It’s funny how members of the general public can be taken in by the oddest notions? I am an typical Canadian and as such, think of myself as something of a barometer, measuring the changing temperature and attitudes of the Canadian public. I remember commenting that the newly-crowned leader of the Liberal Party of Canada should have stayed in the States. The geeky-looking guy with the funny name looked, talked and walked exactly the way I presumed an American university professor should look, walk and talk. Not at all like your average Canadian.
Then, when Harper began harping on that very same theme, I found myself mentally defending poor Iggy. But in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but notice that the folds of skin around the man’s eyes made him squint, giving him a somewhat sneaky appearance. Probably couldn’t handle the bright lights, I thought. So why didn’t he wear eyeglasses with non-reflective lenses, as I did? Perhaps Iggy had an ego a mile wide, causing him to believe that voting lasses weren’t keen on politicians who wore glasses? (Speaking of glasses, Harper looks more “human” when wearing his.)
Another thing, Iggy’s speech patterns made him sound bitter and sarcastic, which for me is a huge turn-off. However the word is out in CBC circles that Iggy is really a “nice guy.” Nice guys use sarcasm, rather than hollering and screaming as ex-prime minister Paul Martin does so well (I can’t help myself. I fell in love with Paul when he tearfully blubbered that his dad woulda been proud that his son had won the election.)
There’s also an email circulating, warning that no Ignattif ever entered Canada from the old country without having piles of foreign currency in his pocket. (Iggy had once waxed eloquently about how his dad came to Canada as a penniless immigrant. )And just today there was something on the news about how Ignattief is not a Canadian name – can’t be found anywhere on Internet.ca but is frequently featured on the Russian version of “Who’s Who.”
Okay -but one of Michael Ignattief”s ancestors was a pioneer in Northern British Columbia. It’s mentioned somewhere in the latest of a series of wonderful books about BC history by Jay Sherwood, former resident of Vanderhoof (Jay’s originally from the States but has been here long enough to develop a genuine Canadian veneer.)
My opinion of Mr Ignattief has swung full-cirle. I’ve always admired and respected the pioneers of our province. And I notice that Iggyhas been taking lessons from his buddy, Paul Martin. No more nice-guy sarcasm. Keep on hollering and screaming, Iggy. I can handle that.
I had no idea that other people – in other countries- are also put off by the blatant promoting (and trashing) of individual party leaders during democratic elections. There needs to be a change -worldwide, I guess. It is too easy for the powers-that-be to manipulate citizens into voting – or not voting – for a particular party. If voters would concern themselves with the attributes of their local candidates and forget party politics, that might be a start…. My friend P who resides in Scotland pointed out that it’s not only Canadians who are less than impressed with their countries electorial squirmishes, which focus on “…. promoting individuals, and which political party is better than the other based on opposition . Instead of being servants of the people and working with constuctive ideas from whatever group… or citizens”
Not much positive about last night’s televised debate. It was similar to Question Period (which I try to avoid watching) All I got out of it was what I already knew- Harper is Conservative; Ignatious is Liberal and Layton is NDP…. My friend E posted the following on our social network site ” [It] kinda reminded me of unreality TV. 4 grown men standing around in suits, not looking at one another, but waving their arms and using a lot of words. I sort of felt like the words were on a jumbo-tron (sp) and they each had a chance to spin …their wheels. I dont know, its so hard to listen to a debate/ I would rather they had a conversation. Debates are all about posturing and the loudest voice. Despite accusations no one appologized and no one slammed the door and no one pitched a fit. It all seems so contrived. They were like fish swimming in a fish bowl.”
Do we have a real democracy when we only have the tirades and comments from the figureheads who represent each of the political parties to chose from. And this time around none have that “movie star” quality about them. And why should that be necessary for the job, anyway? Corporate leaders in the private sector are often pretty dull fellows…
I would much prefer to confer with local candidates who communicate in my own familiar dialect. They are aware – or about to become aware of – my interests and concerns. The celebrity tracking of party leaders by the media is extremely costly, deceptive and inefective. Why not fund the political parties from the bottom-up, rather than from the top-down? I am hoping our local candidates will become more accessible to queries and suggestions. I once voted for the Green Party candidate in my area because he was the only one who responded to my emails. Poor guy- he only had about 50 cents to his name but our internet communication cost him no money at all! The only other candidate who responded, passed along some pre-written party-oriented material. Can’t even recall his name…probably back working in the sawmill. Probably very little compensation (or sympathy) after losing in an election…
I think we have a biological need to gather information – good and bad – from all sources available. It doesn’t have to be the problems and/or successes of celebreties – although that’s what’s constantly being fed to us by the media. We are also interested in everyday stories with happier endings. Who knows Charlie Sheen may smarten up some day – and that would be a happy ending – can’t have happy endings without there having been unhappy beginnings…