Our provincial election is in less than a month.
Will I vote? I don't know. Do I have real options to vote for? Do I vote for a political party or for a particular candidate in our riding? Heidi and I live in riding dominated by one party for many decades now. The other two parties don't even seem to make a concerted effort to capture this legislative seat. Will my vote make a difference one way or another?
Much is made of our right to vote; our freedom to participate in the political process; our responsibility to exercise our civic duty. I don't know how many times I have heard and read the statement that if you don't vote you shouldn't complain about the outcome or its consequences.
But as I observe and study the current campaigns I wonder, do I really have voting options?
The leaders of our three political parties are out campaigning. Day after day we are informed of another announcement by the premier, the leader of the opposition and a delusional doctor ( he seems to think he can become premier - fat chance of that happening). We either hear about the ineptness of our current government or the frightening, hidden agenda of the leader of the official opposition. The two major parties appear to ignore the delusional doc. All three leaders are making promises about the millions of dollars they will spend on an ever growing list of supposed provincial needs and concerns.
Has our election become an auction? Do the candidates really believe that the highest bidder will get the votes needed to form the next government? Do the politicians think our populace can be bought? Do they think people will ignore the reality of out of control government deficits? Are we (voters) that gullible? Are we that unaware of the global chaos brought on by government debt? Are we so clueless that we close our eyes to the instability of our economy?
Why should I vote for political parties that either promise me more spending or simply attack their opponents? I want to hear intelligent, detailed policy platforms. I want to hear concrete strategies on how the parties plan to reduce the deficit and balance the budget, while at the same time creating an environment for economic growth and stability. I want to hear articulate debates about real issues and solutions.
There is an abundance of issues. Among them are rising demands on our health care system, increasingly violent crime, crumbling infrastructure, growing poverty and homelessness, etc.
I want to vote.
But give me some options. Mudslinging does not give me choices. Raising your bid with more spending announcements in a time of run-away deficits does not give me the confidence or desire to vote for you.
I'm still waiting to hear a message that will encourage me to vote one way or another.
Will I vote?
Only if I have some legitimate options. I haven't noticed any so far.