An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
I LOVE FEDERAL ELECTIONS because they’re the ultimate expression of our democracy. Besides, I’m a political junkie.
There are things about it that annoy me, though — especially coming from the leaders. I’ve concluded they think we’re all idiots.
For example, have you noticed that whenever one of them has an announcement to make, they set things up so there are a bunch of party members standing behind them, smiling and applauding?
It’s as if they’re afraid we’d think nobody supports them if they just stand there alone at the mike. Presumably a bit of a crowd makes them look like leaders.
To me, it looks goofy because it’s so affected.
Another thing that annoys me is when a party leader invokes all Canadians “from Coast to Coast to Coast” in support of their position. The leader will say, for example, “Canadians know what I’m saying is true.”
Or, “Canadians want a government that will take a balanced approach to the environment.”
How do they know what I know or want? Many’s the time I’ve indignantly told the TV screen, “Oh, yeah, well this Canadian doesn’t!”
And how about those seriously affected TV clips where the leader strides into a candidate’s headquarters kissing babies and shaking hands, a huge smile pasted on their face, and the faithful cheering as enthusiastically as they can?
And then the leader tries to jazz things up with exaggerated timbre, saying the local candidate is going to be the next MP and their party is going to form the next government. (Yaaaaayyy!)
It’s all so fakey, and it’s all aimed at us, the audience at home.
I really wish they’d ditch the theatre and just talk to us like we’re capable of thinking.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.