It is certainly that time again when election signs decorate the landscape. ‘Vote for Me’, ‘Elect Him’, ‘Vote for Change’ and so on. I’m sure you know all the slogans, and probably many of the candidates. With the Provincial election finally behind us, we have a short reprieve until September before the municipal election signs once again dot our landscape.
The face of politics seems to be changing as well, as was evident in the recent US balloting, when horrific bad-mouthing, personality bashing, dirt digging and so on became the forefront of all the campaigns. Ontario was not that far behind, with a shocking PC upset, two months before the election and a Liberal surrender, a week before the polls closed. I ask one simple question, what does it accomplish? The lack of ethics in politics (a bit of an oxymoron) has become the new norm, and social media is part of the cause.
Just once I would like to hear what candidates will do for our community, not what they won’t do. Quit stressing personality traits, as they seldom have a bearing on political ability.
Out and out dishonesty during election campaigns seems to be gaining more ground, especially in the past few decades. I remember when Jean Chretien swore he would not introduce GST or when truthful statements made by Dalton McGuinty were less common that falsehoods. Have we not learned anything from these people?
Social media has given everyone in the general public, an opportunity to voice their own opinions, often with no accountability or regard for truth. Many hide behind pseudonyms or anonymity, yet their misrepresentations could sway unsuspecting voters.
I ask the general public and all candidates to focus on what our community needs, and how they plan to achieve their goals. Stay away from criticizing your opponents, as this does nothing to educate or inform voters. Refrain from distorting the truth about what others have or have not done, and stick to what needs to be done.
Voters need to know what the future will bring through the benefits of a successful candidate. I ask everyone in the know to please help us make informed decisions, and cease the backdoor flurry of negativity from the comfort of their laptops. Perhaps if people are that knowledgeable, they should run for office?
I will be moderating an all candidates meeting on September 20nd in the Community Centre in Port Perry. I hope to see many of you there, to get a firsthand view of what the future holds for our great community.