We know they have our best interests in mind, but just in case…
If you ever want to get in an argument virtually anywhere in the country at any time of the day or night, simply pick a side on any political topic. Few things raise the temperature in the room like a heated political debate.
The same can be said for politicians, particularly the leaders of a party and their ministers. They are the most public faces of the party in power and receive the bulk of the attention, positive or negative, from the public.
By putting themselves forward as leaders within our country, politicians open themselves up to praise and criticism from the voting public. This is healthy and a vital part of any democracy. But both praise and criticism should usually be restricted to the job they are doing as a leader, and not simply a form of personal attack. Personal attacks are, for the most part, counter-productive and unnecessary.
We believe the focus of any discussion about politicians should primarily be on their record. In other words, focus on what they have managed to achieve, or what they have failed to achieve, while in office.
There are exceptions, of course. For example, if a politician waxes eloquently about the evils of racism, but is revealed to have racist beliefs, then their character should be open to criticism.
For that matter, if a politician regularly finds themselves on the wrong side of an ethics inquiry, perhaps it is fair at that point to consider whether they are morally fit to lead.
The important thing is the debate and the effort we make as Canadians to put the right people in power who will do their best to deliver on the promises they made to us when they wanted our votes. If they deliver, maybe they get to stay in power.
If they don’t deliver, or if they make clear promises they don’t live up to once in power, or if they see the job as a ticket to bettering the positions of their friends and supporters, then hopefully their time in power will be limited.
The decision is ours, but let’s do our best to be informed and to remember that the leaders serve at our pleasure, not their own.
What can we do?
We can start by expecting more. Once we have made that shift in our thinking, and we realize that we deserve more, then we can get together and demand more.
Connect with other Canadians. Track the successes and failures of the politicians and their parties. And when it comes time to vote, help other Canadians remember what the politicians did, or did not do, with the time they had in power.
Never forget…your vote is your power.