joe Public. You know, the person you are supposed to be working for. Because, let’s face it, your job is actually titled, Public Servant. That means you work for me. So as your boss and potential boss, I want to tell you all right now. Given an option, I wouldn’t hire any one of you! Not one of you has shown any sign that you actually care about the voting public. You are all so full of yourselves and trying to figure out how to beat the other guy, you have virtually forgotten about your voters.

Except at election time. Then you remember us. You phone us, email us, regale us with how we need to vote for you.  But not because of all the wonderful things you are going to do to support us.  No, no. We need to vote for you because of how terrible the other person is, was, or could be. The other candidate is Satan himself and you are the only one who can protect us from him. That is why we need to vote for you. What a bunch of hooey!

To some extent, we, the voting public, must take responsibility for these actions. We have been very lax in our political activism, willing to let you do your own thing without direction from us. We have also been guilty of swaying in the breeze, voting in, first one party, then the other, sort of like a game of musical chairs. Many of us have even given up voting, taking us out of the equation entirely.  If that is supposed to be a statement, it has failed. All it really says is, “I don’t care what happens.”  Not a good plan.

I understand the problem. None of the parties seems to have a handle on what the country really wants. And how would they? Have you told them? Any of you? Have you actually picked up the phone and called your Member of Parliament and said, “This is what is important to me.”?  Have you? Then how are they supposed to know? So they guess. And since we have a party system, they invariably choose to change whatever it was the other guy did. Why? Because he did it.

I know I am using the masculine “He” all through this article. Does that make some of you mad? Mad enough to elect a female leader to our government? Good. When you do that, I’ll stop saying, “He.” Until then…

But here is the basis of the party system. I’ll use the reaction to the shooting in Toronto as an example. One side says we need to ban handguns. Another says no, we need to concentrate on cracking down on violent crime, and in particular, gang violence. Yet another suggestion is to create better mental health initiatives, to deal with issues before they become violent. And on, and on, and on.

This is the problem as I see it. We need to get stricter on our gun laws. Particularly when it comes to assault style weapons and handguns, but that won’t solve the problem. We need to get tougher on violent crime and gang violence, but that won’t solve the problem. We need to have better mental health initiatives to get ahead of the problems before they become violent. The same goes for drug addiction. But this isn’t the solution. We also have to provide our children and teens with alternatives to drugs and gangs, but this isn’t the solution either. All of these, together, plus a lot more ideas that I haven’t even thought of yet, will help to solve, not only gun violence, but a large percentage of the crime in our country. But none of this will happen under our current system, because it involves doing something none of our politicians seem capable of doing. Working together. They don’t do things that way. Not unless we, the voting public, step up and say, ENOUGH! It’s due time you started listening to us.

What bothers me most, is that I see most of the trouble in our country is caused by this political tug-of-war.  Each side has part of the solution, but they think of it as an either-or, not as a, let’s work together.

The Conservatives of our country, want to be fiscally responsible, cut costs if it kills us, which it may. The Liberals, and in many ways, the NDP, are all about providing services, throwing money at a problem in hopes it will make the problem go away. The Green Party is all about saving the environment, one of the things, by the way, the Liberals and NDP like throwing money at.

But why can’t we do both? Can’t we find a way to be fiscally responsible without cutting all our vital services? And while we are at it, why can’t we help the environment? The only problem here is, you guessed it, none of these politicians are capable of seeing past their own, narrow, agenda. Especially not if the idea came from (gasp) the other guy. Can you guess what my solution is? That right. It’s us. We need to make some noise. Tell these politicians what how we want our country run. Time to make some noise, people. It’s time for us to take our government back.