I have to admit I’d silently go a little out of my mind during previous federal elections when people would talk to me about voting for their favourite candidate with no thought whatsoever to the party or its platform.
It’s no stretch to understand why. Living in a territory that employs a non-party system pretty much conditions voters to view the candidates as a party unto themselves.
However, this time around, voting for the candidate of your choice might be the only sensible option, when one could hang name tags around each of the top three parties closely akin to Huey, Dewey and Louie based on the antics of the leaders involved.
Even the leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, is not immune to having her party take things to laughable levels when she reportedly allowed her party to Photoshop out a disposable cup in a photo with her and replace it with a metal straw sticking out of a reusable cup.
Thankfully, if nothing else, we have three candidates in Nunavut who are extremely supportable in their own right.
Not so thankfully, however, is the fact still remains that a vote for them is a vote for their party and, by extension, a vote for their party’s leader.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s blackface/brownface scandal has one pining for former Tory leader Robert Stanfield’s frequent looks of stoic resignation during a political career that often had him referred to as the greatest prime minister Canada never had by his fellow Tories.
And I guarantee you will not hear a quote from any of our current leaders that would rival John Diefenbaker, who said, “I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”
However, two of Diefenbaker’s quotes oddly address what we’ve seen in this election campaign.
His, “I have an intensive hatred for discrimination based on colour,” would be a stinging quote toward Trudeau’s blackface error in judgment, while his, “You can’t stand up for Canada with a banana for a backbone,” would shine a harsh light on NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh becoming overly emotional in the face of the Trudeau blunder.
And, playing as the straight man to the comedic value of this year’s election, none of the proposals by the party leaders make any fiscal sense.
That is unless you don’t mind the handing down of another four to eight years of deficits and what’s sure to follow in the form of massive cuts to social programs, as the next player tries to pay down those deficits and work towards a balanced budget.
To give the devil his due, Tory Leader Andrew Scheer has made more sense with his proposals to put more money back in the pockets of the people who earned it, especially seniors.
But, initiating a policy that could have thousands of first-time homeowners with mortgages they can no longer afford with any significant raise in the Bank of Canada’s interest rate could prove itself to be a disaster.
Hello Fannie Mae!
As the federal election plays out in its entirety during the next few weeks many voters may simply turn to who they perceive as the lesser of the evils, while many others simply may not cast their ballot at all.
It’s been more than half a century since former Liberal prime minister Lester B. Pearson described the necessary attributes for a successful prime minister when he said, “Prime ministers require the hide of a rhinoceros, the morals of St. Francis, the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the leadership of Napoleon, the magnetism of a Beatle and the subtlety of (Niccolò di Bernardo dei) Machiavelli.”
Unfortunately, from what we’ve seen so far from our federal party leaders, the only quote that might accurately describe this campaign is, “send in the clowns.”