Voter apathy has given form to apathetic campaigning. This is the oddest election in Canadian history. Not due to its length but due to its silence. Politicians live to debate, it’s in the blood, it’s the very job description. Yet since Steven Harper arrived on the Federal scene it’s been changing. I can count on one hand the number of times I had the opportunity to debate a Concervative candidate during my years as a Candidate. They rarely showed up for debates, preferring to make promises at the household door, away from prying eyes. Debates have two functions, they are the performance test of the job applicant and the statement of accountability they make. Without it, there is little proof of what the candidate can do, or what he is promising when confronted by the public. In the end this leaves questionnaires and media interviews to disseminate the message and to provide a written record of that candidates commitment. This time, there is no record.
Conservative candidate like Daniels and MacDonald refuse to participate in the election process. Demanding your vote, just because. They refuse to do media interviews till after the election, or refuse to answer basic questions on their platform. As if you should reward them a seat at Parliament because of who they claim to represent. And that person is not you. It’s the leader, Steven Harper, who also refuses to answer questions, refuses to debate and will not even directly address the unwashed masses we call the Canadian people. We are unimportant, unworthy of their time or consideration, and that rot is growing.
The fact that the NDP leader Mulcair is following at least some of Harper’s strategy is disheartening. Debate after debate is cancelled as the two major players refuse to confront each other in public view and will not engage the public in general without their opponent present. That empty chair sends a message stronger then any promise at a podium.
I understand why the Conservatives are so silent this election. Depending on attack ads and prerecord ex sound bites while avoiding every situation that would require them to account for their dismal performance and criminal activity, but why is Mulcair building a similar wall around himself?
We are the voters. We chose who leads us, locally and as a result federally. Yet some candidates think in their arrogance or as a result of their incompetence that we are going to cast a ballot to them, for no reason at all. Is this the democracy we want? Voting on little pieces of paper for names. Names without faces but only a corporate style logo beside them designating party affiliation? Are we going to mock the democratic process by creating a parliament of faceless, voiceless purposeless zombies?
I think not. It’s time we made it absolutely clear to the candidates.
Write to them, tell them at the door.
If you can’t debate for the job, you can’t do the job. So you can’t have the job.
Further reading http://t.thestar.com/#/article/news/federal-election/2015/08/25/my-lonely-cross-country-sojourn-in-search-of-a-chatty-conservative-tim-harper.html?referrer=http%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FOF0QouhQNz